Onepaw has very kindly taken the trouble to send pictures of his flail arm splint, which he has dubbed the BORG ARM. As you can see from the pictures, it is custom built for him using basic orthopaedic splint materials, which can be easily obtained by an orthotiscist or anyone who makes splints and supports.
Onepaw has sent some written descriptions on how this was put together, but the pictures speak for themselves.
Click on each picture for a larger view.
This sling is one that I got from Mayo several years ago, but when I went back to get another I was told that they were no longer manufactured. It is the nicest sling around, so I had another one made. They are made from scuba suit material with lots of elastic. I had the replacement made from the material that hockey pants are made from, and my arm never falls out. However, the d**n thing is hot, and it is a sling--cheap, but inferior. I still use the sling when I am working outside in the winter as it keeps my arm inside my coat, and therefore warm.
The 'Borg Arm'.
Flail arm splint, belt with hook attached, wrist and thumb splint with hook for
fastening to belt, wrist splint with quick release mechanism for 'thumb' and
'fingers' hook attachment.
I hope these pictures will do some of us some good. I pretty much cooked-up the
contraption by thinking that it would be a good thing to get the weight of my arm
off of my neck. I tried this with a leather sleeve (old forarm protector from my two
arm archery days) but it cut the web of my thumb. I then went to a prosthetics
conference to see what was out there and that is when I got on this line of thinking.
The whole arm, disconnect hooks, and especially the belt hook/glove are a
cobination brain storm by myself and the two prosthetics people at
I'm sure this thing can be improved, I think it is a good set-up for anyone(like me)
who is determined to keep a flail arm. Again they aren't cheap, but maybe someone
can take the photos and brain storm with their own experts (beer drinking buddies
etc) and come-up with something even better.
The harness looks dirtier than what it is, but I do use it. The elbow locks-up well, but its best feature is that of carrying the whole arm on your belt with the glove and hook set-up that you can see on the pictures.
The spring-loaded finger hooks are on a quick connect attachment so you can interchange attachments with "the push of a button."
I've got two extra collars that I plan to weld other attachments on, like a small vice grip, and possibly a fishing pole.
The draw back, so far, with the hand practicality has been that I have no way of externally rotating my arm to get it straight to my side. As you can see in claw picture I am not holding it up, I am holding it out.
It works great if you are sitting down and can rest the arm on something, or if you want to work on something next to your belly button, but it begs for a novel improvement.
Nonetheless, it works great with the belt carry method, it gives me back some balance, it is solid, and I don't have so much hanging off my neck.
This contraption is fairly easy to stick under a loose fitting shirt or blouse.
It is also rather expensive, or it was for me, as it has to be custom fit by a
prosthetics outfit. The gloves are stock except for the hook. The belt
receiver/hook I bent out of a shelf bracket and mounted with "chicago"
screws. The glove hook is definitely overkill--though it has to be stout.