What is a Thumb Spica Splint Used For?
Splints are flexible or rigid devices that maintain the posture of a displaced or movable part. A splint is applied to reduce movement and protect it from further damage.
It also provides support and comfort by stabilizing an injury. A thumb splint is a specialized brace designed to keep the thumb immobile.
It comes with thumb support called “spica” and it’s worn to stop or minimize hand or thumb pain, particularly after thumb surgery.
A thumb splint is not necessary for every thumb injury. There are occasions for using thumb spica splint and it will be discussed later in this post.
Virtually every thumb splint takes the form of a hand brace, only it comes with added support to the injured thumb.
Sometimes, a thumb splint can be in the form of a brace that restricts the affected thumb or all of the fingers using a “thumb spica”.
Splints and casts offer similar services, but they are pretty different. Unlike casts, splints are employed in acute injuries and swellings.
They are preferred in non-emergency settings before the patient can be evaluated by a consultant, usually a hand surgeon, a plastic surgeon, or an orthopaedic surgeon.
What as a Thumb Splint For?
Thumb splints are primarily used to temporarily immobilize a thumb injury before the surgery and while it heals from surgery, disease, or an injury.
The most common reasons to wear a thumb splint is for thumb sprain or thumb de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
The following conditions might require a thumb splint:
- Thumb fracture
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Wrist tendonitis
- Skier’s thumb
- Gamekeeper’s Thumb
How Does a Thumb Spica Splint Work?
Recall that a thumb spica splint is an orthopaedic splint that minimizes movement and provides support and comfort to an injured thumb.
It achieves this by stabilizing the injury of the thumb, allowing the other fingers to move freely. This orthopaedic splint immobilizes the joint pain and helps the injury heal faster.
Studies show that better results may be achieved when corticosteroid injection is combined with thumb spica cast than injection alone in inflammatory conditions.
The Thumb Spica
You may be wondering what a thumb spica means. A thumb spica is a mechanism incorporated directly into the brace’s structure of every thumb splint.
They may include a lace-up spica or simple Velcro-locked spica support. Newer models have a moldable plastic spine that can be molded and adjusted with a just little heat into the desired shape.
Its function is to maintain the thumb’s stability and keep it in one position. It means “orthosis” in medical terms.
A thumb spica can be a rigid or semi-rigid extension of a hand brace that is used to support the thumb.
Several thumb spica models are bendable to conform to the angle in the injured thumb as required by the doctor for maximum healing.
Many hand braces incorporate a thumb spica as a substitute for a hand-cast, while other hand braces are specifically for post-surgical rehabilitation.
When to Use a Thumb Spica Splint
Before getting this shop medical supply, you need to know which injuries require a thumb spica splint. Use a thumb spica splint for the following:
- Injuries and fractures of the anatomical snuffbox (located above the thumb base) and thumb
- Inflammation and ligament injuries
- Inflammation of the tendon
- Skier’s or gamekeeper’s thumb
- Tenosynovitis, also known as the inflammation of the tendon sheath
When Not To Use a Thumb Spica Splint
A thumb spica splint can be used for virtually every thumb injury. Relative contraindications involve injuries that require immediate evaluation by a consultant, such as the following:
- Open fractures
- Complicated fractures
- Injuries with associated neurovascular compromise
Thumb Spica Splints Complications
Sometimes, thermal burns may occur due to warmth as the plaster dries. In such cases, the following complications may surface:
- Pressure sores
- Decreased range of motion from immobilization
- Contact dermatitis
- Neurovascular damages (damage to nerves and blood vessels)
Splint aftercare often requires physical therapy due to these complications.
A thumb spica splint is a special type of brace or splint that immobilizes your thumb. It has many uses and is effective in aiding rehabilitation.
For more information regarding thumb spica splint, including how to use it correctly, get in touch with Meddina Healthcare, your trusted rehabilitation equipment provider.