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Looking for a comfortable night splint

Posted by Karen P. on 11/15/02 at 02:19 (100215)

Hi all!
I was wondering if anyone here could recommend a good quality comfortable night splint.
The splint that my POD set me up (which is held in place by one strap across the top of my foot and one around my lower calf) with cuts off my circulation, leaves a big welt across the top of my foot and makes my toes go numb. I often wind up taking it off in the midle of the night.
I tried the 'N'Ice stretch'; It was very comfortable, but I found it to be of poor construction.
I really need to use a night splint, I have achilles tendonitis and PF in the same foot and if I don't use one I can barely step out of bed!
My physical therapist suggested the strassburg sock.
Anyone else have some suggestions?
Thanks a lot!
---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/15/02 at 02:44 (100219)

Karen, you're up late and I'm up early (in England) so I'll chip in here while you're still on line. I would have recommended the N'Ice Stretch, which is generally felt to be the most comfortable of night splints. Did the 'poor construction' you speak of affect its efficiency or did you just take against it for that reason? If it was comfortable and was doing it's job, why not turn a blind eye to the construction and carry on? Otherwise, try toe Strassburg Sock. There have been several informative posts by Dr Wander on it in the last couple of days, on the Ask the Foot Doctors board. You could also use the search facility to pull up past posts about it.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/15/02 at 02:46 (100220)

That should have been 'try THE Strassburg Sock' (not 'toe'). Sorry. It's still too early to be writing/typing/thinking.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

mike on 11/15/02 at 06:18 (100222)

Hi Karen the best night splint I can recommend is to have your Dr. put a short leg cast on and cut in in half after it hardens. This way you get a perfect fit that confourms to the shape of your leg and foot. Then you can wrap the two halfs together with an ace bandage. I could not stand a night splint and this worked good for me. mike

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

nancy s. on 11/15/02 at 09:24 (100234)

karen, my night splint is johnson & johnson, blue, with three wide velcro straps. it's made of some hard plastic, but cushioned with foam and covered by the blue material. it's very sturdy -- sort of loosely encases your calf and foot, but with the front fully open. to get the right fit, you cross the velcro straps over and stick them wherever they work best for you (one is over the toes, one is around the ankle area, and one is farther up the calf). it never numbed my foot or felt uncomfortable, because it was soft all over and i could adjust the straps so easily to make the whole thing tighter or looser.

it also comes with a wedge that you can use under your foot in the splint if you want to keep your foot a bit more dorsiflexed during the night.

i bought mine from my pod, but i imagine some medical supply stores must carry them, or maybe you can find them on-line.

the j&j splint hasn't been mentioned much on this board. i don't think many have tried it. but i do recommend that you check it out.

nancy
.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Paula P on 11/15/02 at 11:52 (100278)

Karen- I purchased a night splint on ebay for $22 and it is so comfortable.
The name is (A Force Dorsial splint).
Go to ebay and search for a (night splint)

Re: I think I know why most night splints are uncomfortable

Max K on 11/15/02 at 21:37 (100335)

I have tried several night splints, and all of them were uncomfortable, even the Strassburg Sock. So after thinking about it, I came to this conclusion:

A night splint works with pulling and pushing forces. The design of the night splint must hold the foot in a dorsiflexed position. Given that objective, there a design choice that has to be made of whether to distribute those forces over a large area of the foot, or over a small area.

The advantages of distributing the forces over a large area is comfort, fewer circulation problems, better patient compliance and better overall success.

Despite these obvious advantages, most night splints, including the Strassburg Sock, are designed to distribute the main pulling and pushing forces over a relatively small area of the foot or of the calf, with straps that dig into the skin, despite cushioning, and cause circulation problems and general discomfort. I tried the Strassburg Sock twice, for months at a time. It came closest to my ideal, except they used a strap on the calf that was less than an inch wide, so naturally it will slowly but surely dig into the back of your calf at night, causing problems. The strap should be wider, say 3 or 4 inches wide, and made of a thicker material capable of distributing the pulling forces over a wider area.

A night splint offered for sale on this site, called the Standard night splint, has the common design: several velcro straps, and the one that does all the work (the one in the middle) is the one that is THE THINNEST! https://helius.safe-order.net/heelspurs/a/wan/WAN1.jpg That big wide strap at the top has no function at all, and that's the one they make big and wide!

