Splint - instructions
A splint is a device used for holding a part of the body stable to decrease pain and prevent further injury.
After an injury, a splint is used to hold still and protect the wounded body part from further damage until you get medical help. It is important to check for good circulation after the injured body part has been immobilized.
Splints can be used for different injuries. For example, with a broken bone, stabilizing the area is important to reduce pain, prevent further injury, and allow the person to move about as much as possible.
Here is how to make and apply a splint:
DO NOT change the position of, or realign, an injured body part. Be careful when you place a splint to avoid causing more injury. Be sure to pad the splint well to avoid putting extra pressure on the injured limb.
If the injury is more painful after placing the splint, remove the splint and seek medical help right away.
If an injury occurs while in a remote area, call for emergency medical help as soon as possible. In the meantime, give first aid to the person.
Seek medical help right away for any of the following:
If medical assistance is not available and the injured part looks abnormally bent, gently placing the injured part back into its normal position may improve the circulation.
Safety is the best way to avoid broken bones caused by falling.
Avoid activities that strain the muscles or bones for long periods as these can cause fatigue and falls. Always use protective gear, such as proper footwear, pads, braces, and a helmet.
Auerbach PS, Constance BB, Freer L. Orthopedic injuries, splints, and slings. In: Auerbach PS, Constance BB, Freer L, eds. Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 18.
Chudnofsky CR, Chudnofsky AS. Splinting techniques. In: Roberts JR, Custalow CB, Thomsen TW, eds. Roberts and Hedges' Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 50.
Kassel MR, O'Connor T, Gianotti A. Splints and slings. In: Auerbach PS, Cushing TA, Harris NS, eds. Auerbach's Wilderness Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 6/13/2021
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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