Custom splints are a type of splint that is customized to each individual patient. Typically, custom splints are fitted and designed by a hand therapist. To make a custom splint the hand therapist heats a thermoplastic material in warm water and then molds it to the shape needed for the individual, cutting off any excess as needed. After the thermoplastic cools it hardens to create a customized splint. These splints are typically used to provide stability and strength to the affected area while the patient is resting or preforming certain motions.
One of the biggest benefits seen form customized splints is their versatility. As the patient swells, heals, and changes their level of activity the splint can be adjusted accordingly by the hand therapist. This leads to more comfort and mobility for the patient which improves the likelihood of them complying to wear the splint as often as they should. Injuries that may require a custom splint include fractures, ligament or muscle injuries, and nerve injuries. Custom splints are often recommended after surgery to protect the affected area as it heals and prevent overuse. Custom splints may also be a good fit if you’re suffering an overuse injury such as carpal tunnel or tendonitis. With the help of the splint you won’t continue to overuse the area, allowing it to heal properly.
After your physician orders a custom splint you’ll have an appointment with a hand therapist. At the first appointment your hand therapist will review why you need the splint according to you and your doctor and then evaluate your injury to determine what type of splint is right for you. You should leave your first appointment with your custom splint completed. Since they have to measure, cut, design, and fit your splint at that appointment be prepared for a long visit! You’ll likely come back on a regular schedule to see the hand therapist and practice exercises that promote the long-term healing of the affected area.
Our rehabilitation facility has a team of experienced hand therapists who can get you fitted for the best custom splint for your injury. The hand therapist will discuss exercises to begin strengthening the affected area and begin working on pain management, range of motion, and much more. Once you’ve been fitted for a splint, your hand therapist will work with you to come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you to promote a speedy recovery!