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Thread: SaeboFlex hand orthotic

  1. #1

    Arrow SaeboFlex hand orthotic

    I haven´t seen this device here yet on the Forum so I´ll post some information about it. I believe this device may help some quads who have some hand function, but may be too weak to be effective. The company is travelling around the US to different cities to train therapists, and they will allow you to test it out for free if you attend. Click "SaeboFlex" and then on "Free Trial" to find out which citys they are visiting as well as additional contact information . If you can´t attend, you can check if a therapist is near you that has the device by simply inputting your zip code at the top of the web page. The company also has extensive locations in Greece including Crete, one in Johannesburg in South Africa and demo classes are also going on in the UK. Click under "Saebo International" for more information. I think I may head over to the UK and check this thing out first hand, since not only do we have a lot of hemiplegic stroke patients, but my left hand is weak but has some function. Price is listed at $1,690 but says that insurance can cover part or all of the cost. Look under FAQ.


    http://www.saebo.com/seaboflex.html
    Last edited by Mike C; 01-26-2007 at 12:17 PM.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  2. #2
    Mike I am an OT from the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. I have been using the SAEBO flex on stroke patients for about a year and a 1/2. I have also used it w/ some sci pt's who are able to illicit tone in their hand to make a fist. The springs help open the hand. You can go on the saebo.com website to get a phone number of a therapist in your area. Let me know if you need anymore info. Denise

  3. #3
    Hi Denise,

    Can you tell a little about the training you received from the SAEBO reps, or did you learn "on the job"? What kind of results are you getting from your hemiplegic and SCI patients? Are they buying the device for home use? Have you combined using the SAEBO with BATRAC training at all...especially with your stroke patients? Thanks in advance for your insight.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  4. #4
    I have a SaeboFlex glove. An occupational therapist talked me into getting one about a year ago. Thank goodness it was covered by my durable medical equipment benefit and I didn't have to pay out of pocket ($950, I believe). At present it's in the fancy drawstring bag it came in gathering dust in a corner. 99.9% of my outpatient OT benefit was spent on the glove- fitting, adjusting, practicing, etc. It was after I got the contraption that the OT told me I was her 1st SCI and she had only used it for stroke rehab. I have excessive tone in my right hand; fingers curled and slightly open; and I am able to sort of make a fist. I am not able to "open" the hand.

    The assumed goal after using the glove would be to be able to open and close the hand in some functional capacity. No way. I have tremendous tone and the glove does not address that. In addition, it was a huge time-consuming challenge to get the darn thing on. I definitely needed help. Lots of help. The exercise with the glove was to pick up and transfer foam "Poof" balls. I did this for a while and when the glove came off, the only result was some sore knuckles and fingertips and that same old over-toned curled up hand.

    Sorry, I've rambled on long enough and this rant probably sounds a bit harsh, but I would love to hear a SCI SaeboFlex success story. I am a very disappointed customer and sincerely hope I'm an exception.

  5. #5

    SaeboFlex success story

    My name is Glyn and I am a physiotherapist from the UK using the SaeboFlex on SCI patients. The very first incomplete spinal cord injury treated with this brace was back in August 2004. Thrown off horse, presented with bilateral active finger flexion & extension but with wrist in 45 degrees of flexion. The clinical reasoning, was that the exercise in 35 degree wrist mount on the saeboflex would shorten extensors and lengthen flexor compartment.
    This individual would not like to wear both Saeboflex at the same time so we would do one hour a day, 30 minutes each hand grasp & release.
    Within a year achieved her goal, back on a horse at a disabled riding
    centre! This case study is written and ready for submission for
    publication by an independent researcher.

    The second incomplete spinal cord injury was again a bilateral, but more
    severe. No active extension, and a very weak grasp. One of his hands now has active exension used in functional tasks every day.

    We have a few unilateral spinal cord injuries with SaeboFlex.
    One was 7 years post injury and within two months could fasten and open
    her bra two handed, the first time within 7 years. She does not use the
    saeboflex regularly anymore as her goals have been achieved.
    The other unilateral one is ongoing at the biggest UK spinal centre, stoke
    mandeville.

