Orfit Blog

Splint in the Spotlight (5): Finger Extension Assist Orthosis

15 October, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Splint-in-the-Spotlight

Each Wednesday, we feature our Splint in the Spotlight. With these articles, we offer you inspiration and
ideas for your future splinting projects and for the wide variety of pathologies you encounter with your clients.

Today, we focus on the Finger Extension Assist Orthosis.

Pathology:

When peripheral nerves are injured by compression or laceration, motor and sensory function can be significantly impaired. Nerve recovery may be prolonged and therapists are often confronted with the task of creating functional orthoses to help clients maintain their independence while awaiting nerve regeneration and/ or recovery. These functional orthoses can be challenging to fabricate, bulky with multiple attachments and unattractive.

Functional orthoses need to:

  • Be easy to don and doff;
  • Allow active motions of the non-involved muscles;
  • Apply force accurately to mobilize joints where the injured nerve no longer innervates the musculature;
  • Be acceptable and pleasing to the client.

Splint solution:

Orfit Industries has created a simple and aesthetic approach to functional orthoses for clients with peripheral nerve injuries.

The use of conveniently packaged pre-coiled wires which are easily attached to thermoplastic splints offers a creative and low profile solution for these complicated splints. Continue reading

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Splint in the Spotlight (4): Relative Motion Orthosis

8 October, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Splint-in-the-Spotlight

Each Wednesday, we feature our Splint in the Spotlight. With these articles, we offer you inspiration and
ideas for your future splinting projects and for the wide variety of pathologies you encounter with your clients.

Today, we focus on the Relative Motion Orthosis also known as the “Yoke” splint. This is a static splint designed to hold the affected digit in relative extension or flexion compared to the adjacent digits.

Pathology:

The relative motion splint is in the news these days, being touted as the “go-to-splint” for a wide variety of conditions affecting the hand and digits. At the recent ASHT meeting in Boston, a panel of experts debated the use of this simply designed splint for acute and chronic boutonniere, acute and chronic sagittal band rupture, digital joint stiffness, tendon injury and repair, nerve repair and other injuries.

The relative motion splint was initially designed for postoperative rehabilitation of extensor tendon injuries with the ICAM or “Immediate Active Controlled Motion” protocol. It was fabricated to be worn with a wrist cock up splint. It was designed to hold one or two digits in relative extension compared to the adjacent digits. It can also be used as an exercise aid to facilitate either flexion or extension of the affected digit depending on the position.

This orthosis is also being used in the management of sagittal band injuries and after repair of extensor tendon ruptures in rheumatoid arthritis. It is proving to be less bulky than other splints, more comfortable for the patient, and easily worn during activities of daily living.

The goals of a relative motion splint are to limit full flexion at the Metacarpal-phalangeal (MCP) joints and to facilitate increased motion at the more distal PIP and DIP joints.

The relative motion splint for extension holds the affected digit in about 15° of MCP joint extension in comparison to the adjacent digits and might be helpful with cases of MCP joint hyper flexion, limited flexor tendon excursion and IP joint stiffness. The relative motion splint for flexion holds the affected digit in about 15° of MCP joint flexion relative to the adjacent digits and is helpful when there is a PIP extension lag.

*A relative motion splint can often be fabricated circumferentially without the need for additional strapping.  Patients should be able to put on and take off their splints unaided.

Splint solution:

Many of Orfit Industries’ thermoplastic materials (1.6mm (1/16”) 2.0mm (1/12”) and/or 3.2mm (1/8”)) are suitable for the fabrication of the relative motion which requires very little preparation or pattern making. Simply cut a strip of material about 1 ½ times the width of all the digits. It should also be about the width of the proximal phalanx. If using very thin material, the material can be folded in half to give more support. Continue reading

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Winners of the ISSPORTH-Orfit Prize at ISSPORTH 2014 in Kuala Lumpur

7 October, 2014 | Tags: | Categorised in:

logo ISSPORTH

At the ISSPORTH Symposium (2nd of October 2014, Kuala Lumpur), the International Society for Sport Traumatology of the Hand elected two winners for the

“ISSPORTH-Orfit Prize for the best Therapist Presentation”.

