Why Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Sometimes Requires Splinting

People with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, often suffer from hypermobility. People with hypermobility often suffer from chronic dislocations or subluxations and are frequently known as “double jointed.” There are a variety of splints that can be used to help with the dislocation of the fingers and thumbs. Below we will explore a few of the options that are available to help decrease hyperextension and increase stability in the joints. It should be noted, that these splints are to help decrease subluxation and dislocations, but people should also focus on trying to strengthen their joints and not become reliant on splints as they can cause people to lose the strength they have. Here are some options for splinting for EDS.

Silver Ring Splint

This is a picture of a silver ring splint, specifically called Swan Neck Splint. This splint allows for flexion of the joint while blocking hyperextension of the joint. This splint is best for people with mild to moderate hyperextension.

Swan Neck Finger Splint

This is a picture of a Boutonniere Silver Ring Splint. This splint is used for people who have more severe hyperextension and subluxation of the finger joints. This splint does allow for flexion of the finger.

Boutonniere Silver Ring Splint

Oval- 8 Finger Splints

This splint is good for giving the various finger joints increased stability, as seen in the second picture, you can wear more than one splint on this same finger if you need stability at both joints.

Oval-8 Finger Splint
Oval-8 Finger Splint both sides of finger

Wrist Splint

Wrist Cock-up Splint

A wrist cock-up splint is a prefabricated splint with a metal piece that runs along the palmar side of the hand and wrist that gives increased support. This splint can allow your wrist to rest and decrease pressure on your carpal bones. This splint should be worn during periods of increased physical activity in order to decrease dislocations and increase stability.

These splints can be very helpful for people who have hypermobility and suffer from hyperextension and/or dislocations. However, these splints also need to be worn with caution.  It is common to see that over-reliance on these splints can cause a loss of strength in the joint being supported by the splint. It is recommended that before purchasing these splints you meet with a PT or OT that can help you get the correct size and fit to ensure proper wearing!


Wrist Cock-up Splint

Splinting for EDS can be overwhelming.

Working with a skilled EDS therapist can help get you in the right splint for your needs.

Contact our Occupational Therapists today to schedule your appointment.

Adrienne Loukopoulos graduated from St. Norbert College with a bachelors of science with a biomedical concentration. She then pursued Occupational Therapy at Mount Mary University where she graduated with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy.