New design of dynamic orthoses for neurological conditions.
Repetitive task-specific training appears to improve upper extremity function among individuals with neurological injuries. However, treatment options are limited for neurological patients who cannot effectively incorporate their hand consistently for functional grasp and release/prehension activities. Traditional therapy approaches are not considered to be effective in controlled clinical trials. However, constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) has shown to be a successful treatment approach for patients who exhibit some wrist and finger extension. The vast majority of stroke survivors, head injury and incomplete spinal cord Injury patients do not exhibit sufficient wrist and/or finger extension to qualify for CIMT. Patients with moderate to severe upper extremity hemiparesis are therefore unable to benefit from the latest advances in neuro-rehabilitation. The SaeboFlex and SaeboReach Functional Dynamic Orthoses have the biomechanical advantage in allowing prehension/grasp and release activities for individuals with moderate to severe hemiparesis. These orthoses are designed to position the neurological wrist and fingers into extension for proper functional training. This article describes Saebo's functional dynamic orthoses--the SaeboFlex, SaeboReach, and the SaeboStretch dynamic resting hand splint for contracture prevention--and summarizes developing evidence for the orthoses in the clinic/rehabilitation environment. This is a review article.DOI: 10.3233/NRE-2011-0632