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.
In this first article of the ‘Splint in the Spotlight’ series, we focus on the gauntlet thumb post splint.
Patients with a variety of different diagnoses and conditions will benefit from immobilization of the base of the thumb. Therapists treating thumb arthritis, fractures, sprains, ligament injuries and more know the benefits that immobilization splints offer their patients: relief from pain, stability, prevention or correction of deformity, and improved functional ability. Therapists always need to perform a careful ongoing assessment of the patient’s current status, particularly in relation to function. Custom made orthoses may require adaptations to meet the patient’s changing needs. Inflamed or injured swollen joints require rest and immobilization; however, prolonged immobilization may lead to loss of ROM due to joint stiffness. Often, correct orthotic fabrication may help prevent the development of soft tissue and/or joint contractures and may improve function, allowing the patient to maintain independence!
- Goals of orthotic fabrication include: pain relief, prevention of deformity and improvement of function.
- In practice, the patient may benefit from:
- Resting splints-possibly for use at night to immobilize and stabilize joints
- Functional splints during the day-for relief of pain and improvement in function
Patient education is paramount to instruct patients on the proper wearing schedules that offer them the greatest benefit.
*Careful consideration should be given to the splint strapping. The strapping must not cause pressure areas or decrease the patient’s level of functioning. Patients should be able to put on and take off their splints unaided.
The Gauntlet Thumb Post Splint is a pre-cut design available in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large.
Size is determined by measuring the total hand width at the MCP joints. The beauty of using a pre-cut is that no time or energy is wasted making a pattern and cutting it out of paper and then thermoplastic material! The pre-cut design is ready immediately. Simply activate in hot water and fit to your patient.
The Gauntlet thumb post splint is molded snugly through the first web space and around the thenar musculature. The only seam in the material is on the radial thumb where it does not interfere with function. The web space is smooth and does not pinch the patient’s skin. The splint can be secured with a single strap on the ulnar border.
The functional splint described here offers extremely comfortable immobilization and stabilization of the complete thenar shaft.
You can find an instruction video for the Gauntlet thumb post splint here.
This splint can be fabricated for the treatment of:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Basal joint arthritis
- Stenosing teno-synovitis or trigger thumb
- Thumb sprain
- Median nerve palsy
- Game keeper or skier’s thumb
- Adducted thumb in Cerebral palsy