A thumb injury is not only a painful occurrence, but also very frustrating to deal with considering how often we use our hands for tasks throughout the day. The best thumb spica splint will be able to stabilize and secure the injury to reduce inflammation and prevent further damage. It can also assist in the initial healing process of an acute injury, and it provides comfort to the wearer.
What Is a Thumb Spica Splint?
A thumb spica splint is an orthopaedic splint which immobilizes the thumb in order to stabilize the joint, but also allows the fingers freedom of movement. Some models allow the wrist to have freedom of movement as well, while others stabilise this joint in addition to the thumb joint for added support.
Thumb spica splints contain one or more moldable metal splints, which are covered in fabric and secured by adjustable Velcro straps. Some models have splints which are encased in a lightweight fabric, while others include heavier plastic components.
Who Uses Thumb Spica Splints?
Thumb spica splints are beneficial to sufferers of a variety of injuries and conditions. They can be used for acute conditions, such as sprains, ligament strains and metacarpal fractures, both before and after surgery. They can also be used for management of chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and arthritis.
How Do I Use a Thumb Spica Splint?
A prefabricated thumb spica splint is very easy to use. Simply slide your injured hand into the splint and adjust the metal splint and Velcro straps to fit. Thumb spica splints can be worn only during the night, or throughout the day as well.
What Are the Benefits of Thumb Spica Splints?
Thumb spica splints benefit a variety of injuries and conditions including muscular strains and ligament sprains, fractured and sprained bones, repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, and disabilities of the hand.
For muscular sprains and ligament strains such as skier’s thumb, thumb spica splints provide support to the affected are and can aid in the stabilisation of it. This can help quicken the healing process of an injury of this type, provide comfort to the wearer, and help prevent further damage to the area.
A thumb spica splint can be used for fractured and sprained bones, both pre and post surgery as required. An acute injury can be supported and stabilised in its initial phases before evaluation is possible. A splint is preferential to a cast in this instance, as continued swelling often occurs and a cast can restrict this. A splint can also aid in faster healing of a thumb injury. The support can reduce pain and inflammation, keep the thumb immobilised, and also protect the joint and area from any further damage.
Repetitive strain injuries, including DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and Trigger Thumb, can all be successfully managed with a thumb spica splint. For these cases it is beneficial to use a splint which supports the wrist as well. A splint can aid in preventing movement in both the thumb and wrist joints, which in turn can result in relief from pain and faster healing.
Both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers can find relief in their conditions through the use of a thumb spica splint. A splint can both support the joint and reduce the stress placed on it during day to day activity. It can also help rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to keep the joint correctly aligned.
For those with anatomical abnormalities in their hands, a thumb spica splint can aid in keeping the thumb and fingers correctly positioned. This helps to improve the functionality of the whole hand.
How to Choose the Best Thumb Spica Splint for Me
Thumb spica splints have a variety of different features in their design and fabrication. These need to be taken into account when choosing a splint, as some features are more important for certain injuries or conditions.
Some models are reversible, meaning they can be worn on either hand. Others available are made to fit a specific side, with a variety of size and length options available. The number of straps used to fasten the splint varies, which affects both the fit and the flexibility of the splint.
Some thumb spica splints are configured to provide wrist support or immobilisation as well, which should be considered if your injury requires this. Many thumb-specific models permit considerable freedom of movement to allow for wear during the day.
The fabric component of thumb spica splints also varies between products. Most are made from a lightweight fabric but some more supportive models contain thermoplastic components. The comfort, breathability and washability of the fabric needs to be considered if you’re planning to wear the splint overnight, or while doing moderate to heavy activity during the day.
The following video shows us the signs and symptoms of a thumb injury which requires support. While the splint is made using strapping tape in this situation, the principles are the same as with a prefabricated thumb spica splint. The support shown in the video does not immobilise or affect the wrist joint:
Best Thumb Spica Splint
With such a variety of products and features to choose from, it can be difficult to select the best thumb spica splint for yourself and your injury. We’ve selected five of the best models available and evaluated them for you on features, price and quality.
While there are numerous thumb spica splint products available, in our opinion the one which offers the optimal combination of benefits and value for money is the U.S. Solid Thumb Spica Splint.
The quality of manufacturing is preferable to both the Arthritis Thumb Splint by Vive and the Muller Sports Medicine Reversible Thumb Stabiliser. Although the Roylan D-Ring Wrist and Thumb Spica Splint and the 3D ORTHO Universal Quick Lace Wrist and Thumb Spica Splint both provide a high level of wrist support, the U.S. Solid Thumb Spica Splint can be worn for a wide variety of injuries and conditions. It also ranked best overall for the amount of support to the thumb, whilst still allowing the flexibility for the wearer to perform many day to day tasks.
The U.S. Solid Thumb Spica Splint has the flexibility of being able to be worn on either hand, but the size range offered and the adjustable straps all ensure a perfect fit. The fabric is both breathable and washable, and the splint is also the most lightweight of the products that we evaluated. It’s one of the best value thumb spica splints on the market, and is also the only model that comes with FDA approval and a one-year guarantee.