Wrist Splints as good as a cast for Children

This post send by Lucie Crouch

Wrist fractures are the most common injuries in children, and frequent trips to the A&E department of the local hospital. The arm is treated with a cast which stays on for normally four to six weeks, then a follow up with the orthopaedic surgeon. But this has been the standard treatment for so long it has only recently been questioned with the use of an alternate remedy- thewrist splint.

A study randomised and controlled with 100 children aged five to twelve years old, half with wrist fractures (distal radius) were treated with splints and half treated with a cast. The splint group could only remove it to wash, and like the others had to keep it on for the rest of the trial duration. After six weeks, each participant was assessed by a physiotherapist who did not know which treatment they had received.

Dr. Kathy Boutis, Staff Physician and Associate Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) explains that:

\\\"Our results support the growing body of evidence that promote splinting as a suitable alternative to casting for specific distal radius fractures”.

As well as patient and parental satisfaction with the splint being much higher, 68% of children with casts say they’d much rather have had a splint, and only 12% would rather have the cast.

\\\"There were no differences in maintaining fracture stability, complications, and the splint was shown to be superior in terms of family preferences.

\\\"Inherent benefits of a pre-fabricated splint include easier hygiene, eliminating discomfort and anxiety associated with cast saw use, and easy application and removal. Thus, evidence from this research combined with the advantages of the splint advocate for this device in the treatment of these fracture cases\\\".

Another benefit of the splint is that it allows the wrist to move a little more, so muscle wastage and weakening is reduced so after treatment the patient is able to resume normal tasks at a higher rate.

Lucie writes on behalf ofPhysio-Med, leaders in physiotherapy equipment, with a wide range of stock for any business or home.

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