The winners are:

  • Giuseppe Matera: “How new technologies can support rehabilitation“;
  • Riva Assunta: “Taping for early staging of tenosynovitis“.

Both therapists will receive an individual advanced splinting course, flight and accommodation to be spent at the headquarters of Orfit Industries in Belgium.

DSC04038

 

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Splint in the Spotlight (3): Metacarpal-Phalangeal (MCP) Joint Blocking Orthosis

1 October, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Splint-in-the-Spotlight

Each Wednesday, we feature our Splint in the Spotlight. With these articles, we offer you inspiration and
ideas for your future splinting projects and for the wide variety of pathologies you encounter with your clients.

Today, we focus on the Metacarpal-Phalangeal (MCP) Joint Blocking Orthosis.

Pathology:

Digital blocking splints are considered restriction splints that block or restrict motion at a given joint while allowing motion at other joints.

Blocking splints are useful to redirect, isolate motion or increase active motion at joints that might have limitations due to muscle substitution, scarring, weakness, stiffness, nerve dysfunction, joint hypermobility, and/or decreased motor performance.

For example, these splints can be used to block motion at an inflammed joint in order to reduce pain and promote healing, or they might be offered as exercise splints used to redirect the force of motion to more distal or proximal joints. A digital blocking splint might be fabricated to restrict motion at the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint (PIP) in order to allow increased active motion exercises at the Distal Interphalangeal Joint (DIP) joint in patients with tightness of the joint ligaments caused by trauma or injury.

A MCP blocking splint blocks full MCP flexion, but allows active motion at the adjacent PIP and DIP joints. Active range of motion exercises while wearing this splint can help to reduce tightness of the interosseous muscles of the involved digit. An MCP blocking splint is often fabricated for patients with Stenosing Tenosynovitis or Trigger Finger. The splint allows full PIP joint and DIP joint motion while decreasing the friction between the flexor tendon and the pulley mechanism. Studies indicate that splint wear significantly reduces triggering of the flexor tendon.

  • The goals of a blocking splint may be to:
    • Limit motion after nerve, tendon or ligament injury or repair
    • Limit motion for symptomatic and/ or pain relief
    • Assist in motor re-education
    • Redirect muscle force
    • Assist in functional use of the hand

Patients need to be instructed whether to wear the splint full time, during functional activities or at rest.  

*A digital blocking orthosis can often be fabricated circumferentially without the need for additional strapping. Patients should be able to put on and take off their splints unaided.

Splint solution:

Many of Orfit Industries’ lightweight and thin thermoplastic materials (2.0mm 1/12” or 1.6mm 1/16”) are suitable for the fabrication of digital blocking splints. Orficast™ Thermoplastic Tape is an excellent material for this splint and requires very little preparation or pattern making.

Continue reading

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Splint in the Spotlight (2): Circumferential Elbow Splint for Elbow Positioning

24 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Splint-in-the-Spotlight

Each Wednesday, we feature our Splint in the Spotlight. With these articles, we offer you inspiration and
ideas for your future splinting projects and for the wide variety of pathologies you encounter with your clients.

Today, we focus on the Circumferential Elbow Splint for Elbow Positioning.

Pathology:

Patients with a variety of pathologies or trauma affecting the elbow joint, forearm bones, upper arm musculature and peripheral nerves often need to have their elbow immobilized during the healing process. Elbow splints can be positioned anteriorly on the arm or posteriorly behind the arm. Often, posterior elbow splints are used after trauma or surgery to protect and rest the elbow joint and surrounding soft tissues. They may also be used to restrict forearm motion. Anterior elbow splints are commonly fabricated for patients with cubital tunnel syndrome, also known as ulnar nerve entrapment. This condition occurs when the ulnar nerve in the arm becomes compressed or irritated at the elbow. Symptoms of cubital nerve compression include pain and paresthesia that run from the elbow to the fingers, typically the ulnar digits. Anterior elbow splints may also be utilized to statically position the contracted elbow at maximum extension and facilitate lengthening of tight soft tissues.

