Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions

presented by Deborah A Schwartz

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Orthoses for immobilization can also be applied to specific populations for a variety of goals beyond support and protection. Therapists may be required to apply orthoses to the upper extremity presenting with abnormal or increased muscle tone as seen in patients with neurological conditions such as post brain trauma or stroke. Increased muscle tone can lead to soft tissue contractures, muscle and tendon shortening and joint deformities. In this course, orthoses designed to maintain muscle and soft tissue length and prevent joint contractures are described.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Deborah A  Schwartz, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

    Deborah A Schwartz, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

    Deborah A Schwartz is a hand therapist with over 34 years of experience as a practicing clinician. She has worked at Orfit Industries America for the past ten and a half years promoting product awareness and offering a variety of educational programming on orthotic fabrication. Debby is an active member of the American Society of Hand Therapy (ASHT) and has participated in the International Federation of Societies of Hand Therapy (IFSHT) meetings as well. She has presented on a variety of hand therapy topics both at national and international conferences, and has written a number of articles for hand therapy publications, including the Journal of Hand Therapy, the British Journal of Hand Therapy, HAND, www.exploringhandtherapy.com, and OT Practice. Debby completed her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. She presently teaches orthotic fabrication workshops for Orfit Industries America for both student Occupational Therapists and advanced clinicians. She is also an adjunct professor at the Occupational Therapy department of Touro College in New York City, where she teaches orthotic fabrication and an elective on Hand Therapy. Debby is currently writing several book chapters for hand therapy references, and collaborating on a text book of orthotic fabrication.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions: The Elbow

    1. Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions: The Elbow

    This chapter will cover conditions of the elbow that would benefit from positioning in an orthosis to maintain tissue length and prevent joint contractures. This volar based elbow orthosis will be described in detail regarding the appropriate thermoplastic material selection, pattern making, and fabrication techniques. Additional tips and tricks will be offered in an easy to follow format.

  2. Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions: The Anterior Based Elbow Orthosis

    2. Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions: The Anterior Based Elbow Orthosis

    Many conditions require using an Anterior Elbow Orthosis as an intervention.  This chapter details these conditions and offers an easy method for fabrication of an Anterior Elbow Orthosis along with information on appropriate thermoplastic materials.

  3. Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions: The Anti- Spasticity Orthosis

    3. Specific Orthoses for Neurological Conditions: The Anti- Spasticity Orthosis

    This chapter will cover conditions of the forearm, wrist, hand and fingers that would benefit from positioning in an orthosis to maintain tissue length and prevent joint contractures. This anti- spasticity orthosis will be described in detail regarding the appropriate thermoplastic material selection, pattern making, and fabrication techniques. Additional tips and tricks will be offered in an easy to follow format.