What are splints?
Splints and casts are ‘external devices designed to apply, distribute or remove forces to or from the body in a controlled manner to perform one or both basic boy functions of; control of body motion, alteration prevention of change to the shape of the body tissue.’ Rose 1986
There are different types of splints, some splints are prefabricated which can work for some people, others can be made bespoke and are fabricated to meet individuals needs. Bespoke splints are made out of different types of thermoplastic material or soft and scotch cast (similar to people wearing a cast when they have broken a bone)
Thermoplastic splint designs can be made for the hand and or wrist. The plastic is rigid to begin with. The occupational therapist will take a pattern of your hand / wrist and transfer this onto the material. The thermoplastic will be heated in a hot water bath until it is soft and mouldable. The thermoplastic can then be moulded to the desired position to either support or passively stretch particular joints. Straps and padding will be added as required.
Soft / Scotch casting:
Casting generally offers circumferential support around the joints and limb. These can be removable or serial. Serial means that the cast may be left on for a short duration of time i.e. 3 days to stretch the joint or limb prior to making the cast in a new improved position or making it removable after this initial phase of splinting.