About 6 million people break a bone in the United States each year. And oftentimes, splints are used to treat these injuries, helping to set your bones straight so they can heal better.
Here at 1st Choice Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California, your orthopedic health is our priority. We understand that properly caring for your splint is an important component of your recovery following an injury. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you care for your splint.
What is a splint?
A splint is an orthopedic device that supports and protects an injured or broken limb by keeping it immobilized. By keeping your limb still, the splint promotes proper healing.
Splints can be flexible or molded to your limb. They provide less support than a cast does, but they’re also generally lighter and easier to use. Splints are adjustable so that you can loosen and tighten them depending on your level of swelling. Swelling usually subsides after the initial 48-72 hours following an injury.
Caring for your splint
Keeping your splint in good condition helps your injury heal and promotes quicker recovery. Be sure to follow all of the care instructions that we provide when you receive your splint. Here are a couple of tips to always keep in mind:
Keep your splint dry
If your splint is exposed to moisture, it can weaken the materials and seriously irritate your skin. We recommend using either waterproof shields or two layers of plastic, like a garbage bag or a plastic grocery bag, to place over your splint to keep it from becoming wet when you shower or bathe. Don’t submerge or place your splint under running water even if it’s covered.
Keep dirt away
Avoid getting dirt, sand, or powder inside your splint as it can irritate your skin or any open wounds. Don’t pick at or pull any padding that may be part of your splint.
Don’t stick anything inside your splint
This can be difficult if your injured limb is itching. It’s tempting to use a long object, like a pencil or a wooden spoon, to reach an itch inside your splint. This can also irritate your skin or damage the splint.
Don’t alter the splint yourself
Even if it seems like the adjustment you’re making is minor, or you want to cut off only a small part of your splint, don’t do it. Even minor changes can alter the structure of your splint, so always leave the adjustments to us. If you suspect there’s something wrong with your splint, call us so we can make an adjustment.
Keep an eye on your skin
Skin exposed to a splint for long periods can become sensitive and irritated, so be sure to inspect your skin regularly for rashes or breakage, and let us know if you notice anything unusual.
If you need a splint or help with an existing splint, call us today at 1st Choice Urgent Care to set up an appointment.