Application of Braces
Should be circumferential, perforated (because of excessive sweating), and lightweight. Leg braces can help with alignment and promote standing and walking. Their role in preventing fractures is limited. Lightweight forearm splints (bivalve or hinged for support to the entire surface—1/16” perforated Aquaplast® is perfect for children) can provide stability to people with forearm bowing, weakness, or pain, and help them with ADLs, weight bearing, reaching, lifting. After a short period of casting, fractured limbs are often immobilized in a lightweight splint or brace that can be removed for bathing and other activity. They may permit greater activity when worn during water therapy while a fracture is healing.
Fabricated splints/orthodontics may be static, dynamic or static progressive. Static orthodontics are often used to put part or all of the elbow, wrist & hand at rest so that diseased or injured tissue can be supported and undergo uninterrupted healing. Dynamic or static progressive orthodontics are used to add mobilising tension to influence tissue healing and scar maturation, minimising the development of restrictive scar tissue that is so detrimental to tendon excursion and normal joint motion. Whether the injured part is immobilised or mobilised depends on the current phase of tissue healing. Static orthoses are generally made to protect healing structures such as a fracture, a collateral ligament strain or repair, but are also used effectively to decrease pain during functional activity with a diagnosis such as CMC arthritis or tendonitis.