Custom splint fabrication is the technique of creating custom splints to different areas of the body to help stabilize a damaged joint and support the surrounding muscles during the healing process. Our certified hand therapist has the ability to create custom splints specific to your body and your needs.
In this page, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about custom splints, what conditions they are used for and who should consider one.
What Is a Custom Splint for the Hand?
A custom splint is designed to immobilize certain parts of the body (in this case, the hand, fingers or wrist) so the soft tissue and ligaments within the joint can heal. Custom splints are helpful because not only do they mold to the exact shape of your hand, wrist and fingers, but they can also vary in support, from mild stabilization to maximum-strength immobility, depending on your specific condition and treatment plan.
Because our custom splint fabrication is created by our physical therapy team, we’ll have firsthand knowledge on the type of splint to create based on your diagnosis and the progress of your treatment. We can also change out your splint as your treatment progresses, moving you from complete immobility to mild support as the muscles surrounding your joint get stronger with physical therapy.
What makes a splint custom? A custom splint undergoes the following method:
- Imaging of the damaged area
Once this information is available, our certified hand therapist will work with your physical therapist to determine the best level of support and mobility to create a splint specific to your needs and your treatment progress.
What Conditions Are a Custom Splint Used For?
Because hand splints are designed to support and protect the joints in the wrist, hand and fingers, they are often used to help treat patients who have been diagnosed with the following conditions:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome — Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions that requires a splint. This condition is caused by the tendons in the wrist becoming inflamed and pressing against the large median nerve that travels through the carpal tunnel. This often results in stabbing pain or dull aches that radiate from the mid forearm sometimes all the way into the fingertips.
- Strains and sprains — Strains and sprains of the tendons and ligaments in the hand and wrist may require some extra support in between physical therapy sessions to reduce the risk of the condition worsening. In some mild cases, a splint-induced rest is all it takes for the body to heal. In other cases, additional physical therapy treatment is required to help restore strength and mobility to the damaged area.
- Osteoarthritis — In some cases, patients with osteoarthritis in the hands and fingers may benefit from a mild splint to help give them additional support and reduce inflammation in the joints during certain activities, e.g., crocheting, golfing, etc.
- Post-operative recovery — Custom splints are frequently used on those who have recently undergone a surgical procedure. These splints are designed to be protective and promote healing and recovery after an operation.
Your physical therapist will work closely with you to determine whether a custom splint is the best option within your current treatment program.
Who Should Use a Custom Hand Splint?
Anyone can use an over-the-counter hand brace or wrap to help support their joints if they are feeling achy, painful or inflamed. However, a custom hand splint is created by a certified hand therapist. Therefore, you can only have access to this type of treatment if you have been diagnosed with a hand/wrist condition and are already seeking physical therapy treatment.
If you would like to learn more about how a custom splint may help reduce the pain and inflammation in your hand or wrist, contact our team today or schedule an appointment online. We are ready to help you find relief from the pain that is holding you back, so you can get back to enjoying the lifestyle you love.