Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Splint

You will be going home with a splint (sometimes referred to as 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.

  • Clean the splint with soap and lukewarm water, and scrub it with a small brush.

  • Use alcohol wipes to rub the inside of the splint to reduce odor and bacteria.

  • 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 immobilized 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 medication

  • 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