Because no two hands are the same, we custom make splints on you and for your individual needs.
Custom made splints are ready to take home directly after your appointment (unless stated prior) and be used straight away. Our hand therapist is highly skilled at making well fitting and comfortable splints and quickly!
Splints are used for different reasons for different injuries & conditions;
Immobilisation; it is common to splint to support a bone or joint to enable healing in the early stages following injury. Your surgeon may refer you following an operation for our hand therapist to make a splint in a specific position to help get the best healing. Following a finger fracture, broken arm or wrist- we splint to limit movement in joints so that the bones can heal. Some dislocations, ligament tears, joint sprains and tender tendons also need to be kept still to get healing underway.
Mobilisation; splints can be used to increase movement in stiff finger, wrist and elbow joints. Research and experience show us that gentle prolonged stretching of stiff joints can help to increase movement. We make comfortable splints that can be worn over night that maintain gentle pressure to move the stiff finger, thumb, wrist or elbow whilst you sleep. We also use splints to increase movement, or to support very weak structures and help them to function better.
Warmth; splints can be used to increase warmth and blood flow to sore or stiff joints. These are usually soft splints made of neoprene and are especially good for supporting joints in the cooler weather, particularly arthritic joints.
Compression; decreasing swelling and supporting swollen joints is an important role of healing following sports and other injuries. We know that decreasing swelling can help to regain movement quicker. Compression is also used to help manage scars due to lacerations or burns.
Support; wrist pain, tennis elbow, golfers elbow and other potentially chronic conditions can benefit from support to aid comfort and performance in sporting and work / leisure activities. Come in and discuss your needs and we hope to be able to find a solution.
Function; we are seeing an increasing number of young (paediatric) occupational therapy clients in the hills who are benefiting from functional supportive splints (usually made from wet suit material). These splints are used to support weak muscles during play and writing activities. We will always incorporate specific strengthening exercises to maintain muscle balance in the hand- this helps in the development of the hand and its strength and will promote use in play and other functional and learning activities.
Our splints are made from thermoplastic, leather, plaster, wet suit & other materials. What we make your splint from will depend upon your need. Some examples of how we use different splinting materials include;
Plastic; we choose light-weight, water-proof, breathable, thin & sturdy thermoplastic material. Thermoplastic splinting material is very versatile and can be used for supporting broken bones, joint replacements, tendinitis, ligament stains and joint strains. Our hand therapist hand picks the highest quality materials she can source, and we have a variety of colours in stock, and can recommend the colours which don't tend to show the dirt!
Wet suit material (neoprene); is soft, supportive, warm and easily removed and replaced. This can be used to support injured joints during sport and for work, for example with wrist strains, de Quervains tenosynovitis, tennis & golfers elbow. We also love to use neoprene for warmth following nerve injury / repair and for base of thumb arthritis- particularly for our keen gardeners and hikers in the cooler months in the Adelaide Hills. And we also use neoprene to make little finger splint to help straighten out bent finger joints, affectionately known a "stubby holders".
Leather; leather wrist supports are used when stability is needed during heavier work duties, for example; farming, shearing, stone masonry and building. Conditions like Kienbock's disease, TFC injuries and chronic wrist pain can benefit from a strong, sturdy, leather splint. Leather is incredibly hard wearing, it shapes nicely with use, and it is also warming.
Plaster; is used for serial casting to slowly straighten out bend finger joints. We like to use this with fingers that have a Boutonniere Deformity, and where the finger is difficult to straighten following fracture, tendon or ligament injury and repair. Plaster is inexpensive and when worn constantly, tight ligaments tend to relax into a lengthened posture.
We choose splinting materials from local SA suppliers when ever possible. If you would like to view our splints please view on instagram: hand_therapy_insta