Types of Finger Splints

Human Hand In Thumb Brace
Static splints prevent fingers from bending. (Image: KnoxPhoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Finger splints are sometimes used to hold your finger in place to keep it from moving, such as when it is sprained or broken. They can also be used to increase the range of motion of a finger that is stuck in a bent position and needs constant stretching. A variety of splints are available to treat finger injuries.

Buddy Splints

A buddy splint is just two adjoining fingers taped together -- like buddies. This basic splinting technique is commonly used when your finger is strained -- such as a jamming injury. The fingers should be taped at a point above and below the injured joint. For a sprained joint on the ring finger, the little finger should act as the buddy, as it will otherwise be exposed and vulnerable to injury. Buddy splinting should not be used if your finger is fractured, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Static Splints

Static splints are designed to hold a joint in a specified position, whether completely straight or slightly bent. Some basic metal and foam static splints can be purchased over the counter at drug stores. Static splints can also be custom made from moldable plastics or other casting material. These splints are used to treat repetitive use injuries, to immobilize a fracture or for certain types of tendon damage.

Stack Splints

These specialized preformed splints are frequently used to treat injuries only affecting the tip of your finger. Stack splints come in various sizes -- they are designed to fit over the end of the finger to just past the first joint, preventing that joint from bending. Stack splints are made of plastic, often with holes in them to allow for air flow.

Dynamic Splints

These complex splints are made from combinations of plastic, foam and metal. They are designed to provide a prolonged stretch for a joint that is stiff. Dynamic splints feature various spring-loaded systems that are adjustable to provide the desired degree of movement of the joint. Dynamic splints are often worn at night or while you are resting and not involved in other activities.

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