O&P Library > Orthotics and Prosthetics > 1958, Vol 12, Num 4 > pp. 68 - 69

Orthotics and ProstheticsThis journal was digitally reproduced with permission from the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA).

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Recommended Equipment For Type 'A' Appliance Shop

  • Work benches (2), 30 inches by 72 inches, wood top, 2 1/2 inches thick, open tool racks above, drawers and enclosed shelves below.
  • Metal stools (2).
  • Heavy-duty, 4 1/2-inch, swivel-type vises (2) mounted on right side of bench.
  • Limb vise, mounted on left side of bench.
  • 50-pound blacksmith's anvil.
  • Floor-type metal cutting shears.
  • Heavy-duty sewing machine with flat bed.
  • Foot-operated patching machine.
  • Floor-type 14-inch drill press.
  • Pedestal-type, 3/4 -horsepower buffer and grinder.
  • Fourteen-inch wood and metal cutting band saw.
  • Nine-inch screw cutting metal lathe with 42-inch bed on bench with drawers and enclosed shelves below.
  • Lavatory with plaster trap below and medicine cabinet above.
  • Straight chairs (2).
  • Counter with plaster bins and drawers below.
  • Waste paper receptacles (2).

Existing facilities for the part-time services of the prosthetist and orthotist vary. Sometimes a small shop is provided for this service. Most of the time, however, an office, a treatment booth, the gymnasium or some other area is used for consultation, taking measurements and fitting. Minor adjustments and repairs are done on the appliances in the occupational therapy unit. Under another arrangement the patient is referred to the commercial shop where all procedures from making casts to final fitting lake place.

A separate shop is recommended within the facility for the comprehensive rehabilitation program which serves a large segment of the population of a state. The shop would promote closer liaison between physician, prosthetist. orthotist and physical and occupational therapists, thus contributing to the effectiveness of the service.

Facilities for the prosthetist and orthotist should provide space for consultation, taking measurements, preparation of molds, fittings, adjustments and minor repairs only. This type of facility is not intended for the manufacture of major appliances. Consideration, however, should be given to the need for including facilities for the fabrication of some of the orthetic devices to meet the needs of individuals being trained in self-care. These devices include splints, crutches, feeders, reachers, page turners, typing sticks, and wheel chair adjustments and repairs.


The room should be easily accessible to patients and staff and located near the gymnasium for trying out prostheses and braces.


A separate office is not generally necessary. A small desk with drawers and a chair with arms should be provided in the fitting booth, however, for the use of the prosthetist or orthotist.


The shop shown in plan "A", below, includes equipment for the fabrication of orthetic devices and other features necessary for this service. A 9-inch screw cutting metal lathe is required for the fabrication of orthetic devices and a floor-type metal cutting shear facilitates this type of work. A separate work bench for the prosthetist and the orthotist is desirable although one work bench for both specialists would suffice in a minimum facility since their clinics are usually scheduled for different times.

Work benches should be 30 inches by 72 inches with open tool racks above, drawers and enclosed shelves below. The vises and anvil should be

located on the work benches approximately as indicated in the plan. It is essential that a minimum clearance of 3 feet be provided from each end of the work benches to permit working on appliances in the vises. This plan also includes a foot-operated patching machine and a heavy-duty sewing machine with a flat bed. ( Separate machines are preferable to the combination patching and heavy-duty sewing machine with removable flat bed.)

Plaster bandages are generally used to make negative casts of stumps. Positive casts are usually made in commercial shops. It is desirable, however, to provide facilities for the use of powder plaster in the shop. The items presented in the equipment list, are recommended for the facility shown in the type "A" plan. In addition, a variety of small items including hand tools used by the prosthetist and the orthotist would be required.

In limited programs, it may be necessary to omit some of the features included in the type "A" plan and provide minimum facilities as indicated in type "B" plan. For this type of program, the following revisions are recommended in the shop requirements suggested in the equipment list:

Omit the nine-inch screw cutting metal lathe, the floor-type metal cutting shear, one work bench and stool, one 4 1/2-inch heavy-duty swivel-type vise, the foot-operated patching machine and chair, and the heavy-duty sewing machine with flat bed.

Provide a 4 1/2-inch heavy-duty swivel-type limb vise; a 50-pound blacksmith's anvil (on one bench for both specialists as indicated in plan B) ; and a combination patching and heavy-duty sewing machine with removable flat bed.

Fitting Booth

At least one fitting booth is recommended for the convenience and privacy of the patient during such procedures as taking measurements and making tracings of the stump and fitting or removal of the prosthesis or brace. The booth should be directly accessible from the shop and must be large enough to permit the movement of patients in wheel chairs and stretchers. A table with a firm, upholstered top similar to> the treatment tables used in the physical therapy unit is recommended for taking measurements and making tracings of patients and for fitting and removal of some types of prostheses and braces. Work space should be provided on both sides and one end of this table.

The following equipment is recommended for the fitting booth: treatment table, 24 inches by 72 inches, 31 inches high; desk with drawers, 20 inches by 36 inches, 30 inches high; chair, with arms; and hook strip.


A storage room is recommended. Small drawers will be required for a variety of replacement parts and open shelves are needed for bulky supplies. The room can also be used to store appliances ready for fitting or being returned to the commercial shop for repairs of a major nature.

Waiting Area

A separate waiting area is not usually necessary for a minimum facility since patients can wait in a general waiting room and be supervised by the appointment clerk.

In some exceptional programs in which extensive research, teaching or specialized service are factors, more extensive facilities than those suggested may be needed. These programs require individual study as to requirements but most of the needs may be met by repeating the elements suggested for a minimum facility to the extent required by the program.

O&P Library > Orthotics and Prosthetics > 1958, Vol 12, Num 4 > pp. 68 - 69

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