Orfit Blog

11 Frequently Asked Questions regarding Orfit’s Splinting Materials

5 October, 2015 | Tags: , | Categorised in:

Below are some interesting questions about the Orfit product range, recently asked by one of our distributors. The Orfit Product Specialist team, Jean-Christophe Arias from France and Debby Schwartz from the United States, offers detailed answers to each of these questions.

We believe this information may be useful and helpful for everyone who makes orthoses with Orfit products regularly!


1) How can we easily cut sheets of thermoplastic material?

There are 2 ways:

  • With a utility knife or box cutter, make 2-3 cuts onto the material, then bend the sheet, and cut it vertically in 2;
  • Use strong scissors.


2) What are the advantages of Orfilight over Orfit Classic? Is it easy to work with?

Due to Orfilight’s extreme lightness, foamy feel and lightly irregular surface, patients may not perspire as much. Orfilight sticks very well, but it’s easy to take apart if needed.

Our recommendation is to use 1.6 mm (1/16 “) for fingers, 2.5 mm (1/12 “) for wrist and thumb or rest splints for wrist, 3.2 mm (1/8 “) for larger splints.

You can use Orfilight Black NS with its non-stick NS coating for dynamic splints as well.


3) Is Orfit NS suitable for pediatrics? Is it possible to mold it directly onto clothes or on hairy skin?

Orfit NS is suitable for pediatrics, you can directly mold the material on any surface. Even if it sticks slightly when you start molding, it will be easy to take apart when cooled down.

If you want to separate 2 pieces of a sticky plastic, put them back in hot water (65° C) for a while and slowly tear them apart.

If 2 pieces of a non-sticky product stick to themselves, cool them off (with cold water): it is then easy to separate them.


4) Which materials become transparent at activation temperature?

Orfit Classic, Orfit NS and Aquafit NS.


5) Which materials are best for attaching metal, hinges, and/ or springs?

All our products (except Orfilight, Orfit Flex and Orfit Ease) are suitable if you want to fix something with screws or rivets, or use a hinge for larger splints.

If you want to attach a spring, our finger extension assist coil and wire and/or the Orfitube, you can choose between all products and thicknesses.

If you want to obtain something stronger, then use a material between 3.2mm (1/8”) and 4.2 mm (1/6).

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Trouble shoot for Orfit Splinting Materials – made by Alfred, an Orfit-enthusiast from Kenya

21 September, 2015 | | Categorised in:

Below is a list of troubles that might occur while splinting with Orfit products, with several solutions offered per possible problem.

The list is based on a document that was sent to us by Alfred Ngetich, a splinting professional and Orfit fan from Kenya. He regularly organizes workshops for fellow-therapists and feels that the same type of troubles often occur.

The list was reviewed by our own splinting experts Debby Schwartz and Jean-Christophe Arias. We believe it can be useful and helpful for anyone who fabricates orthoses with our thermoplastic materials regularly!

1. The Velcro hook keeps coming off:

  • There may be an oily residue on the splint surface – try to clean off with an alcohol swipe.
  • Trim the Velcro corners.
  • Dry heat the Velcro hook adhesive briefly.
  • Scratch and dry heat on the splint surface the exact area where you will place the Velcro hook.
  • Use a small piece of activated thermoplastic material to secure the Velcro hook and/or loop on to the splint.

2.  The splint edges are not smooth:

  • Use one continuous cut.
  • Use a sharp pair of scissors.
  • Trim the edges when they are still warm.
  • Flare distal and proximal ends.
  • Dry heat and use the thumb to smoothen the edges.
  • Use moleskin, padding, or edging strip over the rough edges.

3.  The splint is too weak to support the limb:

  • Avoid overstretching the thermoplastic material when molding.
  • Check your pattern /design.
  • Choose the correct thickness of the material for the splint you are making.
  • Check the expiration date of the material.
  • A circular pattern is always more rigid.

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Orfit Thermoplastic Immobilization Masks used on Elekta Leksel Gamma Knife Icon

16 September, 2015 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

© Elekta – Careforthebrain.com


Orfit Industries is proud to announce that our innovative thermoplastic immobilization masks are used on the Elekta Leksel Gamma Knife Icon.