  • Goals of orthotic fabrication include:
    • Protection of healing structures;
    • Symptomatic and/ or pain relief;
    • Prevention of further ulnar nerve compression;
    • Restriction of motion;
    • Elongation of contracted tissues.
  • In practice, the patient may benefit from:
    • Night splinting to prevent compression of the ulnar nerve during elbow flexion;
    • Night splinting for elongation of tight contracted soft tissues;
    • Day time splint as needed for protection and relief of symptoms and pain.

Patient education is paramount to instruct patients on the proper wearing schedules that offer them the greatest benefit.

*Careful consideration should be given to the splint strapping. The strapping must not cause pressure areas or decrease the patient’s level of functioning.  Patients should be able to put on and take off their splints unaided.

Splint solution:

Orfit NS (3.2mm or 1/8”, mini perfo) or Aquafit NS (Stiff, 3.2mm or 1/8”, macro perfo) are both excellent low temperature thermoplastic materials for fabrication of anterior and posterior elbow orthoses. Continue reading

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Story by Nashville Public Radio: Nashville Cancer Survivors Find Meaning in Radiation Masks After Treatment

18 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Listen to this powerful story by Nashville Public Radio about cancer survivors who find meaning in Radiation Masks after treatment. Survivors of head and neck cancer sometimes see the mask, which bolts them to a table during radiation, as representing the trauma of cancer. Some patients destroy their mask and others turn into art. Have a look at the beautiful art work at the bottom of the article.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/blog/2014/09/15/radiation-masks-shaped-faces-cancer-patients-linger-symbols-treatment/

Every 15 minutes, for 10 hours a day, patients walks into a radiation room in the basement of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. They pick up their mask. Walk to a machine. Lie down underneath.

The masks are made of hard, white plastic and shaped exactly to the patient’s face and shoulders. Nurses fit them, and then, they snap them down.

“It was awful,” says Barbara Blades, who was diagnosed with cancer in her lymph nodes and tongue nine years ago. “It was awful to have your head bolted to a table. Not being able to move. Not being able to move your head.”

One interviewed patient then expresses how scary the experience of wearing a mask could be with claustrophobia. We believe that our Open Face Mask will become the standard in radiotherapy as it leaves most of the face uncovered, thereby reducing the often significant discomfort and high anxiety experienced by claustrophobic and most patients undergoing head and neck Radiation Therapy.

Other survivors say it felt safe in there: The treatment was helping fight their cancer.

“Honestly, when I was under the mask, I found it comforting,” says Steve Travis, who had a tumor on the base of his throat and another on his neck. He used the 15 minutes a day to pray.

But when Travis finished treatment, he became angry at the mask. “It sort of represented everything that had happened for the last four months,” he says. “So I destroyed it.”

He took it out to a family farm in West Tennessee and set it next to a tree. Then he took aim with a shotgun. “Two magazines from a 45 automatic,” he says. “And then, I burned it.”

Travis didn’t hate his radiation mask, he says. He just wanted closure from the cancer.

Listen to the rest of this story here.

 

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Splint in the Spotlight (1): Gauntlet thumb post splint for Functional Positioning of the Thumb

17 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Splint-in-the-Spotlight

Each Wednesday, we feature our Splint in the Spotlight. With these articles, we offer you inspiration and
ideas for your future splinting projects and for the wide variety of pathologies you encounter with your clients.

In this first article, we focus on the gauntlet thumb post splint.

Pathology:

Patients with a variety of different diagnoses and conditions will benefit from immobilization of the base of the thumb.  Therapists treating thumb arthritis, fractures, sprains, ligament injuries and more know the benefits that immobilization splints offer their patients: relief from pain, stability, prevention or correction of deformity, and improved functional ability. Therapists always need to perform a careful ongoing assessment of the patient’s current status, particularly in relation to function. Custom made orthoses may require adaptations to meet the patient’s changing needs. Inflamed or injured swollen joints require rest and immobilization; however, prolonged immobilization may lead to loss of ROM due to joint stiffness. Often, correct orthotic fabrication may help prevent the development of soft tissue and/or joint contractures and may improve function, allowing the patient to maintain independence!

  • Goals of orthotic fabrication include: pain relief, prevention of deformity and improvement of function.
  • In practice, the patient may benefit from:
    • Resting splints-possibly for use at night to immobilize and stabilize joints
    • Functional splints during the day-for relief of pain and improvement in function

Patient education is paramount to instruct patients on the proper wearing schedules that offer them the greatest benefit.

