Why are splints and orthotics used in arthritis patients?
Splints and orthotics are used in the treatment of inflammatory and degenerative arthritis to unweight joints, create stability in selected joints, decrease or increase joint motion, or support the joint in the position of maximal function. They can either be purchased over-the-counter or custom-formed to fit the individual patient. Evidence for the efficacy of orthoses in reducing pain and disability is most robust for thumb-base osteoarthritis (OA). Devices for thumb-base OA aim to immobilize the carpometacarpal joint and open the first web space, allowing for joint rest and preventing deformity.