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Type: Journal article
Title: The dynamic elbow suspension splint
Author: Bain, G.
Mehta, J.
Heptinstall, R.
Citation: Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 1998; 7(4):419-421
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 1058-2746
Statement of
Bain, Gregory I ; Mehta, Janak A ; Heptinstall, Ronald J
Abstract: Elevation of the upper extremity after elbow surgery has rarely been advocated and can be difficult to achieve. Usually the extremity is elevated with the elbow at 90 degrees of flexion, so that swelling from the hand drains to the elbow but the elbow remains dependent. Excessive swelling causes discomfort and compromised wound healing, makes early mobilization difficult, and predisposes to joint contracture. We report on a dynamic elbow suspension splint, which is analogous to the Thomas splint used for femoral shaft fractures. The arm is held in full extension with an above-elbow plaster slab and is secured to the Thomas splint with skin traction. The splint is suspended on a Balkan frame at an angle of 60 degrees. We prefer to use the new Zimmer Thomas splint, because it is radiolucent and has self-adhesive sheep-skin supports that can be simply applied. It allows the patient to mobilize in bed and is well tolerated by patients and nursing staff. The dynamic elbow suspension splint is a useful adjunct after complex elbow surgery or trauma, because it reduces swelling and maintains the elbow in extension.
Keywords: Elbow Joint; Humans; Postoperative Care; Traction; Equipment Design; Splints
RMID: 0030005791
DOI: 10.1016/S1058-2746(98)90035-0
Appears in Collections:Orthopaedics and Trauma publications

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