Elekta is a company with a long standing reputation in cancer treatment and it has selected Orfit Industries to develop an immobilization mask that allows non-invasive immobilization of the patient on their new Gamma Knife. The thermoplastic mask allows the radiation therapists to immobilize the patients in a more comfortable way compared to an invasive head frame, while maintaining a similar stability during the treatment. The use of a thermoplastic mask also allows the treatment in multiple sessions.

Orfit Industries and Elekta have collaborated closely in this project in order to find the right shape, configuration and attachment for the thermoplastic mask.

Finally a hybrid mask has been chosen for optimal stability during the treatment.

© Elekta – Careforthebrain.com


© Elekta – Careforthebrain.com


Read more about Elekta’s Leksell Gamma Knife Icon >>

Read more about Orfit’s Patient Immobilization Masks and Solutions >>

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Splint in the Spotlight – Anti-Swan Neck Orthosis

1 September, 2015 | Tags: , | Categorised in:


Our Orfit blog shares information and instructions in matching our thermoplastic materials to orthotic designs.
Please check back frequently to gain inspiration and ideas in orthotic fabrication for all of your 
patient’s needs.

Splint Design:  Anti-Swan Neck Orthosis

Here is another example of how a simply designed orthosis can have an incredible impact on improved functionality for the patient with a hyperextension deformity of the PIP joint, known as a swan neck deformity. The typical posture of this deformity is PIP hyperextension and DIP flexion. This deformity might develop with pathology at the MCP, PIP and/ or DIP joint levels.Anti-Swan


  1. MCP Joint:
    Intrinsic tightness and central tendon tightness can lead to MCP joint subluxation. The resultant MCP flexion deformity can cause a secondary PIP hyperextension deformity as a result of the imbalance of tendons and ligaments.
  2. PIP Joint:
    Synovitis and/ or inflammation of the PIP joint capsule (Rheumatoid Arthritis) can cause overstretching of the volar plate, leading to PIP joint hyperextension. In addition, injury to the FDS at this level can also lead to hyperextension at the PIP joint as there is loss of the dynamic stabilization of the joint.
  3. DIP Joint:
    A mallet injury at the DIP joint can also lead to an imbalance of tendons and ligaments. The injury to the terminal extensor tendon also affects other soft tissue ligaments at their distal insertion. The droop into DIP flexion results in more force across the dorsal PIP joint pulling into hyperextension.
  4. Laxity of the Joints:
    Some people are born with extreme laxity of the joints capsules, allowing for a tendency to hyperextend at the PIP joint.  While this may not elicit a problem in most individuals because they can move in and out of the posture, in severe cases the resultant hyper laxity can cause functional deficits and lead to contractures.  Individuals with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in particular are at risk for developing significant functional deficits due to joint laxity.

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Splint in the Spotlight – 13 topics covered

21 August, 2015 | Tags: | Categorised in:


We’ve been posting “Splints in the spotlight” for a while now. Here’s a list of the 13 topics we have written about up till now:

  1. Gauntlet Thumb Post Splint for Functional Positioning of the Thumb
  2. Circumferential Elbow Splint for Elbow Positioning
  3. Metacarpal-Phalangeal (MCP) Joint Blocking Orthosis
  4. Relative Motion Orthosis
  5. Finger Extension Assist Orthosis
  6. Stack or Mallet Finger Orthosis
  7. Dorsal Blocking Orthosis
  8. Volar Wrist Cock-Up Orthosis
  9. Dorsal Wrist Cock-Up Orthosis
  10. Circumferential Wrist Orthosis
  11. Ulnar Drift Splint
  12. The Long Opponens / Thumb Spica Orthosis
  13. The Short Thumb Spica (Opponens) Splint

Scheduled next are a post about Burns Management and a post about an Anti-Swan Neck Orthosis.

Are there any other topics you would like to see an article about? Let us know by posting it in the Orfit Splinting & Rehabilitation Group on Facebook, or by sending an email to welcome@orfit.com.

We also highly welcome your feedback on our posts, and will glady answer any questions you may have on the topic of splinting.

