Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Splint

You will be going home with a splint. This is sometimes called a removable cast. A splint helps your body heal by holding your injured bones or joints in place. Take good care of your splint. A damaged splint can keep your injury from healing well. If your splint becomes damaged or loses its shape, you may need to replace it. 

You have a broken ___________________ bone.

This bone is located in your ____________.

Home care

  • Wear your splint according to your doctor’s instructions.

  • Keep the splint dry at all times. Bathe with your splint well out of the water. You can hold the splint outside the tub or shower when bathing. Protect it with a large plastic bag closed at the top end with a rubber band. Use two layers of plastic to help keep the splint dry. Or you can buy a waterproof shield.

  • If a splint gets wet, dry it with a hair dryer on the “cool” setting. Don’t use the warm or hot setting, because those settings can burn your skin.

  • Always keep the splint clean and away from dirt.

  • Wash the Velcro straps and inner cloth sleeve (stockinet) with soapy water and air dry.

  • Keep your splint away from open flames.

  • Don’t expose your splint to heat, space heaters, or prolonged sunlight. Excessive heat will cause the splint to change shape.

  • Don’t cut or tear the splint. 

  • Exercise all the nearby joints not kept still by the splint. If you have a long leg splint, exercise your hip joint and your toes. If you have an arm splint, exercise your shoulder, elbow, thumb, and fingers.

  • Elevate the part of your body that is in the splint. This helps reduce swelling.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Tingling or numbness in the affected area

  • Severe pain that cannot be relieved with medicine

  • Cast that feels too tight or too loose

  • Swelling, coldness, or blue-gray color in the fingers or toes

  • Cast that is damaged, cracked, or has rough edges that hurt

  • Pressure sores or red marks that don’t go away within 1 hour after removing the splint

  • Blisters