Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


rigid or semiflexible device for the immobilization of displaced or fractured parts of the body. Most commonly employed for fractures of bones, a splint may be a first-aid measure that allows the patient to be moved without displacing the injured part, or it may be a means of fixation to immobilize the bones until healing is complete. Any material that offers the degree of resistance required may be used for a temporary splint, e.g., cloth, gauze, plaster, or metal. Splints made of plastic and fiberglass are now molded to fit specific parts of the body. Air splints are made of rubber or plastic that can be blown up to effectively immobilize a limb.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a device for immobilizing injured parts of the body. A splint is applied to a fracture, sprain, or areas with extensive injury to soft tissues; it is also applied in cases of inflammatory diseases of the limbs, in cases of burns, and after surgery on bones, blood vessels, and nerves in the extremities. A distinction is made between transport and therapeutic splints.

Transport splints are applied as a first-aid remedy before the victim is transported to a medical facility. The purpose is to immobilize the injured part and prevent the development of traumatic shock or increased bleeding when bone fragments are moved. Standard transport splints are made of wood, of wire (several types measuring 75 to 100 cm in length and 6 to 10 cm in width are available), which easily conforms to the contour of the limb regardless of the site of the injury, or of plastic. There are also pneumatic and vacuum types. If standard splints are not available, immobilization during transport can be achieved by improvising splints from available materials, such as a board, a ski, a piece of plywood, or a stick. In applying a transport splint it is important that the two segments adjoining the injured one also be immobilized. For example, in the case of a shin fracture, the splint is secured to the foot, crus, and thigh by bandages; in the case of a shoulder fracture, it is applied to the forearm, shoulder, and chest. The splint should be padded with soft material to prevent ulcération.

Therapeutic splints are used for extended immobilization, for the length of time required for a fracture to heal. For example, metal splints are used in skeletal traction. In stomatology, splints made of wire or quick-hardening plastic, special appliances, or arches are used to immobilize the parts in fractures of the upper or lower jaw and after ostéoplastie surgery of the jaw.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A stiff or flexible material applied to an anatomical part in order to protect it, immobilize it, or restrict its motion.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a rigid support for restricting movement of an injured part, esp a broken bone
2. Vet science inflammation of the small metatarsal or metacarpal bones along the side of the cannon bone of a horse
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The effect of splint material and thickness on tooth mobility after extraction and replantation using a human cadaveric model.
For these reasons, the results warrant further investigation to confirm the hypothesis that using an occlusal splint may increase dominant-hand handgrip tasks.
* Evidence: Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) suggested that the natural course is not affected by splint use for patients with prolonged symptoms (>3 months), and eventual resolution was noted in about 12 months--regardless of intervention with bracing.
Median time to fracture stability assessed by palpation was 19 days (range, 7-49 days) after initial splint placement.
Jung et al used a 0.03 inch silastic splint (BioPlexus, Ventura, CA), and was inserted only on one side, with the other side serving as a control.
Postoperatively nasal packing materials, such as vaseline gauze, glove fingers, Oxycel (Woundcare Ltd., Manchester, UK), Gelfoam (Pharmacia & Upjohn, Michigan, USA), Merocel (Medtronic, Connecticut, USA), silastic sheets, fibrin glue, synthetic polyurethane foam, Rapid Rhino (Smith & Nephew Inc., Austin, USA), and silicone intranasal splints, are used (2-7, 10-12).
(6) Splint usage time per day (measured by hour, h): this was determined by the number of hours the splints had been used during the night or plus night during the day (24 h).
First and foremost, this paper describes a technique that to our knowledge has not been described in the literature before, which is that it describes how to place nasal trumpets in patients who have undergone nasal surgery and have nasal splints in place.
Short-term effects of dynamic Lycra splints on upper limb in hemiplegic patients.
Different studies used different control points for measuring splint thickness.
The results showed that the level of knowledge on the subject was sufficient; and that in relation to dental splints 73% of respondents used semi-rigid splint with nylon, 10% steel wire and 10% use restorative material.
(12) compared postoperative findings in 119 patients who had utilized Merocel pack, nasal splint, Merocel in a glove finger, and Vaseline gauze.