    I am sorry that the other memeber did not had good success with this brace but that is not always the case. There are many factors involved. I would be happy to discuss this topic further if anyone is interested.

    All the best,

    Glyn

  6. #6
    Hi Glyn,

    Is the NHS picking up the bill for this device, or is it only available through rehabilitation? Perhaps you purchased the Saebo for your patients? Have you tried it on stroke patients or those with MS? I was thinking about heading over to the UK and checking this thing out during a presentation. How long did the training take? I take it the glove is not universal...in other words you need two (left and right handed glove) if your going to offer proper therapy. Is this correct?
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  7. #7

    SaeboFlex in the United Kingdom

    Dear Mike
    Many thanks for your questions regarding the SaeboFlex in the UK. The SaeboFlex has been funded via different routes. 1. Private Practice, i.e. the SaeboFlex user pays for the splint 2. NHS Primary Care Trusts and acute NHS trusts have purchased the SaeboFlex. It is worth noting that if the NHS pays for the SaeboFlex, they need a trained clinician to fit and get an appropriate home exercise programme underway. There are many throughout England.
    Answering your second question, it was initially designed for the Stroke / Head Injury population, and is used extensively for this purpose.
    The postgraduate training course for Physiotherapists (Physical Therapists) and Occupational Therapists as a SaeboFlex clinician takes two days.
    You are correct, the SaeboFlex is a made to measure splint, so a left will not fit the right, and vice versa.
    Please do not hesitate to ask any further questions about the SaeboFlex and SaeboStretch
    Many thanks
    Glyn

  8. #8

    Saeboflex with SCI.

    This Guys and Girls is an absolute must try!


    I was fortunate enough to be the second ever incomplete spinal cord injury in the world to try the Saeboflex. Thank God I did!

    I left hospital a C5 incomplete and with only flickers in 2 of my fingers on the left hand. I have two Saeboflex's and although my right hand is weaker i can still grasp a ball with it. My left however has been trained and transformed. I can open and close all the digets on my left hand, not perfectly but good enough to use it every day functionaly, what else could I have dreamed for and maybe you feel the same?

    You have to put a lot of effort into this product but its worth every penny! The more effort you put in the greater the reward. Sounds too familiar! Ladies and Gents Contact Glyn/Saeboflex and at least try it, you would be stupid not to!

    I would also given the chance, like to thank Glyn and his team of Clinicians for all there effort and enthusiasm.

    Mike H

  9. #9

    SaeboFlex and SCI for Mike H & Glyn

    I'm happy for your success with the SaeboFlex glove, Mike H (and Glyn too). For clarification sake, I take it your hand(s) was/were "weak" and the glove strengthened and "trained" your hand to function. Correct? The reason I ask, is that I fail to see where the glove would be successful on a hand that is tight with excessive tone. It seems any success has been with a weak hand. Glyn, have you worked with anyone with excessive spasticity in their hands? Thanks!

  10. #10
    Dear JW
    Your question is a fascinating one for all those who deal with spasticity in rehabilitation. Remember that the SaeboFlex was initially developed for tight spastic hands within the stroke/head injury population. The saebo arm training protocol started to strengthen shoulders, elbows and wrists and made the tight hand looser. Some users who demonstrated no active extension on assessment got active extension back! This return of active extension is one of the reasons why so many researchers are interested in the Saebo arm training protocol. Then we used the Saeboflex with stroke/head injury hands who had some active extension without function. This group with intact extension pathways all improved with a bigger open aperture in the hand allowing greater function without the Saeboflex on.
    My clinical reasoning then took the Saeboflex to the incomplete spinal cord injury patients that I had on my caseload. The first was weak, but with active extension, the second was weak with no active extension, which got some functioning active extension back. I have set up other SaeboFlex users in the spinal cord group who are spastic with other clinicians in the UK.
    The Saebo programme may be teaching the user to control their overactive (one definition of spasticity) forearm / finger flexors, and allowing function to return. Certainly since the start of combining the Saeboflex and Saebostretch together, the results have been good, re; combating the soft tissue shortening and retraining the flexors and extensor compartments of the hand.
    Glyn

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