This page gives you information about your Woodcast® splint, how to care for it and what to do if you have any problems.
What is a splint?
Fitting a splint to your injured limb is an important part of your treatment. Rigid splints support your injury providing comfort, rest and recovery. Typical splints you may have seen before are made of either plaster of Paris or hard plastics. These traditional methods can be messy to apply, expensive and difficult to dispose of when removed.
What is a Woodcast® splint?
Woodcast® represents an eco-friendly splinting option. It is light, easy to use, clean and fully biodegradable. It is an exciting new product, recently introduced to the Trauma & Orthopaedic Departments at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The main advantage of this product is that, unlike the more commonly used plastic alternatives, it is biodegradable. This means that when you no longer need your splint you can dispose of it on your compost heap or place in your garden waste bin.
A Woodcast® splint is also re-mouldable. This means that if it loosens while wearing it, you can return to the Plaster Room for it to be re-moulded to fit.
The plaster of Paris and plastic options need to be completely replaced if they are fitting poorly, which adds even more waste.
Who can use a Woodcast® splint?
Woodcast® is a versatile splinting material and can be used for a variety of injuries. Your clinical team will determine if your injury is suitable. The plaster team will provide an alternative splint if the Woodcast® is not appropriate for your injury.
How is the Woodcast® splint applied?
Your Woodcast® splint will be applied by our trained plaster technicians. We may have to gently reposition your limb to do this. If you have recently injured yourself or you have had surgery this may cause some discomfort. We advise you to take simple pain relief, such as paracetamol, before the cast is applied.
Once positioned, your limb will be wrapped in a protective layer of padding to protect prominent areas and to make sure that the splint will not rub. The Woodcast® is then heated until it becomes soft enough to mould to your limb. The Woodcast® will be warm but will not burn your skin. If you notice excessive heat, please let your plaster technician know. The Woodcast® will be applied gently to your limb and held in place by a bandage which will be wrapped around the entire length of the splint.
The Woodcast® will then set over a few minutes. The whole procedure should take around 5 to 10 minutes.
How to look after your Woodcast® splint
Keep your splint dry and clean. Wear loose clothing around the splint. If your doctor has stated that you can weight bear through this splint, then please only use the weightbearing shoe provided by the plaster room team.
Do not try to adjust or fix your Woodcast® splint. If your Woodcast® becomes uncomfortable, breaks or loosens, please contact the plaster room team for advice. The contact details are at the end of this page.
Woodcast® is widely used across Europe and the UK. However, this is a new product to Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and we would like to assess its use compared to our current splints.
If you have received a Woodcast® splint following your injury or operation, we may ask you to complete a simple patient questionnaire. This is available online or in paper format and we will ask you to fill in the questionnaire at your fracture clinic follow-up appointment. This should take about 5 minutes to complete.
Completing the patient questionnaire will provide us with valuable feedback about the product and help us determine if we should expand the use of Woodcast® splints within the Trust. Taking part in the survey is entirely voluntary and has no effect on the clinical decisions made about your injury or care.
If you have any questions about the questionnaire, please contact the trial lead, Matthew Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have a problem with the splint?
If you have a problem with your splint, please contact the plaster room team at:
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 8411
Cheltenham General Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 3148
If your call is not answered, please leave your name, contact number and brief details of your problem.