Shoulder_Splints

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Rules of Shoulder Splinting
• Shoulder is the most commonly dislocated
large joint in the body
• These dislocations are always very painful
• Might have numbness of hand or skin 
CMS
A shoulder dislocation
occurs when there is an
injury to the joint between
the humerus and scapula
Is Shoulder Dislocated?
•
To verify dislocation
1. Do full palpation of the entire limb starting at the
proximal clavicle; look especially for Fx of humerus
2. If negative, ask patient to gently touch opposite
shoulder with their injury-side fingertip
3. if YES, not dislocation; probably AC separation,
contusion, clavicle injury
•
Patient will guard shoulder;
Arm will be held in some fixed position
Splinting a Dislocation
• If shoulder is dislocated, see if patient can
move arm to any part of body
– if YES, secure the arm to that body part,
eg. head, chest; takes some weight from
shoulder
– If No, support the arm as best you can, without
moving it
• Whatever you do, arm must be
– supported
– secured
If Dislocated and Arm in front
• Most common is arm locked forward of
the body, away from chest wall; result
of fall with outstretched arm to side
An anterior dislocation –
the top of the humerus
is sitting in front of the
shoulder blade.
If Dislocated and Arm in front
• Effective Splint is “pigs in blanket”
• Sequence is on website
If Dislocated and Arm to rear
• 1: 20 dislocations is arm locked aft of
body
posterior dislocation - the top
of the humerus is behind the
shoulder blade
Blanket Roll Splint
1. Put Blanket
Roll snugly
under arm
2. Use Cravat to support
blanket roll and tie over
good shoulder
3. Tie Swath
with cravat to
secure blanket
roll.
If Dislocated and Arm is up
• This is extremely rare in skiing
If Dislocated and Arm is up
• Add bandaging of hand to head to the
“blanket roll” splint
Airplane Splint
(on the website)
Shoulder Separation
• NOT truly an injury to the shoulder joint;
actually involves the stretch or tear of
ligaments holding clavicle to shoulder blade;
there is pain & swelling; telltale is bump on
top of shoulder caused by
lifting of shoulder blade
Treatment is
Sling and Swath
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