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Casting & Splinting

A young patient getting a cast put on her left arm
Image of a young patient getting a splint put on her right arm.

Clinical Services

Casting & Splinting

The ability to properly apply casts and splints is a technical skill easily mastered with practice and an understanding of basic principles. The initial approach to casting and splinting used by our Bellevue orthopedist requires a thorough assessment of the injured extremity for proper diagnosis. Once the need for immobilization is ascertained, casting and splinting start with an application of a stockinet followed by padding. However we also offer waterproof padding made of water resistant material.

Splinting involves subsequent application of a non-circumferential fiberglass support held in place by an elastic bandage. Splints are faster and easier to apply; allow for the natural swelling that occurs during the acute inflammatory phase of an injury; are easily removed for inspection of the injury site; and are often the preferred tool for immobilization in an acute care setting. Disadvantages of splinting include lack of patient compliance and increased motion at the injury site.

Casting involves circumferential application of fiberglass. Casts provide superior immobilization, but they are more technically difficult to apply and less forgiving during the acute inflammatory stage; there is also a higher risk of complications. Patient education regarding swelling, signs of vascular compromise and recommendations for follow-up is crucial after cast or splint application.

We offer a variety of colors and patterns for fiberglass casting. Also the waterproof casting is offered to patients who have wrist injuries only. Insurance does not cover this option and it is an added cost to the patient.