Sugar-Tong Forearm Splinting

Updated: Sep 16, 2019
  • Author: Clifton G Meals, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

Splints are used to prevent motion of injured body parts. Unlike casts, splints are not circumferential and are slightly flexible. This allows splints to expand and accommodate swelling. Splints are often used immediately after an injury and exchanged later for a more rigid cast. [1, 2]

Sugar-tong splints are used to stabilize injuries of the forearm and wrist by preventing forearm rotation and wrist motion. [3, 4] These splints may be used to maintain alignment of broken bones or to protect a patient’s forearm or wrist after surgery. Sugar-tong splints are long and U-shaped, not unlike a utensil used to pick up sugar cubes.

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Indications

Indications for sugar-tong splints are as follows [1, 2, 5, 6] :

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Contraindications

The risks and limitations of sugar-tong splinting should be considered before the splint is applied. There are no specific contraindications for sugar-tong splinting. For some pediatric distal forearm fractures, a short arm cast may be more cost-effective than a sugar-tong splint, though it does not provide significantly better fracture alignment. [7]

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