Comparison between plaster cast immobilization and semi-rigid immobilization in children and adolescents with injuries of the knee

The knee is the largest and most complicated joint in the human body. Congruence of the knee surfaces is very complex, and as a result injuries are frequent. Initially, knee injuries are treated with rest, immobilization, cooling and elevation. In this paper we compare measurements of the circumference of the middle part of the thigh in patients with knee injuries that were treated conservatively with semi-rigid immobilization or with plaster cast immobilization. During the period from June 1st 2008 to the January 1st 2009 at the Department of Paediatric Surgery, University Hospital Split, 30 patients were treated for various knee injuries. Fifteen of them were treated with the semi-rigid immobilization and fifteen with plaster cast immobilization. The circumference of every patient’s thigh was measured three times: at admission, and on the 7th and 21st day after the injury. The patients that had been treated with the plaster cast immobilization, after 3 weeks of immobilization had an average decrease of thigh circumference of 5.25 cm, while in patients with semi-rigid immobilization, the decrease was only 2.20 cm, and they also showed more rapid recovery and return to their usual daily activities. If there is an indication for immobilization of the knee we recommend semi-rigid immobilization because, in comparison to plaster cast immobilization, it is more comfortable, easier to use, significantly preserves the tonus and circumference of the thigh muscles and has fewer complications.

Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 54, No 4, october - december 2010
Authors: D. Furlan, Z. Pogorelić, I. Jurić, J. Meštrović, M. Furlan, M. Biočić
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