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What is the purpose of a thumb spica splint?

They are primarily used to secure nonemergency injuries to bones until they can be evaluated by a consultant such as an orthopedic surgeon. They are also used to temporarily immobilize an extremity before surgery (eg, for an open fracture) or to assist in primary healing.

When do you use thumb spica?

When is a thumb spica splint done?

  1. Injuries and fractures of the anatomical snuffbox (area over the thumb base) and thumb.
  2. Ligament injuries and inflammation.
  3. Inflammation of the tendon.
  4. Gamekeeper’s or skier’s thumb: It is an injury and inflammation of the ligament in the space between the thumb and index finger.

What are the 3 things you want to check after you apply a splint?

Watch for signs of decreased blood circulation or shock While checking for tightness, also feel for a pulse. If it’s faint, loosen the ties. If the injured person complains that the splint is causing pain, try loosening the ties a little. Then check that no ties were placed directly over an injury.

How long should you wear a thumb spica splint?

A thumb splint with a spica will help rest the thumb while the other fingers can work, if only in a limited way. For maximum benefit you must wear the splint day and night, generally for 4-6 weeks.

What’s the difference between a splint and a cast?

A cast wraps all the way around an injury and can only be removed in the doctor’s office. All casts are custom-made with fiberglass or plaster. A splint is like a “half cast.” The hard part of a splint does not wrap all the way around the injured area. It is held in place by an elastic bandage or other material.

How do you reduce swelling in a cast?

To reduce swelling:

  1. Elevate the affected area. For the first 24 to 72 hours after your child’s cast is applied, use pillows to raise the cast above the level of your child’s heart.
  2. Apply ice. Loosely wrap an ice pack covered in a thin towel around your child’s cast at the level of the injury.
  3. Keep moving.

What is a spica cast used for?

Spica (body) casts are used to keep the thighbone (femur) and pelvis still. We call this immobilization. This cast holds the joint above the hip (the spine) and the joint below the hip (the knee) still, so that the femur and pelvic bones stay still to heal.

When to use a thumb spica splint or cast?

Apart from thumb fractures and dislocations, a thumb spica splint or cast is also used for wrist injuries, like scaphoid fractures, lunate dislocation, etc. It is also useful in chronic degenerative diseases, like carpal tunnel syndrome and Kienbock’s disease.

How long does it take to harden a thumb spica cast?

Thumb Spica Cast Thumb Spica Cast (Picture 1) or rigid thumb spica consists of layers of plaster of Paris or fiberglass molded over and enclosing the thumb, wrist, and forearm (Video 1). After application it takes around 15-30 minutes to harden and thereafter provides a firm support for healing of thumb injuries.

When to apply a SPICA for a scaphoid fracture?

As a basic rule, in a patient with a clinically suspected scaphoid fracture but negative initial radiographs (Figure 3), it is reasonable to apply a short arm thumb spica and reevaluate the patient in two weeks. If a cast is not applied, the fracture can worsen over the following months (Figure 4).

Can a spica splint be removed while taking a bath?

A thumb spica splint can be conveniently removed and put back on, like while taking a bath etc. But it is often advisable to ask your orthopedic doctor about the nature of the injury and the strictness of the thumb spica splint wear.