Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa

Prosthetics and Orthotics

Prosthetist and Orthotist professionals* study, build, adapt and apply biomechanical devices to individuals who underwent amputation, were born with congenital limb absence (prosthesis/orthoprosthesis) or have total or partial functional disability (orthothesis), in order to facilitate their rehabilitation and social and professional functioning, ensuring all the aspects relevant to their quality of life.

This activity includes not only the diagnosis but also the intervention on the individual’s social and professional environment to study and develop mechanical devices to adapt workplaces and reduce or eliminate physical and architectural obstacles, according to the individual’s disability.

Orthoprosthesis professionals also play a major role as consultants and managers of co-payers of biomechanical devices, with a view to optimise the available resources. As this is a profession where technological advances are crucial, Orthoprosthesis professionals also take part in the research of new materials, components and techniques, making the connection with clinical areas.

These professionals are qualified to work in many different areas, namely disease prevention, health promotion, research, management and education.

Career Options

Healthcare units (primary care)
Hospitals with Physiatry, Orthopaedics, Surgery and Orthoprosthesis Units
Hospitals with Orthoprosthesis Departments
Orthopaedics Stores and Pharmacies
Clinics and rehabilitation centres
Advisory to insurance companies and co-payers of biomechanical devices
Manufacture and sale of orthoprosthetic components and materials
Education and research centres


*Functional content regulated by Decree-Law no. 564/99 of 21st December; Decree-Law no. 261/93 of 24th July and Decree-Law no. 320/99 of 11th August.