Splints may be designed to prevent deformity by substituting for weak or absent muscle strength, as in peripheral nerve injuries, spinal cord lesions, and neu-romuscular diseases. They may be used to support, protect, or immobilize joints, allowing healing to occur after bone, tendon, vascular, nerve, joint, or soft tissue injury or inflammation. Correction of existing deformity represents another commonly encountered reason for splint application. To achieve full active joint motion potential, remodeling of joint capsular structures, tendon adhesions, or soft tissues often requires prolonged slow, gentle, passive traction that is best provided by splinting. Splints also may provide directional control for coordination problems and serve as a base for attachment of specialized devices that may facilitate and enhance hand function.
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