What is Orthotics?

Custom-made orthotics

Orthotics is a specialist medical discipline that focuses on the prescription, design and fitting of orthoses. The definition of orthosis is “an externally applied device used to influence the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system” (ISO September 2020).

Orthotics are braces or splints which are designed to help patients with a variety of different medical conditions to better manage day-to-day living and reduce pain. You may be familiar with foot orthotics or custom-made insoles, but orthotics can also cover different areas of the body. These orthotics are simply named after the joints of the body that they are treating, thus a device that covers the foot and ankle is called an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) and one that also includes the knee is called a Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO).

LOC specialises in providing bespoke orthotics for its adult and paediatric patients, this means that they are custom made for each individual. And this is very important as ill-fitting orthotics will cause more problems than they will solve. We spend a lot of time ensuring our patients are comfortable in their orthotics, after all, they will be wearing them almost all the time.

See our bespoke orthotics page for the full range of orthotics LOC offers. Alternatively, continue below for an overview of our orthotic treatment. 

Paediatric Orthotics

LOC has unrivalled experience in treating children who present with complex and sometimes rare conditions.

Our bespoke orthotics are designed to enhance function and mobility while reducing pain.

Children develop their motor patterns and gait characteristics from an early age and it is vital to aid that development with correctly prescribed and well-designed orthotics.

Adult Orthotics

Since 2005 LOC has built up a considerable reputation in the field of adult rehabilitation.

We have considerable expertise and experience in treating many different types of adult neurological and orthopaedic conditions.

It is important for our clinicians to understand your goals and expectations so we take time at the original assessment to discuss these in detail.


We have pioneered OSKAR, which stands for Optimal Segmental Kinematic Alignment approach to Rehabilitation.

It is an approach to Rehabilitation within a specialised clinic that treats children with lower limb neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy & spina bifida.

It was developed by world-renowned physiotherapist Elaine Owen, who was awarded an MBE in 2012 for her services to children with disability.

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Cerebral Palsy is the term used to describe a group of conditions that affect the movement of muscles and the posture of the body.

Hypermobility is the term used to describe the ability to move joints beyond the normal range of movement.

Pes Planovalgus (flat feet) is the loss of the medial longitudinal arch of the foot.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR): LOC has developed a reputation in the SDR community for its treatment and management of patients who have undergone this ground-breaking surgery.

Sever's Disease is a condition that affects adolescents during their growth spurt in puberty. It is a painful inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone.

Spina Bifida is a birth defect of the neural tube, which is what eventually develops to form the spine and nervous system.

Transverse Myelitis is a rare neurological disorder, with around 300 new cases of the disease recorded in the UK every year.



Bespoke Orthotics

LOC is committed to providing its patients with the most up-to-date orthoses available; we are always assessing new and innovative products like carbon fibre & neuro swing technology for our bespoke orthotics, braces and foot orthotics

We have our own in-house gait lab for analysis and fine tuning of our AFOs.


Neuro Swing AFO

The Neuro Swing AFO has a unilateral ankle joint that is designed to be held within a carbon fibre construction. The joint has two springs, posterior and anterior. The springs can be altered in three ways. Resistance in the springs can be reduced or increased and range of movement can be altered as can the alignment of the ankle. The Neuro Swing system from Fior & Gentz enables us to return the patient’s gait pattern to one that is as near normal as possible.

Sports Injuries

LOC has considerable experience in treating a wide variety of sports injuries, whether caused by overuse of a specific body part or a traumatic incident. LOC’s bespoke orthotics aid the rehabilitation process and can treat individuals that have developed a specific condition by restoring normal movement and biomechanical function.  LOC has its own video vector gait laboratory.  

Robotic Technology at LOC

Victor the Robot, our new Computer Numerical Control milling machine, in action! Victor is noisy, but he’s transforming our ability to design and manufacture orthotic devices at our Kingston-upon-Thames clinic

Manufactured by Rodin4D, Victor is capable of milling complex ergonomic shapes, meaning that we can now potentially assess a spinal orthotic patient, manufacture the orthosis and have it fitted, all in the space of a day. Victor can do everything we need to do for our patients, in-house and in the shortest time possible with no compromise on quality.

Learn more about Victor


Recent Posts

Introducing our new slimline pectus brace

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When John came to see us, his ankle was in a bad way. He had around 60mm of his tibia missing and not much if any talus present. He needed crutches to support him to walk. A gait analysis and a new bespoke carbon fibre knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO) later and he is able to walk again without crutches.

Matilde’s scoliosis bracing story

Matilde travelled from Chile to LOC for bracing treatment for her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Now, nearly a year and a half since she started wearing her brace, she has achieved near-total correction of the curvature of her spine. This is her scoliosis bracing story.

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Iyad's severe plagiocephaly treated in just 3 months

Baby Iyad's plagiocephaly was classed as 'severe' yet was treated in just 3 months of wearing the LOCband Lite helmet.

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For Pectus, please follow our pectus photo guide (max 2mb each).