Custom splint fabrication

Custom splint fabrication is the technique of creating custom splints to different areas of the body to help stabilize a damaged joint and support the surrounding muscles during the healing process. Our certified hand therapist has the ability to create custom splints specific to your body and your needs. 

 In this page, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about custom splints, what conditions they are used for and who should consider one.

What Is a Custom Splint for the Hand?

A custom splint is designed to immobilize certain parts of the body (in this case, the hand, fingers or wrist) so the soft tissue and ligaments within the joint can heal. Custom splints are helpful because not only do they mold to the exact shape of your hand, wrist and fingers, but they can also vary in support, from mild stabilization to maximum-strength immobility, depending on your specific condition and treatment plan.

Because our custom splint fabrication is created by our physical therapy team, we’ll have firsthand knowledge on the type of splint to create based on your diagnosis and the progress of your treatment. We can also change out your splint as your treatment progresses, moving you from complete immobility to mild support as the muscles surrounding your joint get stronger with physical therapy. 

What makes a splint custom? A custom splint undergoes the following method:

  • Casting
  • Measurement
  • Tracing
  • Imaging of the damaged area

Once this information is available, our certified hand therapist will work with your physical therapist to determine the best level of support and mobility to create a splint specific to your needs and your treatment progress.

What Conditions Are a Custom Splint Used For?

Because hand splints are designed to support and protect the joints in the wrist, hand and fingers, they are often used to help treat patients who have been diagnosed with the following conditions:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome — Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions that requires a splint. This condition is caused by the tendons in the wrist becoming inflamed and pressing against the large median nerve that travels through the carpal tunnel. This often results in stabbing pain or dull aches that radiate from the mid forearm sometimes all the way into the fingertips. 
  • Strains and sprains — Strains and sprains of the tendons and ligaments in the hand and wrist may require some extra support in between physical therapy sessions to reduce the risk of the condition worsening. In some mild cases, a splint-induced rest is all it takes for the body to heal. In other cases, additional physical therapy treatment is required to help restore strength and mobility to the damaged area. 
  • Osteoarthritis — In some cases, patients with osteoarthritis in the hands and fingers may benefit from a mild splint to help give them additional support and reduce inflammation in the joints during certain activities, e.g., crocheting, golfing, etc.
  • Post-operative recovery — Custom splints are frequently used on those who have recently undergone a surgical procedure. These splints are designed to be protective and promote healing and recovery after an operation.

Your physical therapist will work closely with you to determine whether a custom splint is the best option within your current treatment program. 

Who Should Use a Custom Hand Splint?

Anyone can use an over-the-counter hand brace or wrap to help support their joints if they are feeling achy, painful or inflamed. However, a custom hand splint is created by a certified hand therapist. Therefore, you can only have access to this type of treatment if you have been diagnosed with a hand/wrist condition and are already seeking physical therapy treatment. 

If you would like to learn more about how a custom splint may help reduce the pain and inflammation in your hand or wrist, contact our team today or schedule an appointment online. We are ready to help you find relief from the pain that is holding you back, so you can get back to enjoying the lifestyle you love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a health care profession that involves evaluating, diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The goal of physical therapy is to focus on movement in order to restore function, minimize pain and improve an individual’s quality of life. Physical therapists often utilize treatment modalities such as therapeutic exercise, soft tissue mobilization, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and other treatments to help achieve these goals.  

Do I Need a Referral?

The state of New York has “direct access” to physical therapy, which means that patients are not legally required to have a physician’s referral to see a physical therapist. However, some insurances may require patients to have a referral or authorization before they will approve payment. Be sure to contact your insurance company beforehand and determine the process that they require.

It’s important to know that if you are under the care of a physician and require physical therapy treatment, you have the freedom to choose your own physical therapy clinic.

Do You Accept My Insurance?

We accept most major insurance coverages. Some of those we accept include Tricare, Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna and workers’ compensation. If you don’t see your insurance company listed above, reach out to us and we’ll let you know if we accept yours. At the time of scheduling your first appointment, we request that you provide us your insurance information so that we may verify your benefits and coverage.  

How Can I Pay for Treatment?

We accept payment via cash, check, flex spending card, and debit or credit card (Visa, Mastercard and Discover). Payment is expected at the time of treatment and typically required during check-in. If you have insurance coverage, there may be a deductible or copay required. 

Before your first visit, we will contact your insurance company to verify your benefits for physical therapy. Some insurance providers have restrictions on specific treatments. As a courtesy, Lattimore Physical Therapy files with your primary insurance as well as any secondary coverage. You will be billed for any cost share (if applicable) after your insurance has paid their portion. 

What Should I Expect During My First Visit?

During your initial visit, your physical therapist will provide you with a thorough 45-minute to one-hour evaluation in a private room. Please be prepared to discuss your needs, your pain, and any lack of mobility or function that you currently have. This evaluation will involve certain range-of-motion, postural and strength tests to help your physical therapist develop a plan unique to you and your condition.Treatment for your injury will begin on the day of your initial visit.  

How Should I Dress?

You should wear loose-fitting clothing during each session with us. Loose-fitting clothing helps us access and move the areas of the body that are being treated. If you have a knee problem, it is best to wear shorts. For a shoulder problem, a tank top is a good choice. For low back problems, a loose-fitting shirt and pants are the best go-tos.

Do I Need to Bring Any MRIs or X-rays That I Have?

Please bring any relevant MRI or X-ray interpretation reports from your physician’s office. However, since X-rays and MRIs aren’t always the most telling, your physical therapist will want to also take into account your medical history and other physical tests and measures. Their goal is to perform an evaluation as best they can using a thorough series of processes.

How Many Visits Will I Need?

The number of visits necessary to complete treatment varies from patient to patient. Some patients only undergo a couple of sessions, while others need several months of care. It most often depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairment(s), your past medical history and other similar factors. You will also be reevaluated on a monthly basis. Each time you visit your doctor, we will provide you with a progress report with our professional recommendations.

Can I Bring My Child With Me to My Appointments?

Yes! Our policy allows for children to accompany their parents during appointments.