Ok so I received this awesome new thumb splint this morning and I’ve decided to do a quick review (I couldn’t find any other reviews for this model online so I figured I should write one)
Before we get started although I’m an OT student and I splint regularly in my daily life this doesn’t make me an expert and I would encourage you to speak to a relevant medical professional before taking any advice from my blog.
This is the ”Rhizomed Thumb Support” by Medi, Its a lightweight but strong splint for the MCP joint of the thumb, its available in 3 sizes for both left and right hands. I’m wearing a Small on my left hand.
I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to find a dynamic splint for my thumb that will prevent hyperextension while allowing normal flexion at the MCP joint. In short because my hands are so strong I can hyperextend through most dynamic splints so its become apparent that for certain tasks I’m going to need to immobilize my thumb to avoid hyperextension and prevent subluxation. I’m fairly unusual in the hypermobility world I think, I was a really good rock climber before my health deteriorated so at that point my hand strength was way above normal. My hand strength is still pretty good but that doesn’t make me any less hypermobile, it goes some way towards preventing dislocations but also means I tend to be quite hard on my splints. I have broken a fair few thermoplastic ones. The photo below is of my thumb position without any forces acting on it, now imagine the not-so-good positions my thumb ends up in when I do have added force on the unstable joints.
So splinting is necessary to avoid injury. (and to avoid me dropping everything I try to pick up!)
The Medi splint is made of a single sheet of aluminium with soft straps and velcro tabs to hold it in position, the splint is strong enough that I can’t bend it using my muscle tone alone and my thumb is held in position despite my best efforts to find fault with it!. I have bend my splint slightly in an effort to improve the fit on the wrist section and that worked fine.
The straps themselves are soft and the velcro comes off totally then velcros back on so you can take the straps off the splint pretty easily, this makes fitting easier, it also means that if the straps are too long you can simply remove the velcro, trim the strap and then stick it all back together, no need to sew the velcro back on!
The whole splint is lightweight and strong and the metal parts are lined in soft padded material that doesn’t fray or mould fluff everywhere. All in all I also think its pretty attractive as far as splints go. The design is pretty low profile and open meaning that theres not that much contact with your skin compared to some thumb splints / spicas. This is great for summer (sweaty braces are horrible) and also pretty good for people with delicate skin or those prone to contact dermatitis etc. The open design is also good for those thumbs are prone to swelling, the straps are adjustable and the open design means that you won’t have to fight to squish a puffy thumb into a tight splint.
I wore it all morning while getting ready for swimming and having breakfast etc. despite immobilising my thumb apart from the top joint I didn’t find it cumbersome and I managed to clean my teeth, get dressed, put on shoes & do my hair without getting stuck, frustrated or velcro-ed to anything else!
The splint supports the middle of the palm too but without affecting the use of my fingers, I managed to grasp small tools, with not too much difficulty, the only thing I’ve found I had to remove the splint for was texting.. there isn’t enough range of movement to use my touch screen phone the way I normally do so I took off the splint for that. To be honest this isn’t much of a problem since I don’t normally need to splint my thumb to text anyway.
I had a quick whizz around the kitchen in my wheelchair (with normal self propel wheels not my power assist ones) this felt a bit odd..like there was something in my hand between the wheel rim, I could manage to self propel and pop wheelies pretty well tho so its not a problem and I suspect I’ll get used to it fairly quickly. I also think typing on my laptop is going to take some getting used to! but again, I don’t normally splint my thumbs to type so its not too much of a problem.
The only small Issue I can see with this splint is the size options, I’m wearing a small.. and I don’t have particularly small hands! If medi came out with and Extra Small I think they’d be on to a winner.
The splint retails at £49.99 and I think its probably worth the money, with splints, like with everything else.. you get what you pay for!
If you have any questions about this splint or anything else feel free to post a comment and I’ll get back to you asap.
Ciao for now 😀