- Broken Fingers
What is a radial gutter splint?
A splint is a medical device made of wood or other rigid material. It is used to immobilize a fractured or dislocated bone. A splint usually helps to maintain any part of the body in a fixed position. The most common use of splints is in emergency settings to keep a detached bone in position until a surgeon can look at it.
- The radius and ulna are the two bones that form the forearm and join with the wrist and fingers.
- A radial gutter splint is a type of splint that is used to treat fractures of the index (second) and long (third) fingers. It is so named because these fingers lie on the radial (lateral) side of the hand.
When is a radial gutter splint not recommended?
A radial gutter splint cannot be used for fractures with nerve damage or fractures where the overlying skin is broken. Such types of injuries require surgery and monitoring. A radial gutter splint is also not recommended when there is a severe deformity due to a birth defect or injury (angulated neck fractures) at second and third fingers.
How do you make a radial gutter splint?
A radial gutter splint is placed along the radial aspect (radial bone) of the wrist. It sandwiches the second and third fingers providing the optimal function of the second and third fingers, allowing maximum mobility of other digits. Radial gutter splinting is usually tolerated without anesthesia. However, anesthesia or analgesia may be required in cases where a minimal alteration is required.
Below are the steps of making a radial gutter splint:
- A splint is cut out into a three- or four-inch length, necessary to immobilize the wrist and injured fingers (usually second and third).
- A splint may be bisected lengthwise from the fingertips to the wrist.
- A dry gauze or cotton material may be inserted between the second and third fingers.
- The splint “tails” are folded so that it sandwiches the second and third fingers.
- The splint is secured in place using a bias wrap or an elastic bandage.
What are the complications of a radial gutter splint?
Complications of a radial gutter splint include
What are the recommendations after placing a radial gutter splint?
Usually, the patient may be recommended to rest and elevate the limb.
- The patient may report back immediately in the emergency department if there is increased weakness or numbness or color change (pale or blue) of the affected arm. The same should be done in case of pain that does not relent or a feeling of plaster constriction.
- Spreading redness or streaking should be immediately reported.
- The plaster should be kept dry and clean.
- The patient should not insert any items into the splint to scratch if it itches. Sticking objects into the splint can wrinkle the padding and lead to pressure sores. It may also cause a break of skin and infection that would be overlooked because of the presence of covers.
- The patient should visit the clinic or hospital within 48 hours of splinting for surgery or other treatment.
Latest Exercise & Fitness News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Medscape Medical Reference
Top What Is a Radial Gutter Splint Used For Related Articles
Bone Density ScanBone density scanning measures bone mineral density, which helps a doctor decide whether a person is at increased risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture. The following risk factors may suggest the need for bone density scanning: advanced age, poor health, low body weight or thin stature, personal history of fracture as an adult, low physical activity, RA, and use of birth control pills.
Broken BoneA broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as:
- vertebral compression,
- compound, and
Symptoms of a broken bone include pain at the site of injury, swelling, and bruising around the area of injury. Treatment of a fracture depends on the type and location of the injury.
Broken FingerThe most common causes of broken fingers are a traumatic injury to the finger or fingers such as playing sports, injury in the workplace, falls, and accidents. Treatment for a broken finger may be as simple as buddy taping the broken finger to the adjacent finger, or if the fracture is more serious, surgery. Fingers are the most commonly injured part of the hand.
Finger Anatomy PictureFingers are easily injured, and broken fingers are some of the most common traumatic injuries seen in an emergency room. See a picture of Finger Anatomy and learn more about the health topic.
Finger DislocationA dislocation is an injury that forces bones out of their normal position. Symptoms and signs of dislocated fingers include pain, deformity, and swelling and an inability to move the finger. Treatment involves reducing the joint to move the bones back to their normal position and then splinting the joint to protect it while it heals.
First Aid Sprains/StrainsView this First Aid slideshow on Care and Pain Relief. See how to get pain relief if you've bumped your head, sprained your ankle, or had a bruise, strain, or some other minor injury.
First Aid: Wound Care for Cuts and ScrapesWound care treatment at home involves performing cuts and scrapes first aid including cleaning the injury and applying antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Use wound care products like adhesive bandages, hypoallergenic bandages, sprays, tape, and gauze. If cuts and scrapes don’t heal, see your doctor.
First Aid EssentialsAre you always prepared for a first aid crisis? See which basic first aid items to pack to treat minor scrapes, cuts, and stings when you're on the go.
Growth Plate Fractures and InjuriesGrowth plate fractures and injuries occur in the area growing tissue near the end of the long bones of children and teens. Both boys and girls are susceptible to growth plate fracture and injury. Common causes include: a fall while playing sports or playing on furniture or playground equipment, overuse injury from sports, injuries from competitive sports, child abuse, frostbite, and juvenile arthritis. Growth plate fracture and injury are classified into five categories according to the Salter-Harris Classification.
Juvenile Bone HealthSetting a good example for your children when it comes to diet and exercise will help them to make healthy decisions about nutrition and fitness. Eating calcium-rich foods and performing weight-bearing exercise will help your children prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease)Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) or brittle bone disease, is an inherited (genetic) disorder that results in abnormal bone formation, which causes the bones to break (fracture) easily. There are eight types of osteogenesis imperfecta. Osteogenesis imperfecta symptoms include skeletal deformity, frequent broken bones, and hearing problems. Tests diagnose osteogenesis imperfecta. Treatment for brittle bone disease is to manage symptoms. There is no cure for osteogenesis imperfecta.
Super Foods for Your BonesWhat sweetener is loaded with calcium? These bone-building super foods can help stave off osteoporosis, and many of them will surprise you.
Trauma/First Aid QuizWhat should be in your first-aid kit? Take this quiz to understand trauma and learn the truth about how to administer first aid.
What Is a Posterior Elbow Splint?A posterior elbow splint is affixed to the arm to stabilize a dislocated elbow. A splint is a type of a medical tool made of rigid material to immobilize a fractured or dislocated bone. A splint usually helps to maintain any part of the body in a fixed position. The most common use of splints is in emergency settings to keep a broken bone in position until it heals or until a doctor can set it with a more comprehensive procedure.
When Are Ankle Splints Used?Splints are primarily used to stabilize injuries to bones until the patient can be evaluated by a consultant, such as an orthopedic surgeon. Ankle splints are applied to minimize movement and provide support and comfort by stabilizing an injury at the ankle joint. Immobilizing the joint reduces pain and helps the injury heal faster.