Will Hand Splinting Be a Sport in The Next Winter Games?

You may not think hand splinting is an athletic event, but in Northern Kentucky—there is world class competition.

Each year, St. Elizabeth Healthcare invites physical therapy and occupational therapy students from local universities to square off to learn more about the importance of splinting. In this year’s competition, Mount St. Joseph University’s physical therapy program, Xavier University’s occupational therapy program, and the University of Cincinnati’s physical therapy program will compete to win the seventh annual “Crosstown Splint Off.”

Meg Robinson, OTR/L, CHT, St. Elizabeth Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist, is one of the founders of this annual event. Meg is passionate about making sure students are more comfortable with splinting techniques. “Over the years I have found that many students are intimidated by splinting and the materials used in splinting. I have also seen how important splinting can be to patients. My goal with this event is to make sure our young physical therapists and occupational therapists know how to use the material and have fun learning.”

What is splinting?
Occupational and physical therapists use splints to support, immobilize, and protect limbs or joints. Splinting can be used in treating:

  • Soft-tissue or neurovascular injuries
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Arthritis
  • Burns and wounds
  • Painful joints due to inflammatory disorders

Meg’s passion in splinting also comes from an assignment she once had at a residential home treating patients with Cerebral Palsy. “I saw that some splints weren’t fitted properly and could have been doing the patient harm. Not only do young therapists need to know more about splinting they need to fully understand the anatomy so they can correctly splint a patient. This competition gets them excited about learning and teaches them the importance of their work.”

2018 Crosstown Splint Off Competition
This year, the competition was held at the St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center where university teams presented unique sculptures with splinting material and competed with therapy trivia. Xavier Occupational Therapy won.

Last year the winner was the University of Cincinnati.

If you would like to know more about St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s Hand Therapy services, visit the website or call (859) 301-5540.