Wrist splints in children as effective as casts

September 7, 2010, Canadian Medical Association Journal

In children with wrist fractures, a splint is as effective as a cast and provides greater comfort and easier hygiene, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Distal radius fractures — — are the most common break in and a frequent reason for emergency department visits. The usual treatment is a short arm cast for four to six weeks with follow up visits to an .

The study, a with 92 children aged 5 to 12 years, included 43 children with distal radius fractures who were treated with splints and 49 in casts. Participants had acceptably angulated fractures (transverse or greenstick) of 15 degrees or less. The splint group was free to remove the splint to wash in the first four weeks, but otherwise, like the cast group, kept the splint on for the duration of therapy. After six weeks, the participants were assessed by a physiotherapist who did not know which treatment they had received.

"Our results support the growing body of evidence that promote splinting as a suitable alternative to casting for specific distal radius fractures," writes Dr. Kathy Boutis, Staff Physician and Associate Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and coauthors.

As well, patient and parental satisfaction with the splint was higher. Of the children with casts, 68% would have preferred to have the splint and only 12% of the splint group participants would have preferred the cast.

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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

Flu shot only 36 percent effective, making bad year worse (Update)

February 15, 2018
The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting older Americans and others against the bug that's causing most illnesses.

IFN-mediated immunity to influenza A virus infection influenced by RIPK3 protein

February 15, 2018
Each year, influenza kills half a million people globally with the elderly and very young most often the victims. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 children have died in the United States ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.