Splints and cast provide support and protect injured bones and soft tissues. When an individual sustained a broken bone, the doctor will restore the pieces back together in the right position. The splints and casts hold the bones in place while they heal. In addition, they also minimize swelling, pain and muscle spasms.
In some circumstances, casts and splints are usually applied after surgery. The splints provide minimal support than the casts. Nevertheless, splints are adjustable in order to adjust to the swelling from injuries in an easier manner than the enclosed casts. The doctor will determine the suitable form of support required by the individual.
What are the types of casts and splints?
The casts can be customized since they should fit the shape of the injured limb properly to provide the ideal support. Casts can be made out of fiberglass or plaster. The splints or half-casts can also be customized especially if the right fit is needed. In some cases, a ready-made splint can be used that are available in various sizes and shapes and easier to use. Most are built with Velcro straps that make the splints easy to wear, take off and even adjust.
The fiberglass or plaster usually forms the hard supportive layer in casts and splints. Take note that fiberglass is lighter in weight and allows the area to breathe. An X-ray can see through this material better than plaster. As for plaster, it is more affordable and forms better than fiberglass in some uses.
Remember that both plaster and fiberglass casts and splints utilize padding, especially cotton as the protective layer close to the skin. Both come in rolls or strips that are dipped in water and applied over the padding covering the injured area.
What are the warning signs?
The swelling can produce a lot of pressure under the cast which can lead to issues. If the individual experiences any of these symptoms, a doctor should be consulted.
- Increasing pain and sensation that the cast or splint is too tight.
- Tingling or numbness in the foot or hand
- Stinging or burning sensation
- Excessive swelling under the cast
- Loss of active movement of the fingers or toes
Whether the individual is fitted with a cast or splint, you should learn how to properly care for one. All you have to do is to enroll in a first aid class today.
Removal of the cast
The doctor will utilize a cast saw to remove the cast. Remember that the saw vibrates but does not rotate. In case the blade touches the padding within the hard shell, the padding vibrates with the blade and protects the skin. Once the initial swelling from an injury subsides, proper cast or splint support will allow the individual to continue with his/her daily activities with minimal inconvenience.