Hand Orthotics 101: Getting Started with Fabrication

beginnerIf you panic when you get a referral for a splint or orthosis, this course is for you! This course is designed for therapists who would like to gain confidence in their orthosis fabrication skills. If you have never made an orthosis for a patient, are intimidated to make an orthosis and don’t know where to start, or if you have had great difficulty with orthotic fabrication…this course will teach you splint making techniques and tricks to successfully fabricate custom-made orthoses to meet your patients needs.

Intensive, detailed demonstrations and instructions will be provided at a slow pace to ensure that the novice therapist masters pattern making and thermoplastic handling skills. All participants will master molding, orthosis modification, selection and use of padding, and strapping techniques. Time saving tricks and helpful hints will be shared. Learn to use tools correctly to avoid repetitive strain and personal injury.

Participants will also learn how to correctly choose and use pre-cut orthosis blanks. Generous lab time is provided for the novice orthotic fabricator to successfully complete each orthosis. Opportunity for one-on-one time with the instructor is provided throughout the course.

A variety of thermoplastic splinting materials will be used, giving the participant the opportunity to learn and identify which physical properties are important to specific orthosis designs. Discussion of literature, clinical applications and problem solving techniques will be included. Participants will successfully complete a variety of immobilization orthoses that fit correctly and that are functionally and anatomically effective. Learn to enjoy orthotic fabrication within a highly intensive, but relaxed teaching environment.

During the hands-on lab sessions, the course instructor will evaluate each orthosis fabricated to determine proficiency of 3/5 correct using 5 variables as listed in the objectives. Each participant will evaluate and score completed orthoses. A post-test at the end of the course is used to evaluate new knowledge. At the end of the course each participant will be given a course evaluation and a self reflective questionnaire.

REMEMBER TO BRING ALONG SPLINTING SCISSORS, A SMALL GONIOMETER, AND A HOLE PUNCH –ALL LABELED WITH YOUR NAME.

Program subject to change. Participants are cautioned to apply new information and skills within the scope of state licensure law.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify 3 anatomical considerations of the hand related to orthotic fabrication for  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify 2 mechanical principles of immobilization orthoses used for patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify 3 precautions for immobilization orthoses used with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Recommend 2 clinical applications for each orthosis fabricated for use with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify the wearing schedule and 2 methods of care for each of the orthoses fabricated for use with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify 2 soft tissue considerations specific to immobilization orthoses for use with  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Demonstrate 2 out of the 6 characteristics of thermoplastics during material handling
  • Identify 1 appropriate material for each orthosis fabricated that are used for  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Demonstrate the 1 correct use of padding and 2 correct uses of strapping for each orthosis fabricated that are used for  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Critique each orthosis for correct fit by utilizing 5 factors: forearm/hand length, edge flares/smooth, depth of forearm/hand, boney prominence pressure, strapping
  • Create, from the beginning of the design process to the culmination of the orthotic fabrication, 7 orthoses for the use with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Demonstrate the correct use of 3 fabrication tools used to create orthosis for the patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify the correct name for the orthosis fabricated using the ASHT Orthosis Classification System

CE Credits

14 contact hours

BOC Skill Level: Essential

This course is accepted by many professional credentialing organizations and state professional regulatory boards. Rules and regulations change frequently without notification, and apply differently to live and online courses. Please check with your state board to confirm accuracy of this list and acceptance of contact hours. Certificate of Attendance will be issued to all participants upon completion of the course and may be used for CEU verification of credits. CE credits vary by state. Please check with your state board/certifying agency to confirm conversion of contact hours to CE. See links below.

 

Physical Therapy Board of California: The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes Rehab Education, LLC as an approval agency to approve providers offering continuing competency courses for CA licensed PTs and PTAs. This course is approved for 14 contact hours.

