Custom splints orthoses are constructed by hand therapists. They can be made from a thermoplastic material that is heated in warm water and molded to custom fit each individual. These custom splints / orthoses can be used to rest or protect a painful joint, post-surgical soft tissue structure like tendon / nerve / arteries / vain and hard tissue like bone and joints. It provides stability to a painful joint of the hand and increase pain free functional use to the rest of the hand joints.
All custom splints / orthoses can be adjusted to accommodate changes in swelling or motion or healing stages that will lead to compliance with splint wear and a more successful outcome. Common diagnoses that may require a splint include fractures, dislocations, strained ligaments, torn muscles, arthritis, burns, nerve injuries, repetitive strain disorders, and after tendon surgery.
Common reasons to use splint are to increase functional use of arm or hand, increase or maintain range of motion, neuromuscular re-education, protect healing of fractures, tendons or nerves, relieve pain and prevent or correct deformities.
At a splint appointment, the therapist will get a brief history from the patient injury, and then the splint is fabricated during the appointment based on the physician/hand specialist referral and patient diagnosis. Typically, the splint is completed by the end of the appointment.