Friday, April 18, 2008

Occupational Therapy Splints

Image from http://www.benefitsnowshop.co.uk

One cool thing Occupational Therapists get to do is make all kinds of splints for various injuries to the shoulder, elbow, hand, and fingers. They can be quite tedious to form, especially when you're starting from scratch, but the perfectionist-artistic part of me loves it. The first splint pictured is what we would make for a patient that has had some sort of radial nerve injury that results in not being able to lift the wrist and fingers.

Image from http://emedicine.com

The second splint pictured here is probably one of the most common that we have to make. I especially get a lot of these working with older adults that may have had some sort of stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury that results in contractures of the fingers or wrists. Luckily for me with an increasingly larger caseload per day, some companies make pre-fabricated splints like this one and we just have to add the straps and heat them up for small adjustments to avoid pressure areas.

One very basic splint an OT can also provide is for the relief of tennis elbow. This basic splint pictured below provides pressure at the attachment of the muscle to divert the force to another area to allow the painful area time to heal while not having to work so hard.

Image from http://benefitsnowshop.co.uk

More to come on the field of OT, so check back to learn about this profession, and feel free to ask anything.

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Rebecca said...

Nice OT splints - I am studying to take the National Certification exam in mid-July. Any recommendations