EMET Pre-learning: Plastering Workshop
Immobilisation of limb fractures is undertaken to stabilise unstable fractures, provide pain relief and prevent complications (eg bleeding, nerve injury). Fractures may be immobilised using casts or splints. Casts are circumferential and should not be placed on the acutely injured limb due to risk for swelling and potential for neurovascular compromise. Splints differ from casts as they do not completely surround the limb and are most suited to providing immobilisation in the Emergency Department. Once the swelling has settled the splint is often replaced with a cast as these are more effective at immobilising the fracture (encouraging healing) and in some cases allow greater mobility (eg walking plaster).