Thumb spica splint

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  • Notching the splinting material (shown) prevents buckling when wrapping around thumb.



Thumb Spica.gif

Splint Application General Procedure

  • Assess pre-procedure neurovascular status (i.e., distal pulse, motor, and sensation) [2]
  • Measure and prepare the splinting material
    • May use contralateral extremity if easier
    • Most splints use a width slightly greater than the diameter of the limb
  • Apply stockinette (if applicable)
    • Extend 2" beyond estimated the splinting material length
  • Apply padding (if applicable)
    • Use 2–3 layers over the area to be splinted / between digits (when applicable)
    • Add an extra 2–3 layers over bony prominences
  • Apply splinting material
    • Lightly moisten the splinting material.
    • Place as appropriate to specific splint type
    • Once finished, if applicable fold the ends of stockinette back over the splinting material if there is excess
  • Apply elastic bandaging (e.g., ace wrap)
  • While still wet
    • May further mold the splint to the desired shape
    • Maintain position until splint material has hardened
  • Re-check and document repeat neurovascular status

Splint-Specific Details

  • Apply padding and splint material as shown in figure
  • Splint course:
    • Radial aspect of mid-forearm to mid-distal phalanx of thumb
  • Key anatomic positions
    • Forearm in neutral position
    • Wrist in slight extension (approximately 20°)
    • Thumb in functional "wineglass" position (ask patient to envision "holding a soda can")

See Also


  1. Splints and Casts: Indications and Methods Accessed April 6, 2017
  2. Splints and Casts: Indications and Methods. Accessed April 5, 2017