ITO: Introduction to Orthoses

This two-day course is designed to provide the non-specialist, as well as those new to the hand therapy specialty, with the skills and knowledge necessary to select, design and fabricate a variety of static orthoses commonly used in the treatment of hand therapy conditions. Mechanical principles, materials and handling characteristics will be reviewed, and clinical reasoning used to determine decision-making used in orthosis fabrication. During the lab portion, the therapist will apply the basic skills needed to fabricate static orthoses used in hand therapy practice. L-code identifiers will also be reviewed in this course.

  • Identify three different anatomical landmarks and appropriate fabrication considerations to ensure proper fit in a variety of orthoses
  • Describe three mechanical principles used to ensure proper fit and orthosis effectiveness for a variety of orthoses
  • Using industry terminology, describe the similarities and differences in handling characteristics of the variety of presented materials that influence the decisions made in orthosis fabrication
  • Identify precautions, contraindications, safety measures, and tool selection in orthosis fabrication
  • Design appropriate orthosis wear schedules and follow-up care considerations for various conditions
  • Apply clinical reasoning to properly fabricate the following finger, hand, forearm, and elbow based orthoses:  Wrist immobilization, long and short thumb spica, ulnar gutter, trigger finger, and finger gutter
  • Identify alternative prefabricated orthosis options for a variety of upper extremity conditions
  • Select appropriate time-based and service-based L-codes for orthoses to bill appropriately
  • Independently design an orthosis, given a case study, that addresses a wrist/thumb condition (DeQuervains)

Day 1

  • 8:00 Review of Course Objectives
  • 8:30 Goals of Orthosis Fabrication
  • 9:00 Lab – Review of orthosis equipment, supplies, and materials
  • 9:45 BREAK for self-reflection
  • 10:00 Fundamentals of Orthosis Fabrication
    • Anatomical considerations
    • Tissue healing
    • Mechanical principles
    • Orthotic fabrication process
  • 10:30 Lab – Posterior Elbow Orthosis (aka “Long Arm Splint”)
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 12:45 Wrist Immobilization Orthoses – Indications
  • 1:00 Lab – Wrist Immobilization Orthosis – Forearm-based
  • 2:15 Ulnar Gutter Orthoses – Indications
  • 2:30 Lab – Ulnar Gutter Orthosis – Forearm-based
  • 3:45 BREAK for self reflection
  • 4:00 Question and Answer / Wrap Up for the Day
  • 5:00 Adjourn


Day 2

  • 8:00 Review/Questions from Day 1
  • 8:30 Thumb Spica Orthoses – Indications
  • 9:00 Lab – Thumb Spica Orthosis – hand-based variations
  • 10:15 BREAK for self-reflection
  • 10:30 Lab – Thumb Spica Orthosis – forearm-based variations
  • 12:00 LUNCH
  • 1:00 Finger Based Orthoses – indications
  • 1:30 Lab – Finger Based Orthoses
  • 2:00 Lab – Trigger Finger Orthoses
  • 2:45 BREAK for self-reflection
  • 3:00 Lab – Tips and Tricks Using Strapping
    • Composite Flexion Cuff
    • MP/PIP flexion strap
    • Tadpole Technique
  • 4:00 Case Studies, learner reflection time and Question and Anwers
  • 4:30 Adjourn


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Currently, there are no ITO: Introduction to Orthoses courses available. Please contact us for more information or to request a course.

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