I just checked the N'ice & Strectch night splint, also sold on this website, and it has an unusual design that looks like the designer actually tried it out for a night: https://helius.safe-order.net/cgi-heelspurs/a/b.cgi?p=ns I'll consider getting that one.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:02 (100380)

Hey Julie,
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I was up late that night!

Unfortunately, the Nice Stretch pretty much fell apart after one week of use. Great idea, poor execution!

I did read the posts about the Strassburg sock and I am going to try it out.

Thanks again for the info!

---Karen

Re: Neat idea!

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:04 (100382)

Thanks Mike! If the Strassburg sock doesn't work out I'll see if I can talk my doc into it!

---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:06 (100383)

Thanks for the info Nancy, I think I have seen that one onlinr and thought it looked very comfy. If the strassburg sock doesn't work out I'll look into it.

---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:10 (100385)

Thanks for the info Nancy, I think I have seen that one onlinr and thought it looked very comfy. If the strassburg sock doesn't work out I'll look into it.

---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/16/02 at 11:29 (100399)

Karen, how unfortunate about your N'Ice Stretch. If you bought it from this website you should ask Scott for a refund. In fact wherever you got it they should give you a refund - it was obviously faulty. I don't recall any other complaints about it, only satisfaction.

Good luck with the Sock.

Re: Neat idea!

Max K on 11/16/02 at 12:56 (100408)

Here's a do-it-yourself fiberglass night splint:

http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1998/06jun/petrizzi.htm

I'd rather not try that myself, even though the doctor says 'it's relatively simple to make'. Max

Re: Neat idea!

pala on 11/16/02 at 14:17 (100419)

i will try that. thanx

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

Ed Davis, DPM on 11/21/02 at 15:11 (100818)

Karen:

I have had conversations with Ivan Brown, Phd, owner of Brown Medical who manufactures the N'Ice and Stretch concerning its poor durability.

Keep in mind that comfort and function are the most important things -- the device must be used to be effective. Lack of comfort is the biggest factor limiting night splint use. Most patients (except for some severe cases) wear the night splint consistently for 3 to 4 months which is about the lifespan of the N'Ice and Stretch. If we can avoid having to do an achilles lengthening procedure or gastrocnemius recession, the device has paid for itself many times over in terms of value and efficacy. I have tried numerous brands and types of night splints but have always come back to the N'Ice and Stretch. I do keep a few other types on hand for occasional use.
Ed

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

Karen P. on 11/21/02 at 17:03 (100829)

Thanks for the reply....
I understand what you mean about the comfort factor of the Nice Stretch, I thought it was very comfortable, but the one I had broke down after only one week. The adhesive holding the velcro to the plastic frame was not strong/durable enough to hold it down long term.
Ffor a splint that cost as much as it did, I was not impressed. Luckily I was able to return it for a refund. Maybe I just got a defective model, but at that price I didn't want to take a chance on a new one.
In the meantime I'll try the Strassburg sock , and maybe ask my POD to try the 'custom cast' method mentioned a previous post.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

Karen P. on 11/21/02 at 17:04 (100831)

Thanks for the reply....
I understand what you mean about the comfort factor of the Nice Stretch, I thought it was very comfortable, but the one I had broke down after only one week. The adhesive holding the velcro to the plastic frame was not strong/durable enough to hold it down long term.
Ffor a splint that cost as much as it did, I was not impressed. Luckily I was able to return it for a refund. Maybe I just got a defective model, but at that price I didn't want to take a chance on a new one.
In the meantime I'll try the Strassburg sock , and maybe ask my POD to try the 'custom cast' method mentioned a previous post.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

john h on 11/21/02 at 21:28 (100851)

My Nice N Stretch is still going after about a year. The velcro is getting tattered. You can buy a roll or strip of velcro which you can wrap arond which ever portion is wearing down and extend it's life. Seems to me the only thing wearing down is the velcro across the top of the foot and at the upper ankle. Buy some of the inexpensive velcro strips and you can work wonders. Scott sometimes has some that have been returned and not used which he sells at a discount.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

IanJ on 11/28/02 at 16:54 (101354)

