A recent randomised controlled trial in children has shown that using a removable splint may be just as effective as a cast in treating minimally angulated fractures of the distal radius, and is preferred by patients and parents. Ninety-six children aged between 5 and 12 years were randomly assigned to either a cast, or a prefabricated splint which could be removed only for bathing or hygiene reasons. At six weeks, there were no significant differences between the groups in physical function, degree of angulation, pain, or side effects such as irritation and discomfort. In terms of patient and parent preference, use of the splint was superior to the cast — among the splint group, 12% of children and 5% of parents indicated that they would have preferred a cast; while among the cast group, 68% of children and 60% of parents would have preferred a splint.
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