Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I recently dislocated my elbow and had to wear a splint for ten days. I am now out of the splint and my elbow is very stiff. My doctor recommended a dynamic turnbuckle splint to help regain my range of motion. What is this and are there other options?

A dynamic turnbuckle splint has a hinge at the elbow and a mechanism that allows some movement of the elbow while being stretched the rest of the time. These splints are worn for anywhere from six to 24 hours a day as they work by applying a low load prolonged stretch to help elongate soft tissue and gain range of motion at the elbow. These splints typically cause little discomfort to the patient. The turnbuckle feature allows the hand to pronate and supinate, or twist up and down. Another option would be a static splint which allows less freedom of movement and stretches more aggressively for shorter periods of time. You can discuss with your physician which splint would be best for you. Regardless of the choice in splinting, it is important to allow the stretch and not overprotect. The greatest gains in range of motion are made in the first three months and can continue for up to a year.


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