I have the A-Force Dorsal night splint and find it quite uncomfortable and doesn't have adustments for the amount of flex. I'm looking for a new one.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/29/02 at 02:43 (101380)

Ian, click on the night splint link and you will be taken to the N'Ice Stretch, which is generally thought to be the most comfortable available.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/15/02 at 02:44 (100219)

Karen, you're up late and I'm up early (in England) so I'll chip in here while you're still on line. I would have recommended the N'Ice Stretch, which is generally felt to be the most comfortable of night splints. Did the 'poor construction' you speak of affect its efficiency or did you just take against it for that reason? If it was comfortable and was doing it's job, why not turn a blind eye to the construction and carry on? Otherwise, try toe Strassburg Sock. There have been several informative posts by Dr Wander on it in the last couple of days, on the Ask the Foot Doctors board. You could also use the search facility to pull up past posts about it.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/15/02 at 02:46 (100220)

That should have been 'try THE Strassburg Sock' (not 'toe'). Sorry. It's still too early to be writing/typing/thinking.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

mike on 11/15/02 at 06:18 (100222)

Hi Karen the best night splint I can recommend is to have your Dr. put a short leg cast on and cut in in half after it hardens. This way you get a perfect fit that confourms to the shape of your leg and foot. Then you can wrap the two halfs together with an ace bandage. I could not stand a night splint and this worked good for me. mike

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

nancy s. on 11/15/02 at 09:24 (100234)

karen, my night splint is johnson & johnson, blue, with three wide velcro straps. it's made of some hard plastic, but cushioned with foam and covered by the blue material. it's very sturdy -- sort of loosely encases your calf and foot, but with the front fully open. to get the right fit, you cross the velcro straps over and stick them wherever they work best for you (one is over the toes, one is around the ankle area, and one is farther up the calf). it never numbed my foot or felt uncomfortable, because it was soft all over and i could adjust the straps so easily to make the whole thing tighter or looser.

it also comes with a wedge that you can use under your foot in the splint if you want to keep your foot a bit more dorsiflexed during the night.

i bought mine from my pod, but i imagine some medical supply stores must carry them, or maybe you can find them on-line.

the j&j splint hasn't been mentioned much on this board. i don't think many have tried it. but i do recommend that you check it out.

nancy
.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Paula P on 11/15/02 at 11:52 (100278)

Karen- I purchased a night splint on ebay for $22 and it is so comfortable.
The name is (A Force Dorsial splint).
Go to ebay and search for a (night splint)

Re: I think I know why most night splints are uncomfortable

Max K on 11/15/02 at 21:37 (100335)

I have tried several night splints, and all of them were uncomfortable, even the Strassburg Sock. So after thinking about it, I came to this conclusion:

A night splint works with pulling and pushing forces. The design of the night splint must hold the foot in a dorsiflexed position. Given that objective, there a design choice that has to be made of whether to distribute those forces over a large area of the foot, or over a small area.

The advantages of distributing the forces over a large area is comfort, fewer circulation problems, better patient compliance and better overall success.

Despite these obvious advantages, most night splints, including the Strassburg Sock, are designed to distribute the main pulling and pushing forces over a relatively small area of the foot or of the calf, with straps that dig into the skin, despite cushioning, and cause circulation problems and general discomfort. I tried the Strassburg Sock twice, for months at a time. It came closest to my ideal, except they used a strap on the calf that was less than an inch wide, so naturally it will slowly but surely dig into the back of your calf at night, causing problems. The strap should be wider, say 3 or 4 inches wide, and made of a thicker material capable of distributing the pulling forces over a wider area.

A night splint offered for sale on this site, called the Standard night splint, has the common design: several velcro straps, and the one that does all the work (the one in the middle) is the one that is THE THINNEST! https://helius.safe-order.net/heelspurs/a/wan/WAN1.jpg That big wide strap at the top has no function at all, and that's the one they make big and wide!

I just checked the N'ice & Strectch night splint, also sold on this website, and it has an unusual design that looks like the designer actually tried it out for a night: https://helius.safe-order.net/cgi-heelspurs/a/b.cgi?p=ns I'll consider getting that one.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:02 (100380)

Hey Julie,
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I was up late that night!

