Thomas rail

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Thomas rail

The Thomas splint or Thomas splint (also called "Thomas splint ", after Hugh Owen Thomas , British orthopedist) was originally a straightening splint developed to treat thigh fractures . Today modified Thomas splints, called Mainz orthoses , are still used to relieve the hip joint , e.g. B. in Perthes disease , in order to prevent wear and abnormal deformation of the hip joint head by relieving the child's hip joint and at the same time to enable the bone substance of the hip joint to be strengthened during the growth phase.

In the simplest form, the Thomassschiene consists of a tube seat (a kind of ring around the upper thigh, on which the ischial tuberosity rests) and two metal bands that run along the right and left of the leg and end in a walking stirrup at the bottom. The splint is held on the leg with cuffs. For older children, the splint can also have a knee joint. In order to facilitate acceptance, appropriate rails for children are designed to be as light as possible and colorfully suitable for children. The figure on the right shows a standard model.

In order to make it easier to roll, a curved sole plate can be used instead of the walking stirrup (as is usual with the Mainz orthosis ). Since the affected foot is hanging loosely, equinus foot care must be taken. A spring-loaded support for the ball of the foot, on which the foot rests loosely, has proven to be best. In the past, so-called pointed foot reins were also used for this. If the children enjoy moving around and also leave out the stocking, passive equinus foot care is often unnecessary. The heel of the affected leg hovers a few centimeters above the ground even under load. Therefore, the shoe sole is raised accordingly on the opposite side. If no shoe is worn on the diseased leg and a ready-made shoe with a thick sole is used, this can be bypassed under certain circumstances.

See also


  • Carsten Rieger: The importance of the Thomas splint in the therapy of Perthes' disease . - Münster, Univ., Diss., 1996
  • Albrecht J. Rieth: Results and treatment of Perthes' disease with a Thomas splint and an internal splitting device . - Tübingen, Univ., Diss., 1979