Currently I am completing the upper quarter module at the Harris Health System orthopedic residency. After covering the shoulder and elbow, we spend the final 2-3 weeks reviewing wrist and hand conditions and management. This section of the module is taught by certified hand therapists and occupational therapists because they see the majority of distal upper extremity injuries at my clinic. During last Monday mornings lab we covered splint making.
In this post I will cover the various splints we made with indications of when to utilize each splint. One key piece of information regarding splinting: splint as little as possible to maximize ROM at surrounding joints. Generally, only splint one joint proximal and one joint distal.
Splint making is not difficult, but like any other skill it does take practice. When making splints, focus on the diagnosis at hand and the specific impairments of the patient. As stated early, limit as little movement as possible. Hand-land can seem like a scary place at times, but with a little practice and anatomical review, you will find that treatment is similar to many other joints of the body.