Principles of casting and splinting

Anne S. Boyd, Holly J. Benjamin, Chad Alan Asplund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to properly apply casts and splints is a technical skill easily mastered with practice and an understanding of basic principles. The initial approach to casting and splinting requires a thorough assessment of the injured extremity for proper diagnosis. Once the need for immobilization is ascertained, casting and splinting start with application of stockinette, followed by padding. Splinting involves subsequent application of a noncircumferential support held in place by an elastic bandage. Splints are faster and easier to apply; allow for the natural swelling that occurs during the acute inflammatory phase of an injury; are easily removed for inspection of the injury site; and are often the preferred tool for immobilization in the acute care setting. Disadvantages of splinting include lack of patient compliance and increased motion at the injury site. Casting involves circumferential application of plaster or fiberglass. As such, casts provide superior immobilization, but they are more technically difficult to apply and less forgiving during the acute inflammatory stage; they also carry a higher risk of complications. Compartment syndrome, thermal injuries, pressure sores, skin infection and dermatitis, and joint stiffness are possible complications of splinting and casting. Patient education regarding swelling, signs of vascular compromise, and recommendations for follow-up is crucial after cast or splint application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume79
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Fingerprint

Splints
Immobilization
Wounds and Injuries
Compression Bandages
Compartment Syndromes
Aptitude
Pressure Ulcer
Dermatitis
Patient Education
Patient Compliance
Blood Vessels
Extremities
Hot Temperature
Joints
Skin
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

Cite this

Boyd, A. S., Benjamin, H. J., & Asplund, C. A. (2009). Principles of casting and splinting. American family physician, 79(1).

Principles of casting and splinting. / Boyd, Anne S.; Benjamin, Holly J.; Asplund, Chad Alan.

In: American family physician, Vol. 79, No. 1, 01.01.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Boyd, AS, Benjamin, HJ & Asplund, CA 2009, 'Principles of casting and splinting', American family physician, vol. 79, no. 1.
Boyd AS, Benjamin HJ, Asplund CA. Principles of casting and splinting. American family physician. 2009 Jan 1;79(1).
Boyd, Anne S. ; Benjamin, Holly J. ; Asplund, Chad Alan. / Principles of casting and splinting. In: American family physician. 2009 ; Vol. 79, No. 1.
@article{06cf52f46f0745f982b3bb28a5394e25,
title = "Principles of casting and splinting",
abstract = "The ability to properly apply casts and splints is a technical skill easily mastered with practice and an understanding of basic principles. The initial approach to casting and splinting requires a thorough assessment of the injured extremity for proper diagnosis. Once the need for immobilization is ascertained, casting and splinting start with application of stockinette, followed by padding. Splinting involves subsequent application of a noncircumferential support held in place by an elastic bandage. Splints are faster and easier to apply; allow for the natural swelling that occurs during the acute inflammatory phase of an injury; are easily removed for inspection of the injury site; and are often the preferred tool for immobilization in the acute care setting. Disadvantages of splinting include lack of patient compliance and increased motion at the injury site. Casting involves circumferential application of plaster or fiberglass. As such, casts provide superior immobilization, but they are more technically difficult to apply and less forgiving during the acute inflammatory stage; they also carry a higher risk of complications. Compartment syndrome, thermal injuries, pressure sores, skin infection and dermatitis, and joint stiffness are possible complications of splinting and casting. Patient education regarding swelling, signs of vascular compromise, and recommendations for follow-up is crucial after cast or splint application.",
author = "Boyd, {Anne S.} and Benjamin, {Holly J.} and Asplund, {Chad Alan}",
year = "2009",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "79",
journal = "American Family Physician",
issn = "0002-838X",
publisher = "American Academy of Family Physicians",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Principles of casting and splinting

AU - Boyd, Anne S.

AU - Benjamin, Holly J.

AU - Asplund, Chad Alan

PY - 2009/1/1

Y1 - 2009/1/1

N2 - The ability to properly apply casts and splints is a technical skill easily mastered with practice and an understanding of basic principles. The initial approach to casting and splinting requires a thorough assessment of the injured extremity for proper diagnosis. Once the need for immobilization is ascertained, casting and splinting start with application of stockinette, followed by padding. Splinting involves subsequent application of a noncircumferential support held in place by an elastic bandage. Splints are faster and easier to apply; allow for the natural swelling that occurs during the acute inflammatory phase of an injury; are easily removed for inspection of the injury site; and are often the preferred tool for immobilization in the acute care setting. Disadvantages of splinting include lack of patient compliance and increased motion at the injury site. Casting involves circumferential application of plaster or fiberglass. As such, casts provide superior immobilization, but they are more technically difficult to apply and less forgiving during the acute inflammatory stage; they also carry a higher risk of complications. Compartment syndrome, thermal injuries, pressure sores, skin infection and dermatitis, and joint stiffness are possible complications of splinting and casting. Patient education regarding swelling, signs of vascular compromise, and recommendations for follow-up is crucial after cast or splint application.

AB - The ability to properly apply casts and splints is a technical skill easily mastered with practice and an understanding of basic principles. The initial approach to casting and splinting requires a thorough assessment of the injured extremity for proper diagnosis. Once the need for immobilization is ascertained, casting and splinting start with application of stockinette, followed by padding. Splinting involves subsequent application of a noncircumferential support held in place by an elastic bandage. Splints are faster and easier to apply; allow for the natural swelling that occurs during the acute inflammatory phase of an injury; are easily removed for inspection of the injury site; and are often the preferred tool for immobilization in the acute care setting. Disadvantages of splinting include lack of patient compliance and increased motion at the injury site. Casting involves circumferential application of plaster or fiberglass. As such, casts provide superior immobilization, but they are more technically difficult to apply and less forgiving during the acute inflammatory stage; they also carry a higher risk of complications. Compartment syndrome, thermal injuries, pressure sores, skin infection and dermatitis, and joint stiffness are possible complications of splinting and casting. Patient education regarding swelling, signs of vascular compromise, and recommendations for follow-up is crucial after cast or splint application.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=59149094692&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=59149094692&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review article

C2 - 19145960

AN - SCOPUS:59149094692

VL - 79

JO - American Family Physician

JF - American Family Physician

SN - 0002-838X

IS - 1

ER -