FL State Occupational Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider for general Live CE courses. Approval #20-539365. (Course must be taken after 07-2-2016)

Illinois State Board of Physical Therapy: Approved CE Sponsor by Illinois State Board of Physical Therapy, Division of Professional Regulations, Approval #216.000227. (Course must be taken prior to 09-30-2020)

NY State Physical Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by the NY State Education Department Board of Physical Therapy. (Course must be taken prior to 05-10-2022)

Board of Certification, Inc (BOC) Approved Provider #P8271: Rehab Education, LLC is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Certified Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for a maximum of 14 Category A hours/CEUs. ATs should claim only those hours actually spent in the educational program.

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Approved Provider #6177: See states that currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT

  • AOTA Approval States

    These states currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT continuing education either in regulatory language or by formal written communication to AOTA:

    Alaska
    Arkansas
    Delaware
    District of Columbia
    Illinois
    Indiana
    Kentucky
    Louisiana
    Maryland
    Minnesota
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Montana
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Ohio
    Oregon
    Oklahoma
    Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Vermont
    Virginia

    *Disclaimer: Rehab Education LLC provides this list for your convenience. At the time of listing, the following state boards accept courses by virtue of approval by other organizations. It is the responsibility of the participant registering for a course to check with their state board to confirm rules and regulations regarding acceptance of contact hours for live and online courses.

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other state PT boards or APTA state associations*:

    Georgia
    Kentucky
    Montana
    North Carolina
    Oregon
    Virginia

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other APTA state associations*:

    Arizona
    Florida
    Indiana
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Rhode Island
    Utah
    Vermont
    Wisconsin

    The following PT Boards accept courses provided by AOTA approved providers*:

    Arizona
    District of Columbia
    Rhode Island

    HELPFUL LINKS:
    *NBCOT…National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (view PDU requirements)

    +HTCC… Hand Therapy Certification Commission  (view recertification requirements)
    Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC): This course is accepted by HTCC towards re-certification.

    State PT Boards
    State OT Boards

Agenda

Day 1:

8:00-10:15 LECTURE:

  • Functional Anatomy
  • Orthotic fabrication principles and biomechanics
  • Orthotic fabrication precautions and clinical applications
  • Analysis of thermoplastic characteristics
  • Principles of immobilization
  • Custom vs. precut patterns
  • Strapping and padding choices
  • Clinical pearls
  • Methods to ensure proper fit
  • Overview of tools and equipment
  • Overview of ASHT nomenclature
  • Literature review

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 DEMONSTRATIONS AND FABRICATION LABS

  • Pattern making, padding/strapping and fabrication
  • Wrist immobilization (Dorsal Wrist Cock-up)

LUNCH 12:00-1:00

1:00-5:00 DEMONSTRATIONS AND FABRICATION LABS with 15 minute break

  • Pattern making and fabrication
  • Wrist/Hand immobilization (Resting Hand)
  • Finger immobilization (Finger Gutter)

Day 2: 

8:00-12:00 WITH 15 MIN BREAK

  • Pattern making and fabrication
  • Thumb immobilization (Hand based)
  • Wrist/Thumb immobilization (Thumb Spica)
  • Finger restriction (Swan Neck)

12:00-1:00 LUNCH

1:00-3:00 WITH 15 MIN BREAK DEMONSTRATIONS AND FABRICATION LABS

  • Use of Pre-cuts and fabrication: Wrist immobilization (Thumb Hole Wrist Cock-up)

3:00-4:00 Discussion of clinical applications

  • Review of fabrication helpful hints, Post-course assessment

Instructors:

Debbie Fisher, MS, OTR, CHT

graduated from Washington University and has specialized in hands for the past 16 years.   In addition to being an OT / CHT, she has advanced training in ergonomics, handwriting, yoga, LSVT, dry needling, & magic (from her husband who is a world renowned magician).  Debbie has been published for her and her husband’s work with Magic Therapy and has been invited to lecture for the International Society of Hand Therapist, Project Magic, Texas Society of Hand Therapist, Alaska Occupational Therapy Association, Montana Occupational Therapy Association, and Texas Occupational Therapy Association, American Society of Hand Therapist as well as several companies and schools. Debbie currently lectures around the country on innovative treatments for the upper extremity, Saebo, and custom splinting.