Splint in the Spotlight: Finger Extension Assist Orthosis

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Our Orfit blog shares information and instructions in matching our thermoplastic materials to orthotic designs.
Please check back frequently to gain inspiration and ideas in orthotic fabrication for all of your 
patient’s needs.

Today, we focus on the Finger Extension Assist Orthosis.

Pathology:

When peripheral nerves are injured by compression or laceration, motor and sensory function can be significantly impaired. Nerve recovery may be prolonged and therapists are often confronted with the task of creating functional orthoses to help clients maintain their independence while awaiting nerve regeneration and/ or recovery. These functional orthoses can be challenging to fabricate, bulky with multiple attachments and unattractive.

Functional orthoses need to:

  • Be easy to don and doff;
  • Allow active motions of the non-involved muscles;
  • Apply force accurately to mobilize joints where the injured nerve no longer innervates the musculature;
  • Be acceptable and pleasing to the client.

Splint solution:

Orfit Industries has created a simple and aesthetic approach to functional orthoses for clients with peripheral nerve injuries.

The use of conveniently packaged pre-coiled wires which are easily attached to thermoplastic splints offers a creative and low profile solution for these complicated splints.

The pre-coiled wire acts as an assist to active motion lost due to denervated muscle.

The key to using pre-coiled wires is to form a hook in the wire with pliers and carefully embed this hook into the thermoplastic material after heating it thoroughly with dry heat. In some cases, the hook has even been pre-formed, as in the example of the finger extension orthoses featured here.

Orfit Industries’ finger extension assist wires can be attached to a base orthosis for treatment of extensor tendon damage or muscle damage caused by trauma, rheumatoid arthritis and/ or radial nerve palsy.

They can be used singularly when only one extensor tendon has been injured or damaged, or together to assist in total finger extension for all digits including the thumb. The orthosis can be either hand or wrist based. The therapist must carefully evaluate each patient to determine which type of base orthosis offers the most appropriate support to enable function.

The Dorsal wrist cock up orthosis from Orfit Classic works as an excellent wrist based support for the finger extension assists.

Orfit Strips is the perfect material for creating a separate outrigger that holds the embedded finger extension assist wires. The Orfit Strip can be fabricated to rest upon the wrist based orthosis and removed when desired. Remember to remove the coating in order to securely adhere the wires into the thermoplastic.

Finger extension assist orthosis

Fabrication instructions for Orfit Industries’ Finger Extension Assist Wires are available in our new Educational Corner under Distal Radial Nerve Splint.

Questions?

If you have a question or comment, please post it in the Orfit Splinting & Rehabilitation Group on Facebook, or send an email to welcome@orfit.com.

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