Proximal interphalangeal joint silver ring splints
Finger splints are often provided by occupational therapists to people with finger joint problems in musculoskeletal disorders to help control pain, improve functional ability and maintain joint positioning and muscle action.
There is good evidence that these small finger splints can play an important part in reducing finger and hand pain and maintaining dexterity skills. Mostly these splints have been made in hard thermoplastic material that tends to be bulky and has limited strength and durability. Patients reported that they found the splints unattractive and embarrassing to wear.
An innovative approach has been implemented in Winchester with occupational therapist Christian Macleod and local jeweller Jeremy France. These small, effective, proximal interphalangeal splints are made to measure and can be adjusted and altered when required if the finger joint shape changes. The splints are made in silver to replicate jewellery and are made at a local jeweller under the guidance of a clinical occupational therapist. Some people have opted to have additional jewels inserted to make the splints even more attractive.
Adherence rates to the splints is improved, people report feeling proud to wear these splints and feel pleased that they have individualised rings that are different from other people.
Not only are the splints seen as attractive alternatives to medicalised intervention by the people who wear them, they have also been reported as biomechanically effective in controlling the adverse joint positions that occur with swan necking of the rheumatoid proximal interphalangeal joint.