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Prevention of Deformities Through Orthotics

Leonard F. Bender, MD
JAMA. 1963;183(11):946-948. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700110013013d.
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ABSTRACT

Our experience with ortheses indicated their usefulness in preventing anticipated deformities: a pillow placed under the shoulder of a hemiplegic and supporting it in mild abduction prevented complete internal rotation; a simple opponens splint with a "C"-Bar holding the thumb of a poliomyelitis patient in an abducted position rendered impossible any thumb web contracture in adduction; a simple opponens splint with a lumbrical bar averted the claw hand in patients suffering ulnar nerve lesions with loss of interosseal function. Ortheses also impeded the progression of already existing deformities: fifth finger adduction splints with pivot hinges prevented ulnar deviation of the fingers and permitted flexion, extension, and adduction at the metacarpophalangeal joints; modified Forrester-type braces maintained good head position in the patient after release of burn contractures. These are some examples of the use of ortheses in preventing deformities.

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