My hands have never felt as stable in my life.
As I am writing this review, I am pressing every key with a new level of stability. If someone told me before that there would be a time where I could write, type, or paint without sever pain, dislocations, and hyperextension I would have called them a liar; I simply wouldn’t believe them.
My initial reaction when putting the splints on, was how weird my fingers felt. Going from a lifetime of pain, dislocations, and hyperextensions to suddenly my fingers being in-line was a hard thing to process. Before these ring splints, I did have Oval 8’s prescribed by my Occupational Therapist, but they weren’t custom made, therefore my fingers could still slightly hyperextend in them, and I could only have them for my PIP joints on my right hand. Custom made ring splints are a whole new world.
In my order for custom made ring splints, I asked for a mixture between titanium and stainless steel, here is a break down:
Swan Neck Ring Splints for the PIP joints in all fingers and the DIP joint in my dominant hand pointy finger.
MCP Joints for both hands, middle finger
Buddy Splints for my little fingers and their buddying finger
Thumb IP and MCP Joint with Thumb Splint Volar Support
I am going to break down this review splint by splint.
Swan Neck Ring Splint
I have found, initially, these splints were working extremely hard to give my fingers ‘normal’ alignment. I could feel them every minute of the day, and the pressure when my fingers would usually try to hyperextend was almost bruising so to feel. Overtime, this feeling wore off, and it’s very rare I notice them now, they fit comfortably on my fingers, and as mentioned before, they have opened a whole new world to life with minimal pain.
This joint is one of my least effected joints, but I bought this splint for both hands middle fingers as it helps to prevent all fingers from hyperextending in general movement. I have found that this was the hardest splint to get used to, as it stops your hand from forming a full fist. I have had to adjust the way I grip certain things including opening bottles and even opening my catheters. However, since adjusting these things, I have had a significant drop in my hand pain, which for me, is a huge win.
I have this type of splint on each hand to try and prevent outwards motion little finger dislocations. The pain in my little fingers have almost halved from wearing these splints, and my dislocations have just faded into the distance. I do still get pain, but nothing near what it used to be. Honestly, these splints have lived up to all my expectations and more.
The Buddy splint and the middle finger and MPC Joint splints of my left hand were initially nipping when I had my fingers together, however, over time this issue faded away. I take this to be my body getting used to the splints, allowing the skin around the splints to toughen up.
Thumb IP and MCP Joint
I have a lot of issues with my thumb MCP joint, and I have many custom braces to help stop the movement when I’m having a bad dislocation day and I need complete stability. However, I was in dire need of something I could wear to support the joint, but still allow movement, this is where the thumb IP and MCP ring splint comes in. Although I am waiting for another thumb brace to arrive, the one I currently have has changed the way my thumb works. I can grip things a lot easier now, as mentioned above with the MCP splint, I have learnt how to open things such as bottles, cans, and even my catheters without repeated thumb MCP dislocations. Honestly this splint has been a game changer for me.
Are they wheelchair friendly?
I have found that the swan neck ring splints and buddy splints are completely wheelchair friendly, just like my oval 8’s, however, I would suggest wearing gloves as without them it is metal on metal. The MCP splints is where it becomes a little tricky. For me, I hold my wheels as well as the grip on my wheelchair to propel, so for me, this was ok, however, you can’t close your hand tight enough to grip the rails on your chair with the MCP splint, which makes sense for the splint, but is tricky if you’re a wheelchair user so keep this in mind. I also found the thumb IP and MCP splint a little tricky to manoeuvre in the chair due to slight pain in the crease of my hand, but for me this isn’t an issue as I have compression splints for my thumbs when I’m in my chair.
Now we come to the subject of postage. This is where we hit a bump in the road. When I placed the order (July), I was just about to go on holiday, so I initially asked for my order to be held off postage until the end of the following month (August), there was no issue with this. The order was completed and sent off for posting somewhere around the beginning of September. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, this package got lost in the post, prolonging the delivery of the whole order. I was devastated, and honestly, I was very upset by this, but there was noting that could be done other than to re-make the order as soon as possible and ship it out once more. This is what was done. The second package was posted out at the end of October and arrived into the UK promptly. I was very excited to receive my package when instead, I got a piece of paper post through my door telling me I had to pay import duties of over £100 to receive the package. I was without words, I felt stung by the system. Unknown to me, when ordering items over the price of £39 from America, you will have to pay a lump sum of import duties to receive said order. I was shocked, mad, and distraught by the whole thing, I had paid a lot to receive these splints, and now I had to pay over £100 to collect them from the post office. There was nothing that Zebra Splints, or me could do. It had to be paid, luckily, I had the savings, so that’s what I did. This is something to consider if you are ordering from America overseas, especially if you are based in the UK.
I ordered my splints from Zebra Splints.