An orthosis is a device that can be applied to almost any body part to promote healing or assist with functional ability. Orthoses serve many different purposes: to stabilize or immobilize a joint, protect limbs from further injury, or prevent and correct deformity or contracture. When designing an orthosis, a client-centred approach helps create an orthosis tailored to the client's unique needs. Using a biopsychosocial approach or the Person-Environment-Occupation model, an occupational therapist can help address the client's physical, social, and psychological needs in the context of their environments and various roles. In addition to providing joint stabilization or protection of vulnerable tissues, orthoses should promote emotional and physical wellbeing and allow clients to engage in meaningful occupations. Let's take a look at some orthotic designs and their impact on joint mobility. Nonarticular orthosis - does not cross any joints and has no direct effect on joint mobility - primarily serves to protect a region of bone such as a fracture Static orthosis - immobilizes one or more joints - helps to prevent contractors and maintain tissue length - stabilizes injuries to promote healing - could reduce the tone of spastic muscles Static motion-blocking orthoses - allows for full-motion in a single direction but prevents motion in the opposite direction - commonly used to protect against trigger finger and swan-neck deformity Serial-static orthoses - immobilize one or more joints - designed to reduce tone or spastic muscles - correct contractures by applying gentle and gradual stretch - can be reheated and remolded multiple times Static progressive orthoses - immobilize one or more joints - design to correct contractures by applying gentle and gradual stretch - is not remolded like serial-static orthoses - can be adjusted in small increments using Velcro, straps, or other elastic or non-elastic components Dynamic orthoses - applies a passive force in one direction and allows for active motion in the opposite direction - can also be used to apply gentle stretch similar to static progressive orthoses Reference: McKee, Pat, and Leanne Morgan. Orthotics in Rehabilitation: Splinting the Hand and Body. F.A. Davis, 1998.