Is there still a role for splinting?

Splinting plays a major role in the management of many musculoskeletal injuries. Some stress fractures and other types of non displaced fractures are often managed with splinting. Spinting also has a role in the management of severe ankle sprains. Various tendinopathies and ligament injuries may also benefit from temporary splinting.

Compared to casts, splints allow for limb changes associated with swelling and therefore reduce the risk of neurovascular compromise. Splints typically allow some movement in nearby joints without compromising the immobilisation of the splinted joint or tendon. They are often applied directly after an injury or within a few days of injury when swelling has stabilised.

Clinicians working with sporting injuries will almost certainly encourter a condition that requires splinting. Referral to an appropriate professional such as an prosthetist/orthotist can be an easy option but what if this resource is not available? Where can you, as a sports medicine clinician learn how to use splinting with your athletes?

Purchasers of the new edition of CSM4ed are able to access online masterclasses which include five video clips demonstrating various splinting techniques for common musculoskeletal injuries. The table below summarises these techniques. Mr Frank Radga, an orthopaedic technologist from the University of Illinois with over 32 years’ experience, guides viewers through these splinting techniques. Mr Radga shares helpful tips and highlights common mistakes in the use of splinting. 


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