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The McKie Thumb Splint was designed by Ann McKie, an NDT-trained pediatric occupational therapist working with developmentally disabled children in northeastern Minnesota. The design for the splint, she says, was inspired by love for the children she served. Parents, adult clients, doctors and therapists around the world attest to the effectiveness of the splint.
In October 1996, the U.S. Patent Office granted her patent. McKie completed her masters thesis research on the splint’s effectiveness and received her Master of Science degree in Therapeutic Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1998.
In early 1997 when the University of Wisconsin hospital faxed the very first order for several sizes of splints, McKie Splints, the company, formally came into being. Because they are such a valuable therapeutic tool, supination straps (first introduced in 1988 by occupational therapists Christine Casey and Ellen Kratz) were included in the product line. Colors as well as adult and neonatal sizes, were added in response to a wider need. Requests for customization of splints and straps helped us see this too should be a standard offering. In 2006 a call from a therapist to design a wrist-hand orthosis resulted in our custom splint, the Allyson splint (named after Allyson, the first user).
More recently, along with Linda Gabriel, PhD and Debby Schwartz, PhD, McKie coauthored the Pediatric Splinting chapter in the 2014 edition of Introduction to Splinting, A Clinical Reasoning and Problem-Solving Approach by Brenda Coppard and Helene Lohman.
While originally created with only children in mind, the various applications of this simple, dynamic design have revealed themselves over time. Adults with stroke, children with brachial plexus injury, cerebral palsy or arthrogryposis, individuals with thumb weakness, folks who experience thumb trauma, older adults with arthritis at the base of the thumb…..have all benefited from our products.