*Careful consideration should be given to the splint strapping. The strapping must not cause pressure areas or decrease the patient’s level of functioning. Patients should be able to put on and take off their splints unaided.

Splint solution:

Collage

One potential splint solution for the thumb is the Gauntlet Thumb Post Splint made out of Orfit Classic Soft (1.6mm), Orfit Colors NS, (2mm micro), Orfilight and Orfilight Black NS (1.6mm micro). Continue reading

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September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

3 September, 2014 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:
[Source: news.cancerconnect.com]  
 

As the month of September brings prostate cancer into focus, it’s time to increase public understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening and prevention, treatment options, and resources that offer updated prostate cancer information throughout the year.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and is a leading cause of cancer death in men, second only to lung cancer. Staying informed with the latest news on prevention and screening is an important step in reducing your risk of developing prostate cancer. And, should a diagnosis occur, access to current, in-depth treatment information can help you find the best care.

Here at Orfit Industries, we strive to offer the best possible solution to immobilize patients with prostate cancer and make sure that the intestines of the patient stay out of the radiation fields when treating malignancies in the pelvic area. Our AIO Solution contains a cushion set specifically designed for treatment of the belly and pelvis area. Next to this solution, Orfit Industries also offers the Pelvicast High Precision System with hardware that is only used for belly and pelvis treatment.

Learning More About Prostate Cancer

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Supporting a good cause: The Global Rainbow Foundation in Mauritius

25 August, 2014 | Tags: , , , | Categorised in: ,

Orfit Industries decided to support an NGO in Mauritius, the Global Rainbow Foundation.They have recently launched a Rehabilitation and Training Centre for Disabled to empower differently abled persons and vulnerable groups through Rehabilitation, Education & Training and to provide them the opportunity for holistic human development so that they can lead a happy and rewarding life with dignity and respect in the local and global community.

Global Rainbow Foundation

We received a kind letter from the president of the Global Rainbow Foundation, prof. Armoogum Parsuramen. He explains why our donation of sheets of Orfit Classic and Orficast (6cm) is so important for Mauritius:

“We offer rehabilitation services to people with different forms of congenital and acquired disabilities. Many of our patients require orthoses that are difficult to get around our island. Your kind gesture will allow us to manufacture the required orthoses and splints that will enable our patients to become independence in their daily lives and/or correct deformities they have.  As the leader in thermoplastics and splinting materials, your generous donations is very much appreciated and will aid us in our endeavour to better the quality of life of people with disabilities.”

The goods are now in production at Orfit Industries and will be delivered to the Global Rainbow Foundation within the next couple of weeks.

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Thesis: Prone versus supine treatment position when irradiating the left breast (R. de Vries, J. Karst)

21 August, 2014 | Tags: , , , | Categorised in:
In a graduation thesis of the education “Medical Imaging and Radiotherapeutic Techniques” (MBRT), conducted for the Medisch Spectrum Hospital in Twente, R. de Vries and J. Karst compared the prone and the supine treatment position when irradiating women with breast cancer. For the prone position, the Sagittilt Prone Breast Solution of Orfit Industries was used.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Common treatments for breast cancer are breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery is followed by radiation therapy. A part of the heart and a part of the lungs are irradiated during irradiation of the breast in the current position (supine). This can lead to heart failure and lung injury after 10 to 15 years. Therefore, it is important that the dosage for the heart and lungs is kept as low as possible. Irradiation of the breast in prone position is a technique that aims to save the heart and lungs. The advantages and disadvantages of this position compared with the supine position were investigated in this study by creating a treatment plan for both positions.

Based on this study it can be concluded that treating breast cancer in the prone position is a good alternative to the supine position. It provides a lower dose of irradiation in the heart and the left lung upon irradiation of the left breast after breast-conserving surgery.

Sagittilt Prone Breast SolutionSagittilt Prone Breast Solution

The Sagittilt Prone Breast Solution has recently been cleared by the FDA and is now officially for sale in the United States as well. It will be presented at ASTRO 2014 in San Francisco (booth no. 1438).

More information about the Sagittilt Prone Breast Solution can be found on our website.

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