The evaluation framework presented here defines a three-tier hierarchy of the functional goals of rehabilitation, using the tenodesis splint as an example of an orthosis designed to improve limb function. These goals are combined with five categories of evaluative criteria to create a matrix. Based upon the key validity assumptions underlying the goals, conjoint criteria are suggested. Directions of development and inquiry are indicated. The matrix illustrates the separation as well as the integration of goal levels and evaluative categories; it sets the stage for the proper context and relative importance of specific splinting. This framework will increase the validity of criteria for orthotics evaluation in the design of future clinical studies.