FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the most common types of orthopedic splints?
The most common types of splints are ankle splints, foot splints, finger splints, night splints, thumb splints, thumb braces, nasal splints, and carpal tunnel wrist splints. The type of splint that you need to use depends on the area of the body that's injured and the severity of the injury. If a patient has mild to moderate symptoms then they are recommended to use a day splint or brace. However, if the symptoms are severe then night splinting may be recommended as well. There is no hard and fast rule so always make sure to ask your doctor before choosing the right orthopedic product.
What is the difference between a splint and a brace?
A splint and a brace basically mean the same thing; they are two interchangeable terms that refer to an orthopedic device that restricts the movement of a specific body part after injury or surgery or to help manage a chronic condition. A brace usually has a hard exterior and can be more restrictive in range of motion while a splint can be made of a soft fabric and look more like specialized tape.
Can I splint a broken toe?
Yes, you can splint a broken toe. In some cases, if there is a significant fracture then the broken toe is taped to an adjacent uninjured toe allowing the uninjured toe to act as a splint. This process is called 'buddy taping.' Toe splints use a similar idea and connect multiple toes together to apply pressure and help minimize any movement that may damage the broken toe.
What is a night splint?
A night splint is a brace that you use at night to treat certain conditions like Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis. Night splints are designed to keep your foot and toes pointing up, in a flexed position, which applies constant gentle stretching to the tendons around the foot. The best orthopedic splints are designed to be worn both during the day and at night. There are a variety of orthopedic products you available for overnight use.
What is an air cast?
An air cast is a medical device that encases an injury in a cushioned casing. Air casts are designed to reduce pain and promote healing. They have an air-filled splint on the inside and a hard shell on the outside. Aircast walking boots are fairly comfortable and allow the patient to walk with a normal gait, even up and down steps. They can also be adjusted and customized to perfectly fit the patient's foot.
An advantage of air casts is that some are waterproof and you can actually take a shower in them. However, sleeping is not recommended in an air cast. You should remove the outer casing before you go to sleep and only wear the inner splint. Depending on your injury it may be permissible to take the boot off at night when you are at home. Check with your healthcare professional before removing.
How do I splint a sprained finger?
You should use a finger splint and secure the finger in a slightly flexed, downward curving position for around five to seven days. If you have a mild injury then you should wear a finger splint until the injury stops hurting. Severe sprains or fractures may require surgery and a longer healing time of about four to six weeks. Occupational or physical therapy is often recommended to complete the recovery process. If you've sprained your thumb you may need a thumb brace. Try not to move your finger as much as possible and seek proper medical assistance.
What is the best way to support a wrist with carpal tunnel syndrome?
The best way to support your wrist if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome is by wearing a wrist brace made specifically for the condition. Worn during the day, carpal tunnel wrist braces typically look like a fingerless glove and provide added support to the tendons and ligaments so they can rest and recover. People with mild to moderate symptoms should wear a splint at night for a few weeks. Studies show that keeping the wrist in a neutral position can alleviate the pain associated with repetitive motion.
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The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.