What is a splint?

A splint is a hard piece of plastic material measured and moulded to your exact size to hold a particular body part in a specific position for a period of time (your Burns Therapist will advise you on how long you need to wear it)

Why do I have to wear it?

There are a number of different reasons people are provided with splints. These include:

  • After an operation to apply skin grafts. These grafts need to be kept very still while they are healing so a splint is provided to stop a joint from moving and disrupting this.
  • To improve the range of movement at a joint by providing a long stretch at rest.
  • To prevent or reduce pain by resting a joint.
  • To prevent or reduce deformity during a period of healing.
  • To assist function
  • Swelling

What is my splint made out of?

A material called Thermoplastic which softens when it is warm allowing moulding and hardens when cold to keep its shape.

When do I need to wear my splint?

The different reasons for needing a splint mean when they should be worn changes depending on the circumstance.

If you have been provided with a splint after an operation this should be worn all of the time and not removed until you are next seen by a Burns Therapist or a nurse at your dressing change.

If you have been provided with a splint to help with movement at a joint this should be removed regularly so your exercise programme can be carried out. In this case your splint will usually have Velcro straps to make taking your splint on and off easier.

Some people are provided with splints which need to be worn at night time only.

Your Burns Therapist will instruct you on when to wear your splint, if you are unsure please ask.

If you experience any of the following when wearing your splint contact the burns therapy team:

  • Swelling or pain from the splint
  • Different sensation in the limb or pins and needles.
  • Rubbing from the edges of the splint.

Splint use:

  • DO wear your splint as instructed
  • DO contact Burns Therapy if your splint breaks or no longer fits exactly
  • DO clean your splint as needed with cool soapy water. Rinse the soap off well and dry thoroughly before putting the splint back on.
  • DO bring your splint to appointments as it will need to be reviewed regularly.
  • DO NOT put your splint in hot water or on/near a radiator as it will cause it to lose its shape.
  • DO NOT try to alter your splint yourself.
  • DO NOT remove your splint if you have been advised to wear it 24 hours a day.

This information is intended as a guide to answer some of the questions you may have about splints. Please follow the specific advice given to you by your Burns Therapist. This will occasionally be different to the standard advice given here.


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