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Exoskeleton time! Part one

(Part one- what I actually have access to through licensed practitioners)

I don’t know what else to call them to make them sound cool but yeah, my splints :) Well the meltable nylon like plastic that will help me prototype (btw, that is the intent of the stuff, not final product- but I’ll have enough plastic to make and replace and recycle in fact.)

Anyway so I thought I’d take a moment to share products on the shelf and availabl, including the wonders of 3D printing- and why it’s still very much in the needs heaps of support and exposure from Angels.

 

What I do keep being offered are these:

http://www.wristsupportbraces.com/c-326-without-thumb-spica.aspx

What’s so bad about them? Well that brace underneath? It pushes my ulnar out further because it is not shaped. Usually they are also rigid along the radial side. AGain this pushes my ulnar out. They also, without fail, are too large to properly hold my wrist and thus my hand in place. So they are rigid but not where they need to be. And note the extreme lack of options in reagrds to style. Heck they are all super bulky. They seem to be designed for sports not for daily living. Seriously, they are difficult to put on and take off and just ask how many times you need to use the bathroom a day. I hope I don’t have to paint a picture of germs and staying clean and dry when using public restrooms?

Add to the bulk, the sweating, the cost so people rarely buy a second so have to wash and dry them in one go, and the tendancy to wear them and not have them tailored means they are really offputting. But for me it’s because I wind up doing more damage with these than I would with something made to fit the particular changes to my hands.

Okay, so thermo plastics have been around for a while. And yep, I have had Aquaplast splints for my trigger finger. But, they are seriously expensive. And you have to pay for materials, and labour, and your appointment fees. My little trigger finger splint was $NZ110. I did not misplace a decimal point there.

You can imagine how that extrapolates up for a wrist. And I need two. But let’s still look at the options.

In NZ, again, shipments are really expensive. Ask any business or group who has to order in bulk. You are also usually looking at actual shipping. Like high seas giant ships that occasionally go missing.

Anyway, so these are not likely here:

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Sorry, had to link to the main page, but these are preformed. Yep they can be shaped to custom fit but the cost and the cost of shipping mean that I am way more likely to deal with a paper template and sheet forms. Also available above. But guess what? Those funky colours? Not too many people have my tastes so again, they are more likely to come in neutral tones.

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And I can paint, its not the most fun material to get paint to stick to but I know my rattle can products. A good scuffing and a good acrylic enamel will do it. But you are still looking at something as it is that perhaps is going to be more obvious on some skin tones than others. I’m just saying.

And here we see where a lot of the cost to the patient comes from. That is again the actual prices paid by my physios. Also, as these are sheets they are wasteful. Another added cost to everyone.

That said these products are very light. They really are, especially the perforated products. I have tried wonderfles and it is so heavy and brittle compared to this! But it is a thermo plastic and it does require theraputic as well as aesthetic eyes to make them look good.