Casts can be univalved or bivalved to allow for expansion in the setting of expected swelling. Similarly, splints are used in the setting of an acute fracture at the discretion of the treating surgeon. Splints are comprised of ten layers of splinting material, commonly plaster, and are applied over adequately padded skin similar to casts. They can be molded to the extremity to ensure fracture reduction and secured with an elastic bandage or bias stockinette. Splints are not circumferential and are safer for use when significant swelling is expected. Also, they can be used to immobilize fractures temporarily if surgical intervention is warranted soon.
Curr Orthop Pract. 2020;31(3):277-287. © 2020 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins