What do Casts and Splints do?
After a bone is broken, your physician will set the bones back in place in order for the bones to heal properly. After the bones have been set in place, a cast or splint is applied to help support, protect, and keep the bones in place as they heal. Casts are custom-made to fit each patient, ensuring they comfortably fit the injured limbs while providing proper support. Most broken bones will heal successfully using this method, however, in some cases, surgery may be required.
What’s the Difference Between Casts and Splints?
Both splints and casts provide support and protection to the injured area as it heals. The difference between the two is in the amount of support each provides. When compared to casts, splints provide less support but can be adjusted to assist with swelling. Your physician will decide which of the two is the best option for you.
How to Take Care of Your Splint or Cast
Once you’ve been fitted with your cast or splint, your physician will give you instructions on how to proceed to ensure your bones heal properly. The following are general guidelines to care for your splint or cast and should only be used to supplement your physician’s advice.
- Avoid getting splint or cast wet. It is important to keep the splint or cast dry as moisture can cause the plaster to weaken and may cause discomfort to the skin. Always shield the cast or splint from water before taking a shower or bath.
- Don’t walk on the cast too soon. After the cast has been applied make sure it has completely dried and hardened before you walk on it.
- Keep it clean. Avoid getting small debris inside the splint or cast such as dirt, powder, or other particles.
- Don’t alter it. Consult with your doctor before you make any alterations to your cast or splint such as trimming the cast or removing padding.
- Make sure you are comfortable. If you are experiencing persistent itching or irritation, contact your physician.
- Check for damage. If you notice any damage to your cast or splint, contact your physician.