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Five Common Orthosis (Splint) for Hand Injuries

Orthosis (also called Splint) is a device which is commonly used in the treatment for hand injuries. Hand therapists utilize thermoplastic splints to

1. Immobilize, align or protect the affected joints to promote proper healing.

2. Guide normal movement pattern to maximize hand function.

3. Stretch shortened soft tissue (ligament, tendon or scar tissue) to reduce stiffness or tightness.

Now let’s see these 5 common static hand-based orthosis for hand injuries!


⭐ Volar-Based MP Blokcing I

* Protection/Resting for Sagittal Band Injury 

* Stretching for Intrinsic Muscles Tightness

* To encourage active PIP/DIP flexion 

√ Fabrication tips: Keep all metacarpal (MP) joints fully extended, free IP joints. You can add foam padding over the palm side to prevent pressure points from the edge of orthosis.


⭐ Volar-Based MP Blokcing II

* Conservative treatment for Trigger Finger.

* To encourage single flexor tendon excursion.

√ Fabrication tips: Keep affected MP joint fully extended.


⭐ Intrinsic Plus (Radial Gutter)

* Protection/Resting for index or middle finger Proximal Phalanx (P1) / Metacarpal Head Fracture.

* To prevent metacarpal collateral ligaments shortening.

* Proper positioning after hand burn injuries

√ Fabrication tips: MP joints should be in 70° to 90° flexion, IP joints full extension. Sometimes a dorsal piece of splint is needed for a better protection.


⭐ Hand-Based Finger Full Extension

* Proper positioning after surgical release of Dupuytren’s Contracture

√ Fabrication tips: Don’t over-stretch the wound if the stitches are still on, you can always readjust the orthosis to gradually fully extend the affected fingers.


⭐ Ulnar Gutter

* Protection/Resting for ring or small finger Proximal Phalanx (P1) / Metacarpal Head Fracture.

To prevent metacarpal collateral ligaments shortening. 

√ Fabrication tips: MP joints should be in 70° to 90° flexion, be extra cautious to keep IP joints in full extension, because small finger PIP joint can easily develop flexion contracture.


In summary, hand-based orthosis is one of the critical elements in hand therapy. No matter the injury is in an acute, sub-acute or chronic stage, experienced hand therapists can always apply the appropriate orthosis to help achieving the best outcome!

Andrew Tan, OTR/L, CHT, CKTP, CEAS
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Andrew Tan, OTR/L, CHT, CKTP, CEAS

The founder of "Rehab For A Better Life", specialized in ergonomic consultation, rehabilitation for upper extremity injuries, sports injuries and work-related injuries. Andrew believes rehab-related knowledge should be easy to learn and follow at home, because "knowledge is power only when we can share it" !