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An orthotist is a healthcare professional who makes and fits braces and splints (orthoses) for patients who need added support for body parts that have been weakened by injury, disease, or disorders of the nerves, muscles, or bones. They work under a physician's orders to adapt purchased braces or create custom-designed braces. Braces are often named for the body part they support, such as:
A prosthetist is a healthcare professional who makes and fits artificial limbs (prostheses) for patients with disabilities. This includes artificial legs and arms for patients who have had amputations due to conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or injury.
Orthotists and prosthetists receive special education and training in undergraduate programs and/or apprenticeships. They may practice in a variety of settings, including the following: