Orfit Blog

The use of coils as outrigger components in mobilization orthoses

15 December, 2016 | Tags: | Categorised in:

Springs and/or lengths of wire with coils store potential energy which can be released to do “work”. These components can easily be incorporated into mobilization orthoses to provide “work” in the form of functional support of joints, assistance for weak or absent muscles, and resistance or stretch to joints with limitations in joint range of motion.

Stretching a spring or bending a wire with a coil requires the release of energy: when the spring is pulled to a certain length, the force needed is equal to the tension for that length. This force is increased as the spring stretches or the spring wire bends.

The potential energy available to do “work” depends on the thickness of the wire, the length of the wire and the diameter of the coils. The practice of twisting the wire into helical coils helps to control the energy through the number and the diameter of each helical twist.

Therapists can purchase pre-fabricated orthoses with coils, or they can purchase spring wire and use rounded pliers and jig to create their own coils. Orfit Industries offers ready-made coils in four distinct sizes:

#35800 Finger coil spring (10 pcs.)
#35801 Knuckle bender coil springs (10 pcs.)
#35802 Finger extension assist (10 pcs.)
#35804 Wrist extension coil spring (5 pairs)

This assortment allows therapists a choice for selection of the appropriate coil for each specific joint and pathology.

We also sell Spring Wire (#35805) which is easy to manipulate into custom made coils for orthotic fabrication.

Here are some important considerations and pointers for working with wire lengths and coils:
• The axis of the helix or coil should approximate the axis of movement of the specific joint being mobilized.
• The longer the wire length, the less powerful will be the resistance to a force at the end of the long lever arm.
• Force applied to the lever arm will follow the direction of the last helical twist. When the force is applied in the opposite direction of the last helical twist, it causes an opening of the twist and reverses the potential energy. So the force will be lessened when the coil is turned over.
• The ends of the wire can be bent into a “U” shape or “hook” using pliers. The ”hook” shaped end is then heated up with dry heat and embedded or melted into the thermoplastic material of the base orthosis until it is level with the material. If pulled, the material inside the “hook” prevents the wire from being pulled straight out of the orthosis. Wait until it is cool before testing the coil. Cover the “hook” shape with an additional piece of thermoplastic.
• Smaller and thinner wire “hooks” can be covered completely with Orficast thermoplastic tape that has been heated with dry heat. Then the entire covered hook can be affixed to the orthosis using dry heat to both the base orthosis and to the hook.
• Avoid sharp angles and notches that might cause breaking points in the wire. Use rounded pliers for easier bending of the wire.
• Place the coil so that active patient motion winds up the coil.
• Adjust the coil strength by augmenting or diminishing the number of coils with pliers.
• To replace a coil, heat up the coil arm, detach from the orthosis and replace.

Dynasyst Springs - Knucle bender coil spring Art. No.35801
Springs – Knuckle Bender Coil Spring
Art. No: 35801

Dynasyst Springs - Finger coil spring Art.No.35800
Springs – Finger Coil Spring
Art. No: 35800

As it is turned over, it has half of the strength than the orthosis below.

To obtain a tension, you need a difference of range of motion between the orthosis and the finger contracture.

Springs – Finger Extension Assist
Art. No: 35802

Used for functional orthoses, look for the complete range of motion, but avoid hyper extension.

Radial wrist extension orthosis_B_HR
Dynasyst Springs – Wrist Extension Coil Spring
Art. No: 35804


This spring coil is designed to support the weight of the hand.

Stainless steel spring wire_HR












Dynasyst Springs – Stainless Steel Spring Wire

Art. No: 35805

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The upcoming IFSHT congress in Argentina – October 24-28, 2016

7 October, 2016 | Tags: | Categorised in:


In two weeks, hand surgeons and therapists from across the globe will gather in Argentina to attend the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH) and International Federation of Societies of the Hand (IFSHT) Congress, a week of presentations devoted to hand surgery and hand therapy. The joint congress will be held in Buenos Aires on October 24-28, 2016. IFSHT was founded in 1989 and represents over 8500 therapists around our world. Both physical and occupational therapists specialize in treatment of the hand and upper extremity and IFSHT plays an important role in connecting therapists from different cultures and backgrounds to one another. Currently IFSHT represents therapists and hand therapy organization from 43 countries.

Successful IFSHT congresses have been held every three years in exotic places around the world. Past hosting countries include:

1989   Tel Aviv, Israel
1992   Paris, France
1995   Helsinki, Finland
1998   Vancouver, Canada
2001   Istanbul, Turkey
2004   Edinburgh, Scotland
2007   Sydney, Australia
2010   Orlando, USA
2013   New Delhi, India

IFSHT’s mission is “to provide global networking and educational opportunities to develop and enhance the practice of hand therapy”. Check out www.ifsht.org for more information.

The congress in Buenos Aires promises to be an exciting and enriching event. Details of the educational content are already available online so that attendees can already plan their daily schedule. Make sure to visit the exhibition where Orfit Industries will have a great booth featuring our thermoplastic materials and tips and tricks for orthotic fabrication. Orfit Product Specialists Jean Christophe Arias (France) and Debby Schwartz  (USA) will be happy to greet you and assist you with orthotic fabrication questions. Please be sure to check out Debby’s poster on “Cost Saving Ideas for Activities” and paper presentation on “Static Progressive Orthoses”.

Orfit Industries is proud to be a commercial member of the IFSHT!


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Splint in the Spotlight – Radial Paralysis: a progressive orthosis

4 October, 2016 | 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.

Radial Paralysis – a progressive orthosis


The radial nerve innervates the extensor muscles of the wrist and fingers. When the radial nerve is damaged, these muscles lose their innervation. The wrist and fingers then assume a flexed posture. When this paralysis results in complete flaccidity, the wrist should be stabilized in extension with a static orthosis.

The MCP joints should also be stabilized in extension, but a dynamic system will allow active MCP joint flexion, for function and participation in activities of daily living.

This dorsally based orthosis fabricated in Orfit Colors NS (Gold) is very lightweight, and allows most of the palmar surface to be free for sensory input.

Continue reading

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MR safe label obtained for several Orfit products

3 October, 2016 | Tags: , | Categorised in:

MR safe

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is becoming increasingly important in radiation oncology. (Orfit Blog: The increasing need and interest in MRI in radiation therapy).

To be MR safe, patient positioning and immobilization devices cannot contain materials that are electrically conductive or magnetic.

Orfit recently obtained the MR safe label for the following products so they can be used safely in an MRI environment:

For more information about our products, visit our website or contact your local Orfit-distributor.

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Sagittilt: Orfit’s highly reproducible, patient friendly and heart-sparing prone breast solution

13 September, 2016 | Tags: | Categorised in:

Breast cancer radiotherapy might involve some radiation exposure of the normal tissues within the thorax, including the heart and lungs. This is associated with secondary lung cancer and mortality and morbidity rates for women with left-sided breast cancer due to ischemic heart disease [1]. Darby et al demonstrated that for every 1 Gy increase in mean heart dose, the relative risk of a major coronary event increased by 7.4% [2]. Also the dose on the left anterior descending artery (LAD) may be impactful in the genesis of cardiac toxicity. Given the rising incidence of breast cancer, the implementation of heart-sparing breast cancer techniques is substantial. There are several cardiac sparing techniques available, including the coordination of treatment delivery with respiration (breath-hold or respiratory gating), treatment in a prone position, IMRT, PBRT and partial breast irradiation [3]. A very promising solution that has already been shown to be superior for heart-sparing, mainly in patients with large breast volumes, is the prone position. Moreover, when prone positioning is combined with deep inspiration breath hold, the heart dose, even with smaller cup sizes, is reduced while maintaining the dose reduction to the lungs [4].

Several prone systems are used in clinical practice. However, data on the reproducibility, comfort and ease of use is lacking. Therefore, the available data are rather addressed to the prone position itself than to the immobilization system used.

