ATi Orthotic Fitter Course Descriptions


Welcome to ATi! This program explains the learning process and discusses lecture formats from anatomy, tool selection, product application and fitting techniques to patient education. Adult learning models and methods are also discussed. Student and lecturer expectations for the week are clearly delineated.

Scope of Practice and Certification Exam Overview

This program discusses orthotic fitter scope of practice with specifics with respect to all classifications of prefabricated orthotic devices. Specific devices are discussed in terms of what is within the scope of orthotic fitters and which devices are done at the orthotist level. An overview of testing methodologies is also presented in this program.

Terminology and Techniques

This is a comprehensive overview of body planes and position terminology. Also included is an overview of lever arm principles and how that correlates to the support mechanisms of orthotics. Principles of pressure distribution are then taught and applied to every day situations.

Orthopedic Structures

This course offers an introduction into the make-up and function of bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Articulating surfaces are also discussed relative to their response to use, abuse and/or immobilization. A discussion of proprioception is also included in this program.

Facility Management

This program covers HIPPA, Fitting room ethics, CMS update, Universal Precautions, Quality Assurance and Loss Prevention. A Significant portion of the course is devoted to clinical documentation and SOAP notes.

Lower Extremity Supports

Softgoods supports as they relate to anatomy, pathology and physiology of the lower extremities are presented. Product classification, selection and application are also presented and demonstrated.

Lower Extremity Orthotics

This course builds on the previous course to cover anatomy, pathology and physiology of the lower extremities relative to orthotic management. Selection and application techniques are also covered as they relate to hip, knee and ankle & foot orthoses.

Upper Extremity Orthotics

Anatomy, pathology and physiology of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand are covered along with product selection and application techniques.

Gait and AFO Overview

This introductory course to gait covers current terminology and biomechanics of gait relative to criteria for selection of appropriate orthotic devices to manage gait deficits.

Pediatric Orthotics

This brief overview course discusses the more common pathologies encountered in pediatrics and discusses typical orthotic interventions for hip dysplasia and metatarsus adductus.

Spinal Softgoods

This introduction to spinal supports includes spinal anatomy, physiology and pathology related to softgoods supports. Tools required for this level of supports are also reviewed. Product categories and fitting techniques are also taught. Sales floor ethics are also discussed during this program.

Spinal Orthotics

This program builds on the earlier softgoods anatomy program to discuss more advanced anatomy and pathology subjects as they relate to both men’s and women’s laced supports. Tools and fitting techniques for this level of garments are presented and demonstrated. A review of current documentation requirements and fitting room ethics are also discussed during this program.

Cervical Orthotics

This course deals with the anatomy, pathology and physiology of the cervical spine. It includes selection and application of soft collars and semi-rigid orthoses including those with thoracic extensions.

Venous Insufficiency

The anatomy and physiology of the venous system is taught along with pathologies generally appropriate for conservative treatment. Various stocking styles and alternative fitting techniques and fitting principles of medical stockings are discussed and demonstrated.


The anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system is taught along with pathologies requiring conservative treatment. Five conservative management techniques are discussed as well as indications, treatment options and procedures for pneumatic pump management.

Therapeutic Shoe

Starting with epidemiology and costs, this course progresses to foot anatomy with emphasis on structures involved in orthotic management of the diabetic foot. Pathophysiology is then presented showing the mechanisms that put the diabetic foot at risk. Foot examination and foot management paradigms are then presented to equip the fitter with the knowledge to know what intervention is appropriate depending on patient presentation. Measuring devices are discussed differentiating between Ritz Stick and Brannock Device. Fitting therapeutic shoes is then presented along with techniques for checking for fit and function.

There are four open-book course exams as part of the online program.

Live Lab Day 1

Review course exams from the online lecture

Test questions that may have been a challenge are discussed to assure that each student has an understanding of why each answer is correct and why the incorrect answers are wrong.

Demonstration Fittings

Instructors will complete demonstration fittings of both spinal supports and rigid spinal orthotic devices, starting with patient intake and proceeding to product selection criteria, measurements, product preparation, product application, checking the fitting, patient education and follow-up.

Instructors will then complete demonstration fittings of lower extremity softgoods including knee wraps, patella stabilizers and ankle supports. Knee orthotic devices to be taught include custom fit functional de-rotation knee orthoses, OA knee orthoses, knee ROM braces, elastic knee and patella braces and pneumatic and ROM Cam Walkers.

Fitting and customization techniques for both soft cervical and semi-rigid cervical orthotic devices are then demonstrated along with precautions in dealing with cervical spine instabilities. Wrist and wrist/hand orthotic devices, elbow and shoulder devices will also be fit to demonstrate techniques to maximize stability and optimize patient compliance.

Finally a series of videos will be shown explaining the measuring, fitting and patient education on “off the shelf” devices including but not limited to maternity supports, wrist supports, ankle wraps etc.

Live Lab Day 2

This fitting lab day consists of students demonstrating their acquired skills to the instructional staff. Each student will be required to obtain measurements, select the correct size, customize (if necessary) and fit the device, check the fitting for fit, function and cosmesis, and instruct the “patient” on removal and re-application of the device, care and cleaning, wearing times, and device adjustments, and follow-up instructions. Once satisfied, the instructors will sign off on each fitting as it is completed. Required fittings include: bi-valve cervical collar, wrist/hand orthosis, spinal support, LSO, TLSO, patella stabilizer/knee sleeve, functional knee orthosis, OA knee orthosis, lace-up ankle support, and medical stockings for a total of 10 hands-on fittings. Besides doing the fittings, each student must also be fit with above devices to appreciate how the devices feel when applied to them.

A closed-book final exam completes the course.