Upper Limb Splinting

For Management of Muscle Length and Supporting Movement

In neurological conditions such as stroke and cerebral palsy, muscles often shorten due to limited movement, muscle tightness or muscle stiffness called spasticity. Muscle shortening can often worsen after a growth spurt as the muscle is unable keep up with the change in bone length.

 

In the upper limb, splinting is often recommended after Botulinum Toxin injections and/or serial casting to maintain the benefits for a longer period of time.

Upper limb splints are used in neurological conditions to:

  • provide prolonged stretch to tight muscles

  • prevent further muscle shortening (contracture)

  • support muscles that are weak

  • provide sensory input into the upper limbs

  • Support joints in a more optimal position for hand use.

There are two major categories of splints:

  1. Resting Splints - usually worn at night or rest.  Places muscles in a stretched position. 

  2. Functional Splints - support and corrects positions of wrist and hand to maximise its ability to move and function. Can be adapted to specific tasks.

Always consult your occupational therapist or physiotherapist! They will be able to help you decide which  type of splint is most appropriate and how best to use and care for it. 

Types of Splints

Thermoplastic

Moulded to hold the wrist, hand and fingers in a stretched position. Usually a resting splint.

Support

Material

Purpose

Staff required

Care

High

  • Thermoplastic

  • Occupational Therapist or

  • Physiotherapist

  • Stretch muscles

  • Prevent contracture

Keep in cool place. Plastic will melt with high temperatures

Custom combination splint

Custom made splint to suit client and their need, often as a functional splint. Sometimes used as a resting splint. Splint can vary from supporting just the thumb to include the wrist, hand and fingers.

Support

Material

Purpose

Staff required

Care

Medium-High

  • Neoprene

  • Powernet Lycra

  • Thermoplastic insert

  • Occupational Therapist or

  • Physiotherapist 

  • Barbara

  • Assist with movement

  • Prevent Contracture

Keep in Cool place, plastic will melt with high temperatures. Barbara will provide washing instructions

Hygiene splint

Palmar roll with or without glove mainly used to keep skin in the palm healthy and aid in hygiene cares. Roll can be made to be removable and custom sizes. Commercial options can be more effective in some cases. Our OT or physio can advise, 

Support

Material

Purpose

Staff Required

Care

Low

  • Neoprene

  • Occupational Therapist or

  • Physiotherapist

  • Barbara

  • Protect skin in palm

  • help with hygiene cares

Barbara will provide washing instructions

Contact

Us

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