Unfortunately, the Nice Stretch pretty much fell apart after one week of use. Great idea, poor execution!

I did read the posts about the Strassburg sock and I am going to try it out.

Thanks again for the info!

---Karen

Re: Neat idea!

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:04 (100382)

Thanks Mike! If the Strassburg sock doesn't work out I'll see if I can talk my doc into it!

---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:06 (100383)

Thanks for the info Nancy, I think I have seen that one onlinr and thought it looked very comfy. If the strassburg sock doesn't work out I'll look into it.

---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Karen P. on 11/16/02 at 10:10 (100385)

Thanks for the info Nancy, I think I have seen that one onlinr and thought it looked very comfy. If the strassburg sock doesn't work out I'll look into it.

---Karen

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/16/02 at 11:29 (100399)

Karen, how unfortunate about your N'Ice Stretch. If you bought it from this website you should ask Scott for a refund. In fact wherever you got it they should give you a refund - it was obviously faulty. I don't recall any other complaints about it, only satisfaction.

Good luck with the Sock.

Re: Neat idea!

Max K on 11/16/02 at 12:56 (100408)

Here's a do-it-yourself fiberglass night splint:

http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1998/06jun/petrizzi.htm

I'd rather not try that myself, even though the doctor says 'it's relatively simple to make'. Max

Re: Neat idea!

pala on 11/16/02 at 14:17 (100419)

i will try that. thanx

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

Ed Davis, DPM on 11/21/02 at 15:11 (100818)

Karen:

I have had conversations with Ivan Brown, Phd, owner of Brown Medical who manufactures the N'Ice and Stretch concerning its poor durability.

Keep in mind that comfort and function are the most important things -- the device must be used to be effective. Lack of comfort is the biggest factor limiting night splint use. Most patients (except for some severe cases) wear the night splint consistently for 3 to 4 months which is about the lifespan of the N'Ice and Stretch. If we can avoid having to do an achilles lengthening procedure or gastrocnemius recession, the device has paid for itself many times over in terms of value and efficacy. I have tried numerous brands and types of night splints but have always come back to the N'Ice and Stretch. I do keep a few other types on hand for occasional use.
Ed

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

Karen P. on 11/21/02 at 17:03 (100829)

Thanks for the reply....
I understand what you mean about the comfort factor of the Nice Stretch, I thought it was very comfortable, but the one I had broke down after only one week. The adhesive holding the velcro to the plastic frame was not strong/durable enough to hold it down long term.
Ffor a splint that cost as much as it did, I was not impressed. Luckily I was able to return it for a refund. Maybe I just got a defective model, but at that price I didn't want to take a chance on a new one.
In the meantime I'll try the Strassburg sock , and maybe ask my POD to try the 'custom cast' method mentioned a previous post.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

Karen P. on 11/21/02 at 17:04 (100831)

Thanks for the reply....
I understand what you mean about the comfort factor of the Nice Stretch, I thought it was very comfortable, but the one I had broke down after only one week. The adhesive holding the velcro to the plastic frame was not strong/durable enough to hold it down long term.
Ffor a splint that cost as much as it did, I was not impressed. Luckily I was able to return it for a refund. Maybe I just got a defective model, but at that price I didn't want to take a chance on a new one.
In the meantime I'll try the Strassburg sock , and maybe ask my POD to try the 'custom cast' method mentioned a previous post.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint -- Ivan Brown

john h on 11/21/02 at 21:28 (100851)

My Nice N Stretch is still going after about a year. The velcro is getting tattered. You can buy a roll or strip of velcro which you can wrap arond which ever portion is wearing down and extend it's life. Seems to me the only thing wearing down is the velcro across the top of the foot and at the upper ankle. Buy some of the inexpensive velcro strips and you can work wonders. Scott sometimes has some that have been returned and not used which he sells at a discount.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

IanJ on 11/28/02 at 16:54 (101354)

I have the A-Force Dorsal night splint and find it quite uncomfortable and doesn't have adustments for the amount of flex. I'm looking for a new one.

Re: Looking for a comfortable night splint

Julie on 11/29/02 at 02:43 (101380)

Ian, click on the night splint link and you will be taken to the N'Ice Stretch, which is generally thought to be the most comfortable available.