Splints

Custom made splints are an important component of Hand Therapy.The type of splint prescribed by your doctor or hand therapist depends on the stage of healing and condition of your hand.Westside Physiotherapy and Hand Clinic has both Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist Certified Hand Therapists who have special training in splint fabrication.

In acute conditions of the hand, immobilization or resting splints are indicated to allow inflamed tissue to rest and to provide protection for healing fractures and repaired tendons, nerves and soft tissues.  A custom made splint will be made by your therapist and specific wearing instructions will be explained to you. It is important to follow your therapist’s instructions related to the use of your splint in order to prevent re-injury.

When joint stiffness becomes a problem following injury to the hand a mobilization splint may be appropriate to help improve motion in the stiff joints. These splints are designed to apply specific passive stretch to the tight joint and surrounding soft tissues. Mobilization splints compliment the range of motion and stretching exercises that your therapist has provided to you.

Splints may also be required to support joints that are painful or unstable due to arthritis or soft tissue injury.These splints protect the joint from progressive deformity and are worn for day-to-day activity to improve the function of the hand.

Splints are often helpful in treating repetitive strain injury (RSI). Supporting the hand/wrist with a custom made splint reduces strain from inflamed tissues, allowing for healing.

Splint costs may be partially reimbursed by extended medical plans and insurance plans such as ICBC and Worksafe BC (WCB).

Splint Examples:

 

Finger Splint

This finger splint is a protective splint providing immobilization of the finger in a static, extended position. It is used in the treatment of conditions such as healing finger fractures, tendon injuries and ligament sprains of the small joints of the fingers. The splint is worn to protect healing tissues and relieve pain.
 

Forearm Resting Splint

This splint is an example of a resting splint worn during recovery from hand trauma or overuse injury. It maintains a protected resting posture to ease pain, promote healing and prevent joint contracture. It is often used following crush injuries to the hand, for inflammatory soft tissue disorders and for positioning the spastic hand in patients who have increased muscle tone following a brain injury.


 

Thumb-based Splint

This static splint can be used for support both during rest and with activity. It provides rigid support for healing of wrist or thumb fractures, thumb tendinopathy and arthritis.


 

Neoprene and Thermoplastic Splint

This static splint is compatable with daily activity and for support at rest. It provides soft neoprene circumferential support and has a rigid thermoplastic layer custom molded on the outside to fit the individual patient. These splints are often used with carpal tunnel syndrome and other overuse injuries or during recovery from wrist fracture and ligament injury. They are popular splints for new mothers with wrist tendonitis caused by repetitive lifting. When worn for activity they maintain proper wrist posture to reduce stress on the healing tissues.

 

Hand Based Thumb Spica Splint

This static splint is designed to immobilize the thumb metacarpal phalangeal (MCP) joint. It is a very common splint used to protect healing ligaments following "skiers thumb" injuries. The splint also serves to provide a stable position for function in individuals with osteoarthritis causing joint instability in the thumb.

CMC Support Splint

This static splint is designed to provide stability for the carpal metacarpal (CMC) joint of the thumb. Osteoarthritis is a common presentation in this joint. Protective splinting helps relieve pain and reduce stress in the involved joint by maintaining a stable posture for functional grip.