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Splint Care

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Splint care is important to help protect your splint until it comes off. Some splints are made of fiberglass or plaster that will need to dry and harden. Splint care will help the splint dry and harden correctly. Even after your splint hardens, it can be damaged.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have increased pain.
  • Your fingers or toes are numb or tingling.
  • You feel burning or stinging around your injury.
  • Your nails, fingers, or toes turn pale, blue, or gray, and feel cold.
  • You have new or increased trouble moving your fingers or toes.
  • Your swelling gets worse.
  • The skin under your splint is bleeding or leaking pus.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your hard splint gets wet or is damaged.
  • You have a fever.
  • Your splint feels tighter.
  • You have itchy, dry skin under your splint that is getting worse.
  • The skin under your splint is red, or you have a new sore.
  • You notice a bad smell coming from your splint.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

How to care for your splint:

  • Wait for your hard splint to harden completely. You may have to wait up to 3 days before you can walk on a plaster splint.
  • Check your splint and the skin around it each day. Check your splint for damage, such as cracks and breaks. Check your skin for redness, increased swelling, and sores. Loosen the elastic bandage around your splint if it feels too tight.
  • Keep your splint clean and dry. Keep dirt out of your splint. Before you bathe, wrap your hard splint with 2 layers of plastic. Then put a plastic bag over it. Keep the plastic bag tightly sealed. You can also ask your healthcare provider about waterproof shields. Do not put your hard splint in the water , even with a plastic bag over it. A wet splint can make your skin itchy, and may lead to infection.
  • Do not put powders or deodorants inside your splint. These can dry your skin and increase itching.
  • Do not try to scratch the skin inside your hard splint with sharp objects. Sharp objects can break off inside your splint or hurt your skin.
  • Do not pull the padding out of your splint. The padding inside your splint protects your skin. You may develop a sore on your skin if you take out the padding.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed within 1 to 2 weeks:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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