J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2012 Dec;23(6):869-873.

A Comparative Study Between Newly Developed Wave-form and Traditional Straight-form Splints

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. flyingguy0202@daum.net
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.


Widely used fiberglass splints are made from straight-form material. These prove difficult to mold at joints and form wrinkles, causing complications such as pain, pressure sores, and peripheral nerve palsy. We compared the usefulness of wave-form splints with straight-form splints and the level of satisfaction of these designs from care providers and wearers.
Eighty-nine (n=89) emergency physicians and orthopedic surgeons participated in this study. The subjects (acting as care providers and mock patients) used wave-form and straight-form material to construct and wear short leg splints, long arm splints, and sugar tong splints. The clinicians were surveyed on their satisfaction as providers and wearers. All questions were measured on scores from 0 and 10(10=maximum score). After splints were removed, subjects were surveyed on the extent of splint wrinkling with scores from 1 to 3(3=maximum wrinkling).
Provider satisfaction scores for wave-form splints versus straight-form splints in short leg splint applications were 7.76+/-1.30 vs 6.74+/-1.25 (p=0.000). Provider satisfaction scores for wave-form splints versus straight-form splints in long arm splint applications were 7.73+/-1.33 and 6.73+/-1.59 (p=0.004), respectively. The subjects felt more comfortable wearing wave-form splints, compared to straight-form splints (7.79+/-1.49 vs. 6.79+/-1.58, respectively; p=0.004) and more satisfied (8.03+/-1.35 vs. 7.18+/-1.33, respectively; p=0.003). The frequencies of wrinkle occurrence in wave-form and straight-form splints were 29.7% and 42.2%, respectively (p=0.02).
Wave-form splints may be more practical for molding and wearing than traditional straight-form splints.


Splints; Immobilization; Fiberglass casts; Complications
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