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Kevin MannMy name is Kevin Mann, and I'm the Bristol Children's Hospital Orthotist.

You probably won't have ever heard of an Orthotist, as there are only 700 of us in the UK.

Our job is to work closely with various other medical professionals to produce items that are fitted to your body to help you:-

Either by -          reducing pain

                                Improving the way you function, normally in the way you walk.

                                Supporting growing structures  

                                Protecting structures, after an operation.

Most of your grandparents will have known us as surgical fitters or appliance fitters, but we've come along a little since then.

These devices can be fitted to any part of the body, so some children come to me with foot pains, whilst others need spinal braces, and almost everything in between.

At Bristol Children's Hospital the whole Orthopaedic team work extremely closely, and some of you may see me in the physiotherapy department, on level 7, or even on the wards, prior to you having an operation. Or if you're seeing a Consultant, they may ask me to come and give an opinion or discuss problems you may be having.

I try to see all those children that are being operated on prior to the operation so that the whole family are aware of what will occur. This normally takes place on ward 36 (day case unit).

Some of you may be referred to me directly by your GP.

I live on level 7, with all the other therapy team including physiotherapists and Occupational therapists, so sometimes even if you are seeing one of them I may be asked to assess you at the same time.