Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Splinting
Splinting immobilizes a limb that may be broken or severely sprained
to prevent further injury and ease pain until you can see a health
professional. Splinting may also be helpful after a snakebite while you wait
for help to arrive. There are two ways to immobilize a limb: tie the injured
limb to a stiff object, or fasten it to some other part of the body.
For the first method, tie rolled-up newspapers or magazines, a stick,
a cane, or anything that is stiff to the injured limb, using a rope, a belt, or
anything else that will work. Do not tie too tightly.
Position the splint so the injured limb cannot bend. A general rule
is to splint from a joint above the injury to a joint below it. For example,
splint a broken forearm from above the elbow to below the wrist.
For the second method, tape a broken finger to the one next to it, or
immobilize an arm by tying it across the chest. Again, do not tie too
These splinting methods are for short-term, emergency use only. They
are not substitutes for proper medical evaluation and care. Your doctor will
provide you with a splint or cast that is appropriate for the type of injury
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.