Nelson Gadget-No. 9
Kurt B. Nelson, C.O. *
The problem of hammer toes has given all of us a great deal of trouble. Here, we are showing a simple and inexpensive dorsal night splint that really works. It can also be used for contracted fingers.
The pictures shown are drawings of the longitudinal cross section through the third toe of a foot. The first picture is a normal position of a tightly contracted toe; the second picture is the same toe with the splint in place after it has been used for some time factual case).
To attach the splint, hold it in a vertical position, hook it under the toe then fold it back onto the upper part of the foot and fasten strap. The front hook on the splint must cover the entire plantar facet of the distal joint and a counter pressure pad of foam rubber must cover the dorsal portion of the toe at the joints. The sides of the splint serve to keep the toe lined up. Care must be taken to start the correction slowly at first and gradually bend the hook up as the tension of the toe eases. The process actually stretches the tendon. The splint must be worn regularly every night.
The details below are for making a third toe splint on a size ten foot (large). It is made of half-hard, 1/16" aluminum. 1/2" wide strips riveted to form a cross. From rivet to the front is 2 1/2", from rivet to back is 3" and the cross piece is 2 1/2" long. Bend the sides down sharply and shape front hook to lift toe allowing clearance for the nail and end of toe. Attach webbing strap at opposite end. We use Velcro fastener. Cover the splint all over with moleskin adhesive (this can be replaced by the wearer). Now place a strip of adhesive foam rubber inside splint to ease pressure on the upper surface of the joints. Caution: If the webbing strap is drawn too tight, it may cause some irritation to the web between the toes. It will stay on the toe without being worn tight.
This splint is made in three sizes (small, medium, large) according to size of foot or hand. The same splint is interchangeable for all toes, right or left.
Fig. 1, Fig. 2