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J Hand Ther. 2002 Apr-Jun;15(2):144-57.

Plaster of Paris: the forgotten hand splinting material.

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HandLab, Division of RHRC, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina 27608, USA.


This article examines the concept of tissue adaptation in response to the application of plaster of Paris splints and casts. A review of the history of plaster of Paris and its composition, its working properties, and precautions for its use introduces the reader to this oft-forgotten material. Four designs are described for plaster of Paris application-circumferential padded casts, digital unpadded casts, plaster slabs, and contour molds. The discussion of clinical application of plaster of Paris covers joint tightness, arthritis, contracted joints due to spasticity, muscle-tendon tightness, skin tightness, skin and joint tightness, and edema reduction. In addition, a new application called casting motion to mobilize stiffness (CMMS), developed by the author, is discussed. The use of plaster of Paris to improve postoperative flexor tendon glide is also discussed. This review article intends to stimulate the reader to use plaster of Paris splinting or casting more frequently to solve clinical problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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