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VA » Health Care » Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services » Orthotic, Prosthetic & Pedorthic Clinical Services
Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services
Orthotic, Prosthetic & Pedorthic Clinical Services
Vision and MissionThe Vision of VA OPPCS is “to lead the world and be the most trusted provider of orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic clinical care and services for America’s Veterans”.
The OPPCS national program office determined it was important to distinguish the OPPCS Mission into two parts, in recognition of the different role the national VA OPPCS program office performs from that of the VA clinical field staff who are providing direct OP&P related care to Veterans.
I. The mission of the national VA OPPCS program office is to provide strategic direction, leadership, and guidance to VA’s OPPCS field staff in the areas of policy, data, evidence-based practice, oversight, advocacy, strategic partnerships, research and education.
II. The mission of the VA Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Clinical Service in the field is to provide, in collaboration with other healthcare, academic and community partnerships, the highest quality orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic care to optimize outcomes for America’s Veterans.
The mission and vision statements illustrate the commitment of VA’s OPPCS with innovating new procedures, policies, staff education, and evidence based clinical and business practice guidelines to continuously navigate the OP&P clinical service and profession toward excellence and a positive experience for both the Veterans VA serves as well as VA’s OPPCS staff.
Who We AreVA’s OPPCS is made up of over 460 staff in over 100 VA facilities, serving as many as 380,000 distinct Veterans annually. VA OPPCS field staff include Prosthetists, Orthotists, Prosthetists/Orthotists, Pedorthists, Orthotic Fitters, Therapeutic Shoe Fitters, Orthotic/Prosthetic Assistants, Orthotic/Prosthetic Technicians, Soft Good Fitters and Resident Prosthetists/Orthotists working toward becoming certified Prosthetists/Orthotists.
- Certified VA Orthotists, Prosthetists and Prosthetist/Orthotists are specifically educated health care professionals trained to manage comprehensive orthotic and/or prosthetic patient care.
- Orthotic care includes patient evaluation and the design, fabrication, fitting, modification, maintenance and repair of orthoses to treat a neuromusculoskeletal disorder or acquired condition.
- Prosthetic care includes patient evaluation and the design, fabrication, fitting, modification, maintenance and repair of prostheses to restore physiological function and/or cosmesis.
- Certified VA Pedorthists are specifically educated and trained health care professionals, in the management of comprehensive pedorthic patient care. Pedorthic care includes patient evaluation, and the design, fabrication, fitting, modification, maintenance and repair of pedorthic devices for the prevention or alleviation of painful and/or disabling conditions that originate at or below the ankle.
- Certified VA Orthotic Fitters are specifically educated and trained health care professionals, in the provision of certain orthoses. This includes patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, follow-up and practice management. A certified VA Orthotic Fitter is competent to practice orthotics within a scope of practice that is specific to fitting certain custom fitted, prefabricated and off-the-shelf orthoses.
- Certified VA Therapeutic Shoe Fitters are health care professionals specifically educated and trained to provide non-custom therapeutic shoes and non-custom shoe inserts.
- Certified VA Orthotic/Prosthetic Assistants are educated and trained to participate in comprehensive orthotic and/or prosthetic care while under the indirect supervision of a certified orthotist and/or prosthetist. They may perform select orthotic and/or prosthetic procedures and related tasks in the management of patient care and may also fabricate, repair and maintain orthoses and/or prostheses.
- VA Orthotic/Prosthetic Technicians support VA Prosthetists, Orthotists and Pedorthists with the fabrication, repair and maintenance of orthoses and/or prostheses.
- VA Soft Good Fitters provide off-the-shelf devices as defined under “What We Provide” below.
- VA Prosthetic & Orthotic Residency Program - Originally established in 1999, the US Department of Veterans Affairs Prosthetic & Orthotic Residency (VAPOR) program has grown to become the largest hospital-based O&P residency program in the United States. VAPOR sites are accredited by the American Board for Certification in Prosthetics, Orthotics and Pedorthics (ABCOPP) and the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) in the disciplines that they host. Oversight comes from the Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Clinical Services (OPPCS) national program office and the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA).
What We Provide
- Prosthetic Devices refer to artificial limbs: custom designed, fabricated, fitted and/or modified devices to treat partial or complete limb loss, provided by a provider certified in Prosthetics, for purposes of restoring physiological function and/or cosmesis.
- Orthotic Devices refer to devices fitted externally to an anatomical portion of the body for protection and/or to assist, resist, block, specific body motions. An orthosis may be used to correct deformity, compensate for weakness, or protect a body segment. They include the following:
i. Off the Shelf Devices refer to prefabricated orthoses sized and/or modified for interim, evaluative or short-term use by the patient, in accordance with a prescription.
ii. Prefabricated Devices are manufactured in quantity non-specific to individual patients. The device may be supplied as separate prefabricated components that may require some assembly and/or fitting and adjustment, such as trimming, bending, molding or modification for use by a specific patient.
iii. Custom Orthotic Devices are custom designed, custom fabricated and fitted device, provided by a provider certified in Orthotics, to treat a neuromusculoskeletal disorder or acquired condition of a specific patient.
iv. Shoes and Inserts are any related orthopedic or pedorthic devices, custom or prefabricated.
- Orthopedic shoes and inserts are designed to support, correct or accommodate the mechanics and structure of the foot, ankle, and leg.
- Pedorthic devices refers to therapeutic shoes, shoe modifications made for therapeutic purposes, prefabricated below the knee orthoses, partial foot prostheses, and foot orthoses.
The top priority of VA OPPCS is to facilitate Veteran access to, and services for, the most appropriate commercially available O&P technology to optimize each served Veteran’s physical well-being. The VA OPPCS will continue to act responsibly, lead ethically, and manage effectively toward the enduring mission to serve our customer, the United States Veteran.
Inquire at your local facility if VA O&P is available in your area or how VA may be able to assist with your OP&P needs.
OPPCS Fact Sheet
VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline Links
- Rehabilitation of Lower Limb Amputation (2017) - VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines
- The Management of Upper Limb Amputation Rehabilitation (ULA) (2022) - VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines