My hands and wrists are highly flexible and I’ve been having increasing pain in my Index and Middle fingers for some time. My PIP joints (the ‘knuckle’ joints) are very bendy, but it’s my DIP (end of finger) joints which hurt the most, so two days ago I was fitted for Oval 8 DIP splints (I’d love some pretty silver ring splints, but they rub my skin raw, set off my Dermographism and generally hurt like a sod).
Here is my Middle finger pre-splint:
Unfortunately I do still have a large amount of flexation at the PIP joint on my left middle finger, so it may be that I’ll need a PIP as well as a DIP support for that one finger – I’ll see how it goes.
I now have five Oval 8 finger splints:
They’re flesh coloured so quite unobtrusive. They’re also fairly comfortable – well, as much as wearing bits of plastic on the tips of your fingers can be comfortable! I can type fine in them, drive fine in them and generally potter about fine in them. The problem starts when I want to wash my hands, or otherwise get them wet. Because then they can slip about and I worry that one day they’ll drop right off. So I use them judiciously – taking them off to bathe or do the washing up.
I have extremely small hands (I wear gloves for children aged 7-11!) so was really worried that the splints would be too long for my short fingers, but so far so good. I have a size 4 for my fingers and a 7 for my thumb. If they don’t fit brilliantly (I have a weird lump on the side of my right index finger from writing at school as a child) they can be heated with a heat gun and slightly moulded for a better fit. Mine were provided on the NHS by my lovely Occupational Therapist, Fiona, at my local hospital (she’s a gem).
It’s early days, so I’ll reserve judgement on how practical, comfortable and useful the splints turn out to be. But so far, as splints with all their drawbacks go, I think they’re going to be fine. I do miss my bendy fingers though. Having digits that can contort in all sorts of ways, I’ve come to realise, is really quite useful and having ‘normal people’s’ fingers is really quite limiting. I won’t miss the pain but!