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How to Care for Your Splint

Injuries happen, and people get them for a wide variety of reasons. Sports, playing, work, even aging can all lead to the possibility of a tendon tearing or a bone fracturing or worse. In fact, 6 million people per year in the United States alone break a bone, and it happens frequently in both children and adults. And getting an injury like this often means getting a splint to help keep it in place as it heals. So how do you take care of the splint while you’re healing?

Dr. Yadwinder Kang and our team at 1st Choice Urgent Care have decades of experience helping with injuries and splinting them.

What does a splint do?

When you have a fracture or broken bone, setting and supporting it as it heals is a must in order for the body part to heal properly. A splint is a type of orthopedic device that immobilizes a limb until it heals. The other type of device used for immobilizing limbs is a cast. However, unlike a cast, splints (which are also called half casts) are easier to tighten or loosen to ease comfort. The choice between using a splint or a cast depends on the severity of the injury and how much support it needs.

What types are available?

While splints can be custom made to fit the needs of specific injuries, there are a few different types of splint:

Rigid splint

This splint can be made from a variety of materials (hard plastic, cardboard, metal, wood, etc) and should be well padded. It should also extend to one joint above or below the fracture.

Soft splint

Air, sling, and swathe splints are common types of soft splints, which don’t use a rigid brace to keep the body part in place. They are good for clavicle, shoulder, upper arm and elbow injuries as well as certain forearm injuries.

Traction splint

Mainly designed for fractures in the leg and pelvis, the traction splint pulls on the ankle while applying counter traction to the pelvis and the leg is stabilized on both sides with metal rods. The result keeps the leg immobilized.

How do you take care of them?

There are some basic things you can do to take care of your splint during recovery. Keeping it dry will prevent irritation to the skin and weakening the splint. 

Do your best to keep your splint clean. While many can be removed temporarily for cleaning, it’s best to keep the splint on at all times.

Avoid tearing or pulling at the padding if it becomes uncomfortable. Instead, see your doctor to have it adjusted. 

If you have excessive itching in the splint, avoid using objects to reach in and scratch it. Again, see your doctor to adjust it. Follow Dr. Kang’s instructions and keep the splint in good condition.

Don’t make any alterations to your splint. This includes, shaving, trimming, or modifying in any way. Dr. Kang positions your injured body part in a specific way to promote healing, but if you change the splint, it could affect the outcome.

So, if you have an injury and it requires a splint, make an appointment with Dr. Kang and 1st Choice Urgent Care to start on the road to recovery.

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