The centre opened in 1948 with a staff of 3, but is now one of the largest centres in the country, with a staff compliment over 16. It provides a service to numerous other outlying hospitals, the SA Cripple Care Association and the Soweto Community Health Centres. Orthopaedic specialist clinics eg Cripple Care, are held in the centre during the week.
The unit is a registered training centre for students training as Prothetists/Orthotist. An Orthotist and Prosthetist is a highly specialised and skilled member of the medical team, who deals with measuring, designing, manufacturing and fitment of products, to support or replace a part of the human body. This centre is responsible for the supply of Prosthetics (artificial limbs) Orthotics (orthopaedic appliances) and surgical footwear. The unit handles approximately 10'000 patients per year.