Items in AFP with MESH term: Casts, Surgical

Tarsal Navicular Stress Fractures - Article

ABSTRACT: Stress fractures of the tarsal navicular bone are being recognized with increasing frequency in physically active persons. Diagnosis is commonly delayed, and outcome often suffers because physicians lack familiarity with the condition. Navicular stress fractures typically present in a running athlete who has gradually increasing pain in the dorsal mid-foot with occasional radiation of pain down the medial arch. Because initial plain films are often normal, the next diagnostic test of choice is triple-phase bone scan, which is positive early in the process and localizes the lesion well. After a positive bone scan, a computed tomographic scan should be obtained to provide anatomic detail and guide therapy. Nondisplaced, noncomminuted fractures respond well to six weeks of non-weight-bearing cast immobilization. Displacement, comminution, and delayed or nonunion fractures are indications for surgical open reduction internal fixation.

Principles of Casting and Splinting - Article

ABSTRACT: 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 requires a thorough assessment of the injured extremity for proper diagnosis. Once the need for immobilization is ascertained, casting and splinting start with application of stockinette, followed by padding. Splinting involves subsequent application of a noncircumferential 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 the acute care setting. Disadvantages of splinting include lack of patient compliance and increased motion at the injury site. Casting involves circumferential application of plaster or fiberglass. As such, casts provide superior immobilization, but they are more technically difficult to apply and less forgiving during the acute inflammatory stage; they also carry a higher risk of complications. Compartment syndrome, thermal injuries, pressure sores, skin infection and dermatitis, and joint stiffness are possible complications of splinting and casting. Patient education regarding swelling, signs of vascular compromise, and recommendations for follow-up is crucial after cast or splint application.

Splints and Casts: Indications and Methods - Article

ABSTRACT: Management of a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions requires the use of a cast or splint. Splints are noncircumferential immobilizers that accommodate swelling. This quality makes splints ideal for the management of a variety of acute musculoskeletal conditions in which swelling is anticipated, such as acute fractures or sprains, or for initial stabilization of reduced, displaced, or unstable fractures before orthopedic intervention. Casts are circumferential immobilizers. Because of this, casts provide superior immobilization but are less forgiving, have higher complication rates, and are generally reserved for complex and/or definitive fracture management. To maximize benefits while minimizing complications, the use of casts and splints is generally limited to the short term. Excessive immobilization from continuous use of a cast or splint can lead to chronic pain, joint stiffness, muscle atrophy, or more severe complications (e.g., complex regional pain syndrome). All patients who are placed in a splint or cast require careful monitoring to ensure proper recovery. Selection of a specific cast or splint varies based on the area of the body being treated, and on the acuity and stability of the injury. Indications and accurate application techniques vary for each type of splint and cast commonly encountered in a primary care setting. This article highlights the different types of splints and casts that are used in various circumstances and how each is applied.

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