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Splint in the Spotlight – Short Thumb Spica (Opponens) Splint

3 August, 2015 | Tags: , | Categorised in:


Our Orfit blog shares information and instructions in matching our thermoplastic materials to orthotic designs.
Please check back frequently to gain inspiration and ideas in orthotic fabrication for all of your 
patient’s needs.

Splint Design:  Short Thumb Spica (Opponens) Splint

Objective of the splint: Positioning of the thumb in functional position.



  • Healing after thumb MCP joint sprain;
  • Functional splint for basal joint arthritis;
  • Median nerve paralysis.

The goals of the Short Thumb Spica are twofold: maintain the thumb in opposition, and preserve the first web space. The Orfit thumb gauntlet (butterfly pattern) addresses both of these goals, but it may be difficult to remove especially when the patient has to wear his orthosis during the night.

In cases of sprain with associated edema, the orthosis needs to be remolded when the edema decreases. It is always beneficial to have several pattern designs to choose from and match the most appropriate orthotic design to the needs of the individual patient. A previous ‘Splint in the spotlight’-post featured the Long Opponens / Thumb Spica Orthosis.

The main differences between the Long Thumb Spica and the Short Thumb Spica are:

  • One is forearm based, and the other allows full wrist motion;
  • The Short Thumb Spica features a wide tab to wrap around the thumb;
  • The distance between the MCP flexion crease of the second finger and the IP flexion of the thumb should be between 6 and 7 cm (2.5” – 3”).


To secure the splint on the ulnar side of the hand, it’s beneficial to use a pulley system for the Velcro as shown in this drawing: the circle which surrounds the hand prevents the thumb from ante and retro-pulsion.

Short Thumb Spica 3


Product Recommendations:

The Short Thumb Spica Splint should be fabricated from a coated (non-stick) product between 1.6 and 2.6 mm (1.6”- 1/12”)  thickness: Orfit NS, Aquafit NS, Orfit Colors NS, Orfilight Black NS or the new Orfilight Atomic Blue NS (to be launched soon!) are the excellent materials for this design because they are elastic products.

As shown in the photo, the material overlaps around the thumb and can be easily opened or shut. This allows the wearer to loosen or tighten the orthosis based on comfort and adjust if the thumb is swollen.

Wearing protocol:

Depending on the pathology, the wearing schedule for this orthosis may be as follows:

  • Thumb Sprain: day and night during the healing phase, typically 6 weeks duration depending on the severity of the sprain.
  • Basal Joint Arthritis: for functional activities during the day.
  • If the patient has significant thumb pain, then using a Long Thumb Spica in the resting position at night might be helpful.
  • Median Nerve Paralysis: for functional activities during the day and for positioning at night.


If you have a question or comment, please post it in the Orfit Splinting & Rehabilitation Group on Facebook, or send an email to welcome@orfit.com.

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Orfit Hybrid Masks in SRS-treatments shown to be equally precise and less stressful than an invasive immobilization frame

29 July, 2015 | | Categorised in:

Pagina 1

An article about the use of Orfit Hybrid masks in Stereotactic RadioSurgery (SRS)-treatments was published by Jessa Hospital in Hasselt, Belgium. In their Medical Newsletter ‘JessaLinea’ is explained how Stereotactic Masks replace a previously used invasive Stereotactic Frame for SRS-treatments. The article was in Dutch, but we have made a translation to English as well.

Research shows that the use of an Orfit Hybrid mask is just as precise as the use of an invasive frame to immobilize the head of a patient. Moreover the use of a thermoplastic mask is painless, easy to reuse in case of recurrence and it increases patient throughput.

Read  the article:

In Dutch: http://issuu.com/jessaziekenhuis/docs/jessalinea_nr.18_lores/13?e=5798274%2F13723288

The English translation: Article – Less traumatic treatment of intracranial injuries with frameless stereotactic radiation surgery


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Thermoplastic splints for Yuri, a dog with a ligament condition

15 July, 2015 | | Categorised in:

This is Yuri, the dog of proud owner Marie Halaka from Greece. She reached out to us to see if we could help with his leg problem – he was diagnosed with a ligament condition (collagen disease) that prevents his front legs from walking upright. After lots of input from her, we suggested Orfit Eco as the best solution for Yuri’s problem, sent her the materials and gave her instructions on how the splints should be made.

