A splint is a device used to support, align, or immobilize body parts so that healing can take place. They are commonly used following injuries, such as fractures or dislocations.
Your doctor will likely recommend a splint that covers the affected area and is made of sturdy material, such as plaster or fiberglass. It is important that the splint be comfortable and not too tight, as this can cause additional pain or swelling. It should also be easy to remove so that you can perform regular hygiene tasks, such as bathing.
Once your doctor has determined the best type for you, they will instruct you on how to properly apply and care for it. Be sure to follow their directions carefully in order to avoid further injury or delay in healing.
Types of Splints
- Rigid splints: These splints are made from materials such as metal or plastic, and they are designed to immobilize the affected area. Rigid splints are often used for fractures or other serious injuries.
- Soft splints: These splints are usually made from foam or fabric, and they provide support while still allowing some movement. Soft splints are often used for sprains or other less serious injuries.
- Custom-made splints: As the name suggests, these splints are made specifically for each individual patient. Custom-made splints can be either rigid or soft, depending on the needs of the patient.
- Prefabricated splints: These splints are mass-produced and come in various sizes. They may not provide as good a fit as custom-made splinters, but they are typically much less expensive.
How to Choose the Right Splint?
The first is the type of injury you have. If you have a broken bone, you will need a different type of splint than if you have a sprained ankle.
The second thing to consider is the severity of your injury. However, if your injury is more severe, you will need a more substantial splint.
The third thing to consider is how long you will need to wear the splint. However, if you will need to wear the splint for months or even years, then you will want to choose a more durable and comfortable option.
Finally, you need to consider your budget when choosing a splint. Splints can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive.
Common Uses for Splints
There are many common uses for splints. Some people use them to immobilize an injured limb, while others use them to keep a broken bone in place. Still, others use them to help with the healing of a tendon or ligament injury.
- To Immobilize an Injured Limb – If you have suffered a sprained ankle, for example, your doctor may recommend that you wear one to keep the joint from moving and allow it to heal properly.
- To Keep a Broken Bone in Place – A splint can be used to hold a broken bone in place until it has healed enough to be cast or plated.
- To Help with the Healing of a Tendon or Ligament Injury – If you have suffered a tendon or ligament injury, your doctor may recommend that you wear a splint to help support the area and allow it to heal properly.
How to Care for Your Splint?
- Keep it clean and dry.
- Avoid getting the splint wet.
- Do not remove the splint unless your doctor tells you to. Removing the splint can cause the injury to worsen.
- Wear the splint as much as possible. The more you wear it, the faster your injury will heal.
- Be careful not to put too much pressure on the injured area while wearing the splint. This can cause further damage.