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, give stability to increase pain free functional use, or to increase pain free motion in a stiff joint.
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 surgery.
Common reasons to use splint are to increase functional use of arm or hand, increase or maintain range of motion, neuromuscular reeducation, 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, and then the splint is fabricated during the appointment based on the physician order and patient diagnosis. Typically, the splint is completed by the end of the appointment.