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Wilderness: Splinting (cont.)

Lower Extremity Splinting: Pelvis, Hip, Leg, Knee, Ankle, Foot

  • Pelvis, hip, and femur (upper leg) fractures often completely immobilize the person. Because broken bones of the pelvis and upper leg can cause massive, life-threatening internal bleeding, people with these types of fractures should be evacuated unless splinting and carriage are absolutely necessary. In these cases, the splint should extend to the lower back and down past the knee of the affected side of the extremity.
  • Knee injuries require splints that extend to the hip and down to the ankle. These splints are applied to the back of the leg and buttock.
  • Ankle injuries and foot injuries can be wrapped alone. Use a figure-of-eight pattern: under the foot, over the top of the foot, around the back of the ankle, back over the top of the foot, under the foot, and so on. Splinting supports can also be used along the back and sides of the ankle to prevent excessive movement. The foot should be kept at a right angle in the splint to immobilize the ankle.
  • An injured toe can be buddy-taped to the adjacent, unaffected toes until evaluated by a health care professional.

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Splinting »

In general, splints are applied to decrease movement and provide support and comfort through stabilization of an injury.

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