Splints for Rheumatoid Arthritis Deformed Fingers
I got R/A many years ago and it went for my main weight bearing joints – hips, knees and ankles. It wasn’t until the last ten years or so that my fingers have been affected. I am fortunate to be able to be admitted a few times a year to the local Highland Rheumatology Unit in the highlands of Scotland, where I was fitted up with my first hand splint for deformed fingers.
- Custom Made Molded Plastic Hand and Finger Splint
The occupational therapist made the splints for me in the following manner:
1. A trace was made of each hand, holding my fingers as straight as possible.
2. This was transferred onto a piece of thermo-plastic sheet about ¼" thick, and cut to shape.
3. The sheet was then immersed in boiling water and when cooled sufficiently molded to the shape of my hands, including my fingers and thumb.
4. Velcro straps were then fitted to the splint and these could be adjusted to bring the fingers straighter during the day and slackened off to become a resting splint at night.
These can be prescribed by a doctor or bought from medical outlets or over the internet but should be fitted by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.
Silver Ring Splints is a popular make of ring splints and do not look out of place on a couple of fingers. (Some splints draw other people’s attention to one’s problem, making them stare shamelessly at the deformed fingers). They are used to counteract swan-neck and mallet finger deformities and consist of two rings joined to each other so they form a spring effect when fitted to the deformed finger as shown.
Commercial Splints. Used for Mallet finger deformity, these are applied to the affected joint in two or three parts being tightened by a patented strapping device.
1. Silver Rings - http://www.silverringsplint.com/our-splints/
2. Medical Trial of Finger Splints - http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004574.html
3. Mallet Finger Splint - http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00018