Wednesday, September 10, 2008

sugar tong splint

After examining my most recent wrist x-rays my doctor told the technician to put me in a sugar tong splint and that he'd see me in two weeks. I thought he said "a sugar tongue splint." After he left the room I asked the technician what that was. He said, "sugar tongs, like to pick up ice." Or sugar cubes from a bowl if you're dainty.

He laid out several long strips of bandages on the counter, and then on top of the bandages laid wet strips of a pliable material that hardens as it dries. Then he picked it all up and brought it over to me sitting on the examining table. I held out my arm with my elbow bent 90 degrees. He wrapped the long strip of material with the mid point of the strip at my bent elbow and the the length running along the top and bottom of my forearm up as far as my hand. Like a long U, or a pair of tongs.

Then the whole arm got wrapped in gauze and held together with medical tape. The sugar tong hardened on the top and bottom of my arm immobilizing the wrist. The sides of the splint are just soft bandages. Because the sugar tong goes around the back of my elbow I also can't move my arm out of the 90 degree position. So even with my fingers free and fairly strong, as they are, I still can't get them in position to type or do a lot of other tasks that would otherwise not be a problem.

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