University of Twente Student Theses


A laser-cut thermoformed orthosis for distal radius fractures

Helden, T. van (2020) A laser-cut thermoformed orthosis for distal radius fractures.

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Abstract:Background - Distal radius fractures are the most common type of orthopaedic fractures. Treatment is usually performed by immobilizing the wrist in a plaster cast for 3-5 weeks. However, these casts suffer from poor ventilation and do not always fit properly which can result in complications such as cutaneous diseases, bone and joint injuries or malunion. Therefore 3D printed personalised orthoses are investigated to tackle these problems. However, long manufacture times slow down or restrict implementation. Consequently, in this thesis, the goal was to develop a method to quickly manufacture an orthosis for distal radius fractures. But to test the method, an algorithm had to be developed because no open-source algorithms were able to produce a (2D) orthosis directly. Design – The goal was achieved by producing the orthosis flat instead of in 3D by laser cutting a thermoformable sheet of plastic. Results – The orthosis was 5 times less stiff than a conventional cast. Comfort was overall sufficient, but lacked in the thumb region Conclusion –The combination of designing flat and laser cutting can produce an orthosis significantly faster than 3D printing. Further testing and improvement of the wear comfort are necessary to start a pilot study with patients.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:44 medicine
Programme:Technical Medicine MSc (60033)
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