She now sent us this picture of a happy Yuri!

“Yuri wishes to thank the ORFIT team for its great support in counseling, sending the Eco perforated and caring, which lead to his being able again to enjoy walks and regain his dignity! We do hope his collagen disease will stabilize but in any case, ORFIT has generously offered a better life for him and a lot of gratitude from us to you!”

 We are very happy we could help and wish Yuri a wonderful life filled with walks and happiness.

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Splint in the Spotlight – The Long Opponens / Thumb Spica Orthosis

14 July, 2015 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:


Our Orfit blog shares information and instructions in matching our thermoplastic materials to orthotic designs.
Please check back frequently to gain inspiration and ideas in orthotic fabrication for all of your 
patient’s needs.

Splint Design:  The Long Opponens / Thumb Spica Orthosis


Objective of the splint:

Several pathologies require immobilization of the wrist and thumb joints in a wrist- hand -finger orthosis known as the long thumb opponens or thumb spica orthosis.

  1. Arthritis of the wrist and thumb (both Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis)
  2. Scaphoid Fractures
  3. Tendinitis of the first dorsal compartment (De Quervain’s syndrome)
  4. Extensor pollicis longus (EPL) rupture
  5. Post-operative tendon transfer for thumb extension

Depending on the exact diagnosis, this immobilization orthosis typically positions the wrist in slight extension and the thumb carpal- metacarpal (CMC) joint between radial and palmar abduction, with the metacarpo-phalangeal (MP) joint slightly flexed and the interphalangeal (IP) joint free. For EPL repairs, and tendon transfers, the thumb would be positioned in full extension and the orthosis would include the IP joint in extension as well.

Product Recommendations

There are three basic design options for a long opponens orthosis: Volar based, radial gutter and circumferential.  Each design has benefits to consider in terms of stability, material selection, comfort and ease of fabrication. Each condition and each individual client should be assessed in order to match the most appropriate design with the client’s unique status and needs.

Orfit Industries offers a variety of thermoplastic materials and easy fabrication techniques for this orthosis.

Volar long opponens orthoses are usually fabricated from 3.2 mm (1.8”) thick drapy materials which conform best around the thenar anatomy.  Orfit Flex is an excellent example of a highly conforming material that works well for this purpose.  Elastic based materials also work well for this orthoses, including Orfit NS, Orfit Colors NS and Aquafit NS, Orfilight, and Orfilight Black NS in the 3.2 mm (1/8”) thickness. Continue reading

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What to Tell Your Patient Regarding Their New Orthosis

29 June, 2015 | Tags: | Categorised in:

Once you have completed fabrication of any custom- made thermoplastic orthosis, it is very important to explain to your patient the purpose of the orthosis and the expected outcomes from wearing it. Whether the orthosis is designed to protect an injured extremity, alleviate pain, or help support a joint for functional activity, the patient should understand why the orthosis is needed and how it can be beneficial. Otherwise, he or she may not be inclined to wear it!


Many hand therapy and rehabilitation clinics issue a prepared patient hand- out with instructions detailing the orthosis wearing schedule along with precautions and instructions for taking care of the orthosis. Written instructions should include contact information for the clinic just in case the patient needs adjustments on the orthosis or has questions about its use. The instructions should also clearly state when to wear the orthosis, if it is permissible to remove it (for bathing and showers, for example), and the expected duration of wear. The patient might also be asked to sign this document indicating they have received adequate instructions on their new orthosis. A copy of this document can then be placed in the patient’s chart as a record of the intervention.

Orfit Industries has created a document called “Wearing Instructions for Your Orthosis”. Please feel free to use this document for your clinic, or to use it as an example to set up your own document that meets your specific patient’s and/or clinic’s needs.

Suggestions to enhance patient compliance with orthosis wear might include the following ideas:

  • The patient has a good understanding of the purpose of the orthosis, the wearing schedule and the expected duration of wear;
  • The patient has some choice of the color of the thermoplastic materials or the color of the strapping materials;
  • The orthosis fits comfortably and securely on the patient and is easy to take on and off;
  • The orthosis has been personalized or decorated with markers, colored tape, colored scraps of material or fake jewels to give it a special and unique touch!

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