CHILDREN suffering from nerve damage are recovering more quickly and effectively thanks to innovative new hand splints - created at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital.

After a hand fracture or dislocation, patients often suffer reduced movement as a result of their injuries.

Once healed, patients need therapy to strengthen the muscles and tendons in their hand to restore their full movement.

But occupational therapists at the Alexandra Hospital found children often don’t complete their exercises in order to strengthen their hands again.

To help this, the specialist staff have created inventive new splints, which are personalised to each patient and involve games or mini toys to encourage children to do their exercises.

By making the exercises personal and meaningful staff have noticed improved outcomes for patients.

10-year-old, Lydia Amor was suffering from long term nerve damage and hypersensitivity after breaking and dislocating three fingers.

To help Lydia regain the full range of movement in her fingers and reduce her hypersensitivity, occupational therapist Sunita Farmah built Lydia a special hand splint that involves her making specific movements to run a tiny ball through a toy maze made from Thermoplastic on the back of her hand.

Completing the toy maze involves Lydia having to improve the range of movement in her wrist to move the ball around the maze in the splint.

Lydia’s mum, Katie said: “Sunita has helped Lydia gain better use of her hand with her ongoing patience and creativity. She goes above and beyond and this new splint has added an element of fun to Lydia's therapy.

“Lydia also likes the idea that the splint is made especially for her as it makes her feel special, so she can forget about the pain and enjoy the fun the splint creates.”

Sunita and her colleagues have built various different games and puzzles into hand splints, to encourage children to move their hands in different ways and improve their movement without it feeling like a chore.

Sunita said: “We’re trained to look at the whole person, not just at their hand. So we try to make our treatments meaningful and personalised to them.

"We know some of our children don’t like to do the exercises they’re given, so we try to make it fun for them and make it a good challenge for them to complete.”