Orthopedic Immobilization Technique

Orthopedic Immobilization Technique

Orthopedics addresses problems of the musculoskeletal system by both surgical and nonsurgical means. Orthopedic surgeons treat musculoskeletal trauma, fractures, sports injuries, the spine, degenerative diseases, bone infections, tumors, and congenital disorders.

In most trauma and fracture cases, the injured area will be immobilized to provide therapeutic healing over a sustained period. Orthopedics uses immobilization equipment and strategies to treat trauma, injuries, and diseases.

These devices help keep the affected joints or bones in place and prevent harmful or painful movements while the area is healing. Thus, it is crucial to use dependable, high-tech orthopedic immobilization equipment and devices during your recovery.

Types of Immobilization Devices

The cast, splint, or brace will provide support to the injured joint from both above and below when an arm, hand, leg, or foot requires immobilization. Hip, upper thigh, shoulder or upper arm injuries require a cast that encloses the body and extends up or down the injured arm or leg.

Casts, Splints, Braces

These devices support and protect broken bones, dislocated joints and injured tissues. Motion is restricted in order to allow injured areas to heal and to reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasms. Splints and casts are also used after surgery to repair broken and damaged bones, tendons and ligaments.

Splints are available for every joint in the body and are used for a wide variety of orthopedic injuries and postoperative immobilization. Fractures and sprains, for example, are splinted to make room for the inevitable swelling that accompanies these injuries. Uncontrolled swelling can cause compartment syndrome, which can damage the neurovascular system in the affected area.

Casts, on the other hand, do not accommodate for swelling and are most often used after the acute injury phase is over, when a splint may be replaced with a cast for longer-term immobilization and healing.


Orthotic braces, or orthoses, are used to provide support to a weakened area of the body. They are usually worn for a short period of time after an injury or surgery. Sometimes braces are used to correct chronic conditions. Some common conditions for which long term-use of an orthosis may be prescribed by your physician include scoliosis, osteoarthritis, back pain and drop foot.

Cervical collars

Cervical (neck) collars are used to support the neck and shoulders. Rigid collars are usually constructed of plastic. They hold the head and neck firmly in place. They are used after major surgery or serious injury, such as a broken neck. Cervical collars are sometimes used to support the neck for a short time. They may be rigid, or soft and made from felt, foam, or rubber. Soft collars allow limited movement of the neck.

Clavicle Orthoses

Collarbones can be injured or broken through car accidents, falls, or various sports injuries. Acromioclavicular joint injury, thoracic outlet syndrome, infected clavicle, bone cancer, and joint arthritis are some other clavicle injuries. Even sleeping in the wrong position can be traumatic to the clavicle. Specialized clavicle orthoses are effective means of protection and support through the healing process.

Posture-Correcting Orthoses

Posture braces are designed to help correct posture by pulling the shoulders back and away from the ears. This aligns the spine and prevents the shoulders from slumping forward. Posture braces can help with back pain, injury or incorrect posture.

Sleeves and Straps

Multiple-zoned orthopedic compression sleeves improve circulation, support muscle and ligament stability and aid in recovery. They help to ease the pain, protect fragile areas and prevent injuries to joints and muscles.

These sleeves fit the body, are breathable, and provide comfort during the day or night. Normal activities can be carried on comfortably when wearing these supportive sleeves.

Sleeves and orthopedic straps are available for wrists, elbows, thighs, knees, calves, and ankles.

Before applying any immobilization device, a qualified physician or health care professional should complete an injury evaluation, including a neurovascular assessment. An accurate diagnosis will inform the appropriate treatment plan, at which point the most appropriate immobilization device can be selected.

The orthopedic specialists at Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township, Michigan, can answer any questions you have about casts, splints, or other immobilization options available to you. Call Movement Orthopedics today at (586) 436-3785 to see you’re your best options are or use our convenient online appointment request form to schedule a consultation.

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