Navigation Links
Splints as Good as Plaster Casts for Minor Fractures

But one expert says there's a hitch: Kids can take them off

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- A review of past research shows cheaper, removable splints are as safe and effective as traditional plaster casts for treating minor wrist fractures in children.

But one U.S. orthopedic expert disagrees, saying that kids may be tempted to take off the split at inappropriate times and cause further damage to themselves.

"Yes, you can treat a child's buckle fracture with a splint, but I don't," Dr. Leon Benson, spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), said in a prepared statement. "In my experience, a child under 10 is not going to keep a splint on, and who is going to take responsibility for that fact -- the doctor. And, given that fact, what parent wants to sit on pins and needles waiting for it to happen when a safe plaster cast insures it won't?"

Minor wrist, or buckle, fractures are common among children. They often occur when a child falls on an outstretched hand. Traditionally, physicians treat these incomplete bone fractures by covering the wrist to just below the elbow in a plaster cast for a short time, often about three weeks.

Of the 10 reviewed studies that compared plaster casting to removable splints in 827 children with wrist fractures, none reported a bone deformity in any patient. The review, conducted by British researchers, was published in the current issue of The Cochrane Library.

"There are minor, or buckle, fractures of the wrist, particularly in toddlers and preschool infants, which are currently being over-treated with a plaster cast and clinic follow-up," lead investigator Alwyn Abraham, a consultant orthopedic surgeon in pediatrics at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, said in a prepared statement. "Provided these are accurately diagnosed in an emergency department, these minor fractures can be treated with a removable splint. Removal can be done at home with no further follow-up."

Plaster casts that parents could remove at home also performed as well as traditional casts, and parents preferred these more, the researchers said. Children and parents also preferred the removable Futura-brand splint, which was less expensive and less restrictive.

Benson agreed with the reviews conclusions in theory, but not in practice.

"My experience is that the younger child's pain decreases dramatically more quickly with plaster casting than a splint, and adolescents in splints often remove them around their friends, because they find them embarrassing," said Benson, who is also an associate clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "With a plaster cast, everyone can sleep at night; nothing can make that cast fall off. Yes, having a plaster cast for a few weeks is a hassle in ways, though it is possible to cover it and bathe or shower. But for the whole child and the whole family, it is a more reasonable treatment."

Benson also said the economic implication of the findings could give parents no option that offered them peace of mind: "A review like this could be used, in the U.K. system, to force people to use cheaper splinting methods of treatment rather than have a choice for plaster-casting for their child for reasons beyond narrow measures of clinical efficacy. This would be unfortunate."

More information

Safe Kids Worldwide has safety tips to prevent childhood injuries.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, news release, April 15, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Nuvelo Announces Upcoming Conference Calls, Webcasts and Conference Participation
2. NOAA Hourly Air Quality Ozone Forecasts Now Available Coast to Coast
3. CBIZ Webcasts Third-Quarter 2007 Conference Call
4. Anesiva Announces Upcoming Webcasts and Conference Participation
5. Study Casts Doubt on Vaccine-Autism Link
6. CBIZ Webcasts Fourth-Quarter and Year-End 2007 Conference Call
7. Nuvelo Announces Upcoming Conference Calls, Webcasts and Conference Participation
8. Minorities more likely to have sleep durations associated with increased mortality
9. Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursings Future Joins With AACN to Offer New Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars Program
10. Eight Graduate Nursing Students Selected to Receive The California Endowment-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship
11. USC receives $7.5M for Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Minority Health
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think ... customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair ... to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced ... franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including ... sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and ... offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, ... 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... medical opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee ... took place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with Women’s Web – an online ... queries on topics on mental and emotional well-being relationship, life balance, stress, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November ... --> ... / personal emergency response system ... grow steadily for 5 years ... growing region expected to see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) has ... Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and ... report to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The ... Boston scientific and others. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: