Ashleigh has been seeing a hand therapist in conjuction with the orthopedic surgeon who did the tendon lengthening on her hand and wrist.
In the photos below you can see therapist Bob Schnieder fitting Ashleigh with some new splints he created for Ashleigh. These splints have been crafted to also try to relieve some of the high tone and spasticity caused by the brain injury. Bob made a splint that keeps the wrist straight. In addition, it has a soft tube that hooks on to the wrist splint that is being pulled against the thumb to break up the tone. Finally he created individual finger splints to relieve the “goose necking” that is going on with her fingers as a result of the surgery. It is like the fingers have hyperextended at the second joint.We use to have to worry about her fingers curling into her palm and now we are working to get them to curl. But, that is a minor price to pay. The tendon lengthening surgery has made a huge difference in the positioning of her hand and wrist. It has to be so much more comfortable.
If you or your loved one has hand or foot contractures I would urge you to see an orthopedic surgeon and a hand therapist for a consult. Even if the situation is not bad enough for surgery, the hand therapist may be able to construct some splints that will ease the contractures. Keep in mind that it will take a couple visits to get everything fitting well and continued check-ups as the situation changes. Watch the skin carefully for redness or breakdown and follow the guidelines the therapist gives for how long to keep the braces on.