Thumb Brace, Part 3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When Cayman was 6 months old she wore this thumb brace...



Then when she was 9 months of age, that old brace was switched out for this clunky one that she wore only at night...



At 12 months of age she moved onto to this one, which is her current thumb brace today...

What is the purpose of these thumb braces? In case you missed it, here's the recap:

For Cayman, it is natural for her left thumb to stay in a flexed position. The problem with that is, it is an unnatural position for a thumb to remain. Picking up objects and sometimes holding them with her left hand can be a bit of a challenge unless that right hand is always there to assist the left hand's actions. Cayman has become right hand dominate because of it, and sometimes her left hand just gets left out (no pun intended). The brace pulls her thumb out of her palm, giving it a good stretch to those muscles that have become so tight. And without her thumb tucked into her palm, it is a lot easier for her to hold onto toys.

We have seen improvements.

This is her thumb at 6 months old...
Her thumb actually laid onto top of the palm of her hand, touching it.


Here is Cayman's thumb now...Her thumb, even though still in a flexed position, is much further away from the palm of her hand.

Cayman has gained some confidence in her ability with her left hand. Sometimes she will even reach for toys and try to pick them up without the right hand always there to guide the action.

She still cannot voluntarily unflex her thumb though. We're really not sure if she will ever gain that ability. But Cayman is adapting and learning how to use her hand regardless of the limitations the immobility of her thumb presence. I feel so proud of her for that. Perhaps that is just the beginning of her not letting any of her handicaps limit her to discovering the world as she pleases.


thumb brace, Part I
thumb brace, Part II

11 Showin' Comment Love:

Sarah said...

Violet has used those too and now has hand and arm splints, they are fantastic!

Katie said...

way to go Cayman.

YAY for improvements!

Sue said...

I don't think of Cayman being 'handicapped'....I think she just has more 'challanges' than others....and after reading and seeing how Cayman has done with these 'challanges'....the world is hers to discover!! Of course it helps to have the parents she does too....great job!!

Beth said...

I don't think Cayman thinks she is "handicapped" because her parents don't let her know it!! I am glad the thumb braces seem to at least be helping! She is too cute!!!

Josephine said...

Oh how interesting! I didn't know about this before! Isn't it amazing that these sweet babies get used to things that would drive us crazy? Cayman probably doesn't really mind going to sleep with that brace on because she always has, but I think I would hate it! Just like Avery's eye patch - I put one on once to see what it felt like, and it was so uncomfortable, but Avery's used to it :)

Carla said...

awesome post! I'll have to Little Man's PT. He has outgrown his Benik gloves & I have been looking into options for him:) Thanks for sharing & way to go Cayman!

Lisa said...

I loved seeing those comparison photos. Such wonderful progress :)

Sara said...

Isn't it amazing how the littest imporvements seem to be the biggest. I enjoy watching Cayman learn and improve so much! Kadyn can pop his thumb in and out of place, it's scary!

Tara said...

Michelle is the same in many ways. She too has an issue with her left arm/hand. For a while she wore splints. Then she became allergic to neopreen. So the splints went. Then we started hand therapy. Now she actually transfers objects from one hand to another. In an adaptive sort of way.

Way to go Cayman!

Tyler said...

What great progress. Tyler has had 3 different hand splints and were very similar to the 3 Cayman has. He currently does not wear any. His thumbs are still somewhat in a flexed position when in a relaxed position. But when he is grabbing for toys and other things he opens his thumb out around the object. We never thought they would get stretched out as much as they have but they did. So I know Cayman's thumb will continue to get stretched out.

Another thing we did was find toys that were a little wider for him to wrap his hands and thumbs around. His favorite is his minature bat.

Diane, Tyler's mom

David said...

is lisa going to the cleveland conference too?