5 Orthopedic Immobilization Devices

by / Tuesday, 26 February 2019 / Published in Blog

Orthopedic immobilization is often required to allow an orthopedic injury to heal properly. Injured bones and soft tissues may become more damaged if affected areas aren’t immobilized. Preventing movement also helps to reduce pain.

Immobilization is achieved with different procedures, depending on the location and severity of the injury.

  • Braces are used to immobilize a part of the body. This may be done after an injury to support and keep a bone in place. The doctor will recommend a brace following surgery to assist in alignment. Since braces are adjustable, they allow gradual addition of movement as the bone starts healing.
  • Casts are most commonly used to immobilize a fracture. A cast keeps a fractured bone in place so that the broken spaces will rejoin. Casts provide more support than a brace. They are custom-made to fit the patient. Casts are usually made of fiberglass or plaster.
  • Collars are used to immobilize the neck after an injury to prevent further damage to the head, neck, and spine. A hard, cervical collar is used in emergency situations when the type and extent of injury is unknown. Soft collars help to reduce pain by restricting movement.
  • Slings immobilize an arm following an injury and they are often combined with a cast. A sling is usually a bandage that is folded into a triangle, placed under the arm and then tied around the neck.
  • Traction utilizes tension to realign and stabilize broken bones, while also immobilizing the patient’s movement. Traction is common for cervical injuries so that the spine and neck are immobilized.
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