Recently, Lakosi et al investigated the patient and staff satisfaction, treatment time and treatment reproducibility of the Orfit Sagittilt® prone breast solution. Prone breast treatments are often considered as less comfortable and also less reproducible compared to the supine position. However, they found that Sagittilt® is feasible and well-tolerated by patients, acceptable to radiographers and reasonable in terms of patient treatment times. Set-up errors were comparable with other prone systems. The full article can be found here.


With Sagittilt, Orfit tried to translate the aspects that make the supine position comfortable into a prone immobilization device. To increase the comfort and reproducibility, the position of the arms, legs and head is adjustable to suit the patient’s anatomy and every possible position is indexed. Sagittilt is unique in that the patient can be tilted to let the ipsi-lateral breast fall deeper into the cut-out and further away from the organs at risk such as the heart and lung. For increased precision and safety when tilting the system, Sagittilt should be used in combination with a thermoplastic hip mask.

More information about the Sagittilt prone breast solution can be found on the Orfit website.


[1] Taylor CW, Kirby AM. Cardiac side-effects from breast cancer radiotherapy. J Clin Oncol 2015; 27:621-629.

[2] Darby SC, Ewertz M, McGale P, et al. Risk of ischemic heart disease in women after radiotherapy for breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2013; 368(11):987-998.

[3] Shah C, Badiyan S, Berry S, et al. Cardiac dose sparing and avoidance techniques in breast cancer radiotherapy. Radiother Oncol. 2014; 112(1):9-16.

[4] Mulliez T, Veldeman L, Speleers B, Mahjoubi K, Remouchamps V, Van Greveling A, et al. Heart dose reduction by prone deep inspiration breath-hold in left-sided breast irradiation. Radiother Oncol 2015; 114:79-87.

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Creating well-designed orthoses that are also visually attractive

11 August, 2016 | Tags: | Categorised in:



Some patients need to wear an orthosis long term to help them perform their daily routine of activities. Other patients require orthoses for a short period while healing. But an orthosis will almost always become a very visual part of the individual!

We feel strongly that each individual orthosis should fulfill all of the functional requirements related to the specific pathology and also be aesthetically pleasing.

During your evaluation, be sure to ask your client about their interest and hobbies: What is their favorite colour? What is unique about their personality? How can you custom design an orthosis to personalize it?


Here are some ideas that can help to create an orthosis that is patient pleasing:

1) Offer an appealing colour from our Orfit Colors NS range.
There are 9 different colours. Not shown here: Dominant Black, Bright Pink and Violet.

2) Add coloured straps to the orthosis. We have a wide selection of colours in our product range.

3) Use scrap material and small leftovers from Orfit material to add some nice designs onto their orthosis

Raquel Cantero - Making Splinting Fun

© Terapiaweb – Raquel Cantero

4) Add accessories like buttons, stickers, fake jewels or beads that you find at your local art & craft shop.
You can also use duct tape.

Making Orthoses Fun

Remember, a patient pleasing orthosis is an orthosis that will get worn; an ugly one just ends up in the drawer.


How did you make an orthosis more attractive? Share your favourite idea in the comments on our Facebook Group!


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Moulding a radiotherapy mask: 11 things that often go wrong but can easily be avoided

1 August, 2016 | Tags: | Categorised in:

Moulding a radiotherapy mask has become a routine task for most technicians. However, problems may pop up either during the moulding process or while refitting the mask for the first treatment session. Orfit has listed several tips to avoid these issues and to assure a high precision, reproducibility and patient comfort.

1. Make sure the temperature of the water bath is between 65 °C and 70 °C (149°F – 158°F).

2. Stick closely to the heating times in the water bath, which is 3 minutes for an Orfit Single Layer High Precision Mask and 4 minutes for an Orfit Hybrid High Precision Mask.


