A cast has a rigid plaster or fiberglass exterior. It fully encases an injured bone. A splint is more of a half-cast. It includes a rigid part, which covers the front of the injured bone, and a flexible part (usually an elastic bandage) that holds it in place.
Often, you start with a splint when you're injured. After the swelling recedes, you may need a cast to help your bone heal properly.
Sometimes you may need to change from a cast to a splint. For example, once your fracture is healing, you might transition from a cast to a splint to allow for a better range of motion during physical therapy.
The orthopedic team at West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic, P.C. may apply a splint or cast after you break a bone or have some other type of injury.
Sometimes, you may need a cast after surgery as well. Casts and splints immobilize your injury and protect your healing body while easing pain, reducing swelling, and deterring muscle spasms.
Your care provider at West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic, P.C. soaks a synthetic or cotton material in room-temperature water and then applies it to your skin. This gives you protection and cushioning.
Next, they soak the casting or splinting material in water and apply it over the protective layer. Usually, your provider covers the area of the injury and a small area both above and below it. Covering the joints on either end of the broken bone maximizes stability and fit.
The West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic, P.C. team gives you specific advice, so follow their directions carefully for optimal healing. Some general guidelines include:
If you develop new issues, like severe pain, numbness, tingling, burning, stinging, cramps, or drainage from the cast or splint, don't delay in calling your doctor for guidance.
You can trust the West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic, P.C. team for the best in comprehensive bone injury care, so call the office nearest you or use online scheduling for help now.