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Orthopedic Splints

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ORTHOPEDIC SPLINTS

 

A splint is a device used to provide support to bones and muscles that have been broken or strained, so that they can heal.

Splints are made up of material that is initially soft so that it can be form-fitted to your child’s limb. That material hardens to provide the support that the injured extremity needs. Padding and an elastic wrap (ACE) bandage are also used to form the splint.

A splint will help to decrease pain, keep the injured part still and safe from further injury; and allow the injury to heal.

TAKING CARE OF THE SPLINT:

  • Do not remove the elastic wrap bandage. This is what holds the splint in place. Only your health care provider/doctor should remove it or give you instructions on when to remove it.
  • Keep the splint dry. If the material gets wet, it will become soft and it will not support the injured part. Your child’s skin could also be injured from being in contact with the wet splint.
  • Bathing. Babies and toddlers can be sponge-bathed. For older children, you can prop the arm or leg on the side of the bathtub. Put only a couple of inches of water in the tub and help them bathe. After rinsing, drain the tub and dry your child.
  • Do not allow anything to get inside the splint. Sand or loose dirt can work its way up into the splint and cause the skin to get irritated.
  • Keep the injured part elevated. Use pillows or the sling provided to help keep the injured part elevated.

WATCH FOR THE FOLLOWING:

  • Numbness, tingling, coldness, swelling or change in color beyond the end of the splint.
  • Worsening pain anywhere in the injured part.
  • Loosening or tightening of the splint.
  • Any new unexpected symptoms.

REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Keep the injured part elevated.
  • Apply ice for 48 hours (6 times a day for 20 minutes each time).
  • Check the toes, fingers, and skin often. They should be warm and pink under the nail and turn pink quickly after being squeezed.
  • Make sure your child can feel your touch.
  • Keep the splint dry.
  • Do not unwrap the elastic bandage.
  • Give pain medication as ordered by your child’s doctor.
  • Use Benadryl for itching. Do not stick anything inside the splint.

WHEN TO CALL YOUR CHILD’S DOCTOR:

  • Your child complains of pain consistently in the same spot or the pain seems to be getting worse.
  • Your child has tingling or numbness of toes or fingers.
  • Your child can not feel your touch.
  • Red or sore areas around the edges of the splint.
  • Your child’s toes or fingers are cold to the touch when the room is warm.
  • Your child’s nails stay pale when you press on them and then release pressure.
  • Your child’s nails look blue or purple.
  • Your child’s fingers, hand or toes become swollen.
  • A foul odor comes from the splint.
  • Your child has constant, unrelieved itching.
  • The splint starts to break down, or fall apart.
  • The splint gets wet.

REMEMBER: Tingling, numbness, coldness, swelling, pain, red marks/sores, and a foul smell are serious signs of a problem. Call your child’s doctor immediately if any of these happen. If you are unable to reach your child’s doctor, go to the nearest Emergency Care Center.


Disclaimer:This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 05/2018

(757) 668-7000