A Different Way to Splint in Rheumatoid Arthritis

DigiSplint is a Canadian company that designs custom made splints to stop the progression of deformities. This business caught my eye recently at the Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting in Montreal, where they had a booth.

As a pharmacist at Charlton Health, I often see patients with RA and their hand appearance can often reflect the impact of their disease. Not only is pain, disability, and grip strength a concern for these people, there is also concern about the appearance of the hands. We are grateful to the advances in medicine that our newer disease modifying therapies such as biologics have prevented joint damage and deformities.  However, for many patients who had RA before newer therapies were available, living with joint damage and tissue deformities can be a reality.  Examples of this range from flexor tenosynovitis, ulnar deviation, boutonniere deformity, and swan neck deformity.  In addition to exercise programs developed by an occupational therapist, splinting is a method to improve function and slow the progression of disease deformity. Surgery is a more drastic option.

Metal ring splints are a way to reduce the progression of deformity. DigiSplint is a business in Guelph, Ontario. Derek, the owner, is a goldsmith by trade, and his beautiful selection of splint jewelry on display at this conference was a testament to his experience in creating beautiful yet purposeful jewelry.

For the person with RA who wishes to combine fashion with purpose, you may wish to visit Derek at www.digisplint.ca


Janice Maretzki is a pharmacist at Charlton Health who recently attended the Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting in Montreal.

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