Have you ever used Allfit thermoplastic pellets in your clinical practice? The small pellets can be moulded into a uniformly soft piece of material that lends itself to multiple purposes. Read along for some great ideas that could seriously enhance your clinical practice.
Unsure about how to activate Allfit? At the end of this article, we explain how to heat the small thermoplastic pellets.
1. Adhere outriggers, straps or other attachments to orthoses
Allfit will bond easily to other thermoplastic materials that have been scraped free of coating and heated with the heat gun. You can use Allfit to secure additional components or elements to orthoses.
2. Separate the fingers
Allfit can be applied to the pan (the palm) portion of a resting hand orthosis to create finger separations. Do this while the material is soft, so that the patient can find the most comfortable finger positioning. Allfit will help to maintain this positioning.
3. Improve grip
Mould the heated pellets together until they completely lose their individual shapes and become a soft mash of thermoplastic material.
Wrap around different types of utensils for individuals lacking full grip. You can have the patient grip the utensil while the Allfit is still warm and create a personal hand grip for each utensil.
You can personalize writing or eating utensils as well as other activities of daily living (ADL) aids that your patient may have trouble holding or gripping.
4. Modify handles
Allfit can be added to drawer or cabinet handles to make them easier to grasp as well. Roll the Allfit into a tube shape to wrap around knobs or through bar-shaped handles. While warm, create the size and shape of the handle that best suits the needs of the patient.
5. Use as a web spacer
The pellets can be used to create small web-spacers for children, or placed in the palm to help patients with high tone from flexing fingers tightly into the palm. Wait for the material to harden a bit before placement so that it won’t take quite as long to harden.
How to heat Allfit?
Allfit pellets are uniform in size and shape and allow for a quick activation time, but require a different heating method than regular thermoplastic sheets.
We don’t recommend heating them in your splint pan, because the pellets may spread all over the bottom of the pan, in which case you won’t be able to retrieve all of them.
Instead, take heated water from your splint pan and pour into a small cup or bowl and use this to activate the pellets. Allfit pellets are ready to use when they turn transparent.
Give Allfit a try and see what creative applications you can think of to enhance the well-being and independence of your patients.
Written by Debby Schwartz, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
Physical Rehabilitation Product and Educational Specialist at Orfit Industries America.
Debby is a certified hand therapist with over 36 years of clinical experience. She completed her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2010. She has worked at Orfit Industries America as Product and Educational Specialist since 2007.
Debby is also an adjunct professor at the Occupational Therapy Department of Touro University, School of Health Sciences, and at the Occupational Therapy Department at Yeshiva University, Katz School of Science and Health in NYC. She has written many book chapters in the field of hand therapy and multiple articles for hand therapy journals, including the ASHT Times and the Journal of Hand Therapy. She has published a new textbook on orthotic fabrication together with Dr. Katherine Schofield, entitled “Orthotic Design and Fabrication for the Upper Extremity: A Practical Guide”.
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