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Thread: E-Stim for fingers

  1. #1

    E-Stim for fingers

    My husband has had no movement in his fingers since injury...4+ yrs...his fingers did not tighten or draw up (sorry for poor description) now they are starting to bend and are harder to keep straight...he DOES NOT want this....we do stretching and he wears a splint every night...

    My ?? has anyone had success with e-stim on fingers preventing this or helping with movement. If so, who helped a PT, physiatrist, SCI center?
    We are in South Cal any suggestions of who to see?

    Thanks

    I am posting in Equipment also

  2. #2
    Aspen,

    E-stimulation (Ness Handmaster) can help extend the fingers to prevent the so-called claw deformity (Source) but other important and effective therapies include:
    • passive stretching (physical therapy).
    • orthoses to spread and extend the fingers (Source).
    • tone reducing orthoses (Source).
    • tendon transfer (surgery)

    Wise.

  3. #3
    My daughter's left hand starting curling into a soft fist five months post injury, since then she hasn't had much success with full finger extension. She did try botox once, to help straighten her weaker muscles, and so that she could fully extend her fingers, but it wasn't very successful. Bruce has botox injections and it helps keep his hands from going into a fist. Perhaps e-stim might help...

  4. #4
    What is his actual level of injury? Does he have tenodesis? If so, he could have a functional grip by letting slight flexion contracture of his fingers occur, and using FES for extension could take this important function away. If it is a higher injury and he is concerned about contractures for cosmetic or hygiene reasons, then good ROM and use of resting hand splints at night should prevent severe contracture. Botox can be used if appropriate. A flat hand actually looks less normal than a slight curl.

    Rancho Los Amigos has excellent hand therapists and SCI physicians in their clinics. I would recommend you get a consult there.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    I have claw hands and decent tenodesis in my right hand. Having my fingers flexed a little bit before about my hand down helps me considerably with pulling or picking stuff up. I talked to a physical therapist about straightening them out but she said that would ruin quite a bit of my ability to pick stuff up so I just leave them alone now and stretch them out when they get tight from spasms. I let them curl up a little bit, especially if he has any wrist flexion. Even if he doesn't, they make great hooks or they're even better at scratching your head.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  6. #6
    My fingers are curled on both hands. I have strong wrist extensors which helps me grip and pick things up. Lots of people are blown away that I have no finger movement because of the way I use my hands. As others have stated it depends upon the injury but curled fingers are definitely beneficial in my case.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WADDiE
    My fingers are curled on both hands. I have strong wrist extensors which helps me grip and pick things up. Lots of people are blown away that I have no finger movement because of the way I use my hands. As others have stated it depends upon the injury but curled fingers are definitely beneficial in my case.
    X2..........

    ........ and I can't stress enough how much poorer my quality of life would be if it were not for this ability.

  8. #8
    By no means, does he want to staighten his fingers. It is a a godsend to have curled fingers as a quad, although I've seen several that somehow survive w/ straight fingers. Along w/ wrist flexion,they are so important.

    However, I had e-stim on my wrist flexors to increase my grip. It helped dramatically!

  9. #9
    Aspen,

    I was just reminded by somebody that I should have said occupational therapist in addition or instead of physical therapy for the hand. Occupational therapists are trained to work with the hands and have extensive knowledge of various orthoses and splints for the fingers. Physical therapists have experience with the electrical stimulation. They often work together as a team but I need to mention occupational therapists.

    Wise.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aspen
    My husband has had no movement in his fingers since injury...4+ yrs...his fingers did not tighten or draw up (sorry for poor description) now they are starting to bend and are harder to keep straight...he DOES NOT want this....we do stretching and he wears a splint every night...

    My ?? has anyone had success with e-stim on fingers preventing this or helping with movement. If so, who helped a PT, physiatrist, SCI center?
    We are in South Cal any suggestions of who to see?

    Thanks

    I am posting in Equipment also
    Hi Aspen,Looks like you left VA. I have partialclawling on my dominate hand and use e-stim to assist me in opening and closing my fingers. I was completely unable to open my pinkie and ring finger and only partially open mymiddle finger. The estim is placed on the pad of my palm as well as along the carpal tunnel area. I have the estim set to pulse for opening and closing. Mom01 I see Becka where your daughter went for awhile,she set up my program and I do it at home. I have found that the volicity I set at is a gentle balance.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

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