Medical devices

Abduction Splint – Application & Health Benefits

Abduction splint

A special medical splint is called an abduction splint. It is used to position the upper arm in an abduction position.

What is an abduction splint?

An abduction splint is a special splint that serves as a medical aid. It is also known as a shoulder abduction splint , shoulder abduction pillow , arm abduction pillow , or postman ‘s pillow . The latter term is due to the fact that the splint resembles a postman’s mail bag wrapped around his arm.

The abduction splint is one of the bandages and ensures a stable position of the injured upper arm at the elbow . The arm is about a hand’s breadth from the torso. The shoulder abduction splint is extremely important for the treatment, as otherwise the arm would be in contact with the body, which in turn has a negative effect on the success of the therapy.

The term abduction comes from Latin. Translated, it means “lead away”.

Shapes, Species & Types

An abduction splint is usually used to treat the upper arm or shoulder joint . There are different variants in different shapes and sizes. The shoulder abduction cushion is widely used. It is used to fix the upper arm with a Velcro fastener. In this way, the shoulder joint can be immobilized and relieved.

The abduction cushion is similar to a sports bag and is attached around the upper body with the Velcro fasteners. The pillow acts like a rest for the arm so that it rests on it. A belt system makes it possible to adjust an angle of inclination between 10 and 75 degrees if this is required.

The low weight of the abduction cushion makes it comfortable to wear. In addition, the armpit of the arm remains free, which improves personal hygiene . A shoulder abduction brace can be placed on either the right or left side of the body. Fastening the rail is no problem.

The abduction wedge is a special variant of the abduction splint. This is used in the hip area and ensures that it spreads out. It can also be used to keep the thighs apart. An abduction wedge is used as part of postoperative rehabilitation after hip joint surgery or to counteract malpositions in children. Depending on the shape and size, the abduction wedge is attached to child seats or vehicles. After an operation, the patient puts on the special splint in bed.

Structure & functionality

An abduction splint is composed of a pad, which is usually a cushion. This pad fixes the upper arm to be treated in abduction and anteversion. The abduction cushion usually has the shape of a wedge or a cylinder. It can have a solid structure or be inflatable.

The pillow is attached to the body with a shoulder strap and a waist strap. Some abduction splints are also equipped with a support for the hand. Thanks to the shoulder strap, the pillow hangs like a bag on the side of the body, and the forearm rests on it.

One of the advantages of the abduction splint is that the upper body remains free and the mobility of the thumb and fingers is not restricted in any way. The anatomical cut of the abduction cushion enables the arm to be positioned securely. The shoulder joint is securely fixed by another upper arm strap.

The positive effect of the abduction splint is based on the pressure relief in the subacromial space. At the same time, the ventral limbus and parts of the capsule are relieved. The splint also helps prevent adhesions in the axillary recess, which can result in frozen shoulder.

Since the splint can be opened easily, functional follow-up treatments can be carried out quickly and easily. With the help of the hand rest of the abduction cushion, it is also possible to train the arm functionally at an early stage. The special orthosis can be put on in the operating room. By opening the arm straps, there is then the option of immediate postoperative mobilization of the wrist and elbow. Postoperative physiotherapy is made significantly easier by the abduction splint.

Medical & health benefits

The abduction splint or abduction cushion has positive effects on the patient’s health. The splint enables early physiotherapy exercises after an operation, which in turn has a positive effect on the healing process. In addition, the back muscles and tendons can be relieved.

A shoulder abduction splint is used after a shoulder or shoulder joint injury, such as a shoulder dislocation (shoulder dislocation), or a surgical procedure, such as osteosynthesis. The areas of application of the special splint can therefore be both conservative and operational.

The most common indications include acute or chronic bursitis (bursitis ) , impingement syndrome (tissue entrapment), humerus head fractures, sprains , contusions or a so-called frozen shoulder following mobilization under anesthesia. Further areas of application are therapies after a rotator cuff tear, the removal of calcium deposits or the implantation of a shoulder prosthesis. The abduction cushion is also suitable for the outpatient follow-up treatment of a surgical intervention in the case of a congenital elevated shoulder blade. Another area of ​​application is restoring shoulder mobility in the case of painful shoulder stiffness. After the insertion of an artificial shoulder joint, the patient wears the abduction splint for the first few weeks.

The carrying weight of the shoulder abduction cushion is not a burden. In addition, the terry cloth padding ensures that it is comfortable to wear. In the follow-up treatment of a humerus head fracture, the wide contact surface of the carrying straps must ensure a safe and stable reduction of weight in the neck region in order to ensure stress-free healing of the injured structures. Swelling in the soft tissues and lymphatic congestion can be avoided by using cross-elastic material that causes a slight compression effect.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.