3. Leave the mask on the patient for at least 10 minutes to allow it to harden completely.

4. Don’t spend too much time on towel drying the mask because this reduces the moulding time. Dry the mask sufficiently to avoid hot water from dripping on the patient. Continue reading

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New design for UON and DUON masks

13 July, 2016 | Tags: , | Categorised in:

After a thorough update, our existing range of UON and DUON U-Shaped Head and Neck masks and DUON S-Shaped Head, Neck and Shoulder masks is now even more reliable and user friendly.


NEW: U/S-shaped frame

UON and DUON masks combine the unique features of U-Plast thermoplastic material with a newly designed U- and S-shaped frame that is stronger with an improved bending stiffness. This leads to a more sturdy mask.

NEW: T-shaped pins

New T-shaped pins in DUON increase user friendliness in that they are more easy to attach to and release from a base plate. The pins are available as a separate item so they can easily be replaced when necessary.

Antibacterial, non-stick coating

Each mask is treated with a unique water-based non-stick coating with antibacterial properties. The coating avoids sticking of the mask to skin, hair and hardware and its antibacterial properties (*) prevent cross-contamination in a hospital environment.

Thermoplastic properties

UON and DUON masks offer a high and reliable quality with controlled low shrinkage. This results in high accuracy, high ease of use and increased patient throughput.

They become mouldable at 65°C – 70°C (149°F – 158°F) and can immediately be placed on the patient’s face after they are towel dried. The low molding temperature of these masks significantly increases patient comfort.


The new UON and DUON masks are compatible for use with virtually all base plate hardware. Orfit also offers a full range of carbon fibre laminate and high density plates and couch extensions or use with UON and DUON.

*The antibacterial effect of the coating was determined using the ISO 22196:2011 test method. The results show a reduction of > 99,99% of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia colli (EC) and Vancomycin-Enterococci (VRE).

All UON masks >

All DUON masks >

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New from Orfit: Orfit Flex NS, Orfit Colors NS Bright Pink and antibacterial properties for all our NS splinting materials

14 June, 2016 | Tags: , , | Categorised in:

Orfit Industries is the only manufacturer of innovative orthotic materials. Our R&D efforts lead to a wider choice of products to satisfy the needs of every medical professional and his or her patients.

NEW – Splinting materials now have antibacterial properties

At Orfit Industries we are always looking for ways to make things better. We have now added an antibacterial property to the majority of our splinting materials, resulting in cleaner and safer orthoses that cannot spread an odour. This makes wearing an orthosis much more pleasant for a patient.

All our NS coated splinting materials, and also Orfit Classic, now have antibacterial properties. Certain bacteria are unable to grow on the surface of our materials. As a result, splints remain odour-free for a long period and they do not pick up dirt from sweating as easily. Additionally, in a clinical environment, bacteria are unable to spread via our materials, which results in a cleaner and more safe environment.

Download our Antibacterial Property leaflet (PDF) for more information on this unique property >

Orfit Flex becomes Orfit Flex NS

Flex NS (002)

Orfit Flex NS is improved with our new non-stick antibacterial coating. This significantly decreases the imprinting of fingerprints and markings on the product. The Non Stick (NS) coating makes the material easier to handle and gives it a nicer smooth shiny surface with easy maintenance.  It moulds and conforms very well and is much less likely to stretch out of control. The drapiness has become manageable, yet the high degree of conformability remains. Just like all our NS coated materials, Orfit Flex NS will stick temporarily to itself and can be easily separated.

More information on Orfit Flex NS>

NEW – Orfit Colors NS Bright Pink

Bright Pink

A 9th colour has been added to the Orfit Colors NS range. Bright Pink will appeal to many and increase the compliance of wearing an orthosis, leading to improved clinical outcomes.

More information on Orfit Colors NS >

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




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Hand Therapy Week 2016 – Favorite Orthoses

10 June, 2016 | Tags: | Categorised in:


It’s Hand Therapy Week and to celebrate, we asked therapists to share pictures of their favorite hand orthoses!
Here are all the pictures that have been shared with us.

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