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A splint is a medical device that immobilizes the injured body part and protects it from further injury. It heals the fractured bones by keeping the broken ends together and in alignment. Splints also reduce pain and swelling.
Before applying a fiberglass or plastic splints, the caregiver places cotton padding as a protective layer to the skin. Splints come in either strips or rolls. The caregiver dips the rolls or strips in water and applies it over the padding covering the injured area. Sometimes, the caregiver even covers the joint above and below the broken bone. The splint must fit the shape of the fractured arm or leg to provide adequate support.
The caregiver usually applies a splint to a fresh injury. Once the swelling subsides, the caregiver replaces the splint with a cast. Gradually, as the fracture starts to heal, the caregiver may again replace the cast with a splint.