Monday, June 13, 2011

Doctor visit and v11

Finger check-up went well. Doctor wants to wait another 4 weeks just to be sure.

He also wants me to keep the finger straighter. This translates into a splint that doesn't have as much gap proximal to the fingernail and cuticle (aka the area just behind the nail).

Had some great conversations with their therapist who makes custom splints. Hopefully, we can work together to improve splint designs. Left her some of my prototypes that use rare earth magnets as joints.

Splint v11 creation

I've gotten very quick at making splints. But part of this is that I'm reusing previously colored plastic and pieces of cut/cleaned rubber tubing.

1. Prep fingernail. Clean and remove old nail polish. If the nail is not clean, thermal plastic will stick and make shaping very difficult.

2. Secure bottom part of finger with temporary splint to hold it secure.

3. Prep plastic and get > 200deg. Let cool a little bit. Overheating allows thorough mixing and a little bit longer work time. WARNING: it is very sticky and will burn at any temperature > 160deg.

4. Roll into a thin rods.
Note: I'm using a cheap, non-stick cookie sheet as a mat.

5. Lay plastic into rubber armistice. This helps figure out how much plastic is needed. (See a different post on how to make the rubber armistice)

6. Let cool a little bit and place on finger. Spread rubber tubing near knuckle side to create a V shape.

7. Take off finger. Let cool.
    8. Coat fingernail with 2 applications of Matte Nail Strengthener. Let dry completely.

    9. Heat head of splint slightly and apply to the fingernail. It will bond to the nail polish.

    10. Remove temporary bottom splint and tape plastic splint using Wound Closure tape.

    11. Apply another coat of Nail Strengthener to the nail and plastic boundary to seal it. You should re-apply more coats every couple of days.

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