SPLINTS & CASTS

Most patients have heard the splint and cast but most don’t know the difference until they need one.

 

Splints

A splint is composed of padding and a firm material such as fiberglass or plaster and an ace wrap or vet wrap.  After your hand, wrist, or arm are wrapped with padding, the splint material that hardens is placed on one side or possibly opposite sides of your hand, wrist, or forearm.  The splint prevents movement of the joints and any broken bones.  The reason the hard material is only on one or two sides of your hand, or wrist is to allow for swelling.  A splint is typically applied immediately after an injury at an urgent care or emergency department.  If you are still having significant swelling when you are seen in clinic, we may apply another splint until the swelling comes down.  In some cases we only use a splint on your hand and a cast never needs to be applied.

Casts

A cast is composed of a fabric sleeve, padding wrapped around the hand, wrist, or forearm, and a roll of material that is wrapped around the limb and hardens with water.  A cast is more durable than a splint, but because the hard material is wrapped all the way around your hand, wrist, or forearm – there is only a little room for swelling. Typically casts are not applied till you are a few weeks out from your injury once the swelling has gone down. Unfortunately, sometimes you may get more swelling after a cast is applied if you are moving or using the hand more or are not continuing to elevate it above your heart.  If your cast becomes tight and you are having a lot of pain you should return to clinic to have it addressed.  If it is very painful and it is at night or over the weekend – you should go to an urgent care or emergency department to have it removed and a splint applied.  When casts are removed we use a special saw that vibrates to cut the cast material.  While it may look scary, it is unlikely to cut your skin but it does get hot.  We typically use a special plastic strip that is inserted into your cast to protect your skin during removal.

Braces

Braces are typically composed of ballistic nylon, padding, metal or plastic supports, and velcro straps.  They come in a variety of designs and areused to provide immobilization of your hand, wrist, or elbow but can easily be removed when necessary.  Our clinic is stocked with a wide variety of braces to provide you the stability you need for your condition.

WATERPROOF CAST COVERS

If you are unfortunate enough to need a cast or splint don’t worry – our clinic is equipped with various sizes of DRYPRO® Waterproof cast covers allowing you to continue to enjoy swimming, scuba diving, or simply lounging in the pool or bath.

 

 

HOW TO USE CAST COVER

 

Slide On

Stretch the DRYPRO over the arm or leg with the cast or bandage to see how it fits. The opening should fit tightly and lay flat against the skin. The vacuum will remove any excess material. Sharp objects can be covered with a bandage or sock.

 

Pump Out

Continuously press the pump until it becomes flat. Remove the pump and push on the safety cap. After creating the vacuum seal, observe the DRYPRO for about five minutes before going in the water. As long as the DRYPRO stays vacuumed (tightly wrinkled), it is sealed and completely watertight.

 

Remove

When you are done using the DRYPRO, simply lift up the cuff to let the air back in. It should now be loose and you can simply slide it back off. The DRYPRO can be rinsed off or cleaned with mild soap and water. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

 

 

 

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