How to Wear and Care for Your Splint
A splint is like a cast, but weighs less and you can take it off. Splints are used to keep arthritic joints or new skin grafts from moving. They also keep your arms and legs in a good position
Your Occupational Therapist (OT) will give you your splint. Your OT or your doctor will decide your wearing schedule. See below:
___ All the time; day and night
___ All the time, except for exercises
___ Night time only
___ Daytime for _____ hours at a time
___ Outside the home, when in crowded places, or in situations that might result in more harm to your hand or arm.
___ Other: ______________________________________________________
___ You may shower, with the splint in place, covered with a plastic bag.
___ The splint may be removed for washing your hands at the sink.
___ The splint may be removed for showering or bathing.
___ No showering until cleared by doctor. Sponge bathe only, with the splint on.
___ Other ____________________________________________________
Cleaning your splint
Your splint may be cleaned with mild soap and warm (not hot) water. Do not use abrasive cleaners. Splint straps may be hand washed in soap and warm water. Rinse well and air dry away from heat. Do not put in the dishwasher.
Many patients find their skin becomes warm and moist with direct contact with splint materials. If this bothers you, you can line your splint with a thin, soft material such as gauze, a soft cloth or paper towel. Changing the liner often may lessen the odor.
Keep your splint away from excess heat. Your splint will lose its shape in temperatures over 135?°F. Do not leave your splint on warm surfaces such as a windowsill or inside a warm car.
DO NOT THROW YOUR SPLINT AWAY, unless you have been discharged from the OT service or told you no longer need the splint. If you feel the splint does not fit well or that you no longer need it, consult with your OT or doctor before throwing the splint away.
Please bring your splint with you to all doctor or OT visits.
When to Call Your OT
Call right away if you have new
- A sore spot. If you see this do not put a pad over it. Pad next to it on both sides to hold splint away from the sore spot.
Your OT's name and phone number__________________________________.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/26/2011
Copyright © 08/26/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7167
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