Treating Fractures

Treating Fractures: Casts vs. Splints vs. Surgery

Fractures, or broken bones, are common injuries that require prompt and appropriate treatment to ensure proper healing and minimize long-term complications. Depending on the severity and location of the fracture, as well as individual patient factors, treating fractures can include different treatment approaches, including casts, splints, and surgery.

Each option has its benefits and considerations, and the choice of treatment depends on factors such as the type of fracture, its location, and the patient’s overall health. When you work with a team such as ours at Paris Orthopedics, we will help you make this call so that you can heal safely and effectively. Today, you can learn more and even come up with questions you may have at future appointments. 


Casts are a traditional and widely used method of treating fractures. A cast is a rigid shell of plaster or fiberglass molded around the injured area to immobilize the broken bone and surrounding joints. Casts are effective for stabilizing simple fractures that do not require surgical intervention. They are particularly suitable for fractures in long bones, such as the arms and legs. Casts provide consistent and steady support, preventing movement that could hinder healing.

Advantages of casts include their ability to provide strong immobilization, promote alignment of fractured bone segments, and require less frequent follow-up appointments than other treatment methods. Casts are also cost-effective and non-invasive. However, they have limitations regarding accessibility for hygiene, as they cannot be removed for washing, and they may lead to skin irritation or muscle atrophy if worn for extended periods.


Splints are similar to casts but are less rigid and offer more flexibility. They are often used in cases where swelling is a concern, as they allow for some swelling without causing discomfort or restricting blood flow. Splints are commonly used as initial treatment for fractures, providing temporary stabilization until a definitive treatment plan can be established. They are advantageous for fractures that require close monitoring or might require surgical intervention at a later stage.

The flexibility of splints can be beneficial in some situations, as they allow for adjustments as swelling subsides or as further diagnostic tests are conducted. However, due to their less rigid nature, splints may not provide as much support as casts, and patients might need to be cautious about overusing the affected limb to prevent further injury.


Surgical intervention becomes necessary when treating fractures that are complex involving joints, open fractures (where the bone pierces through the skin), or fractures that fail to heal correctly with conservative methods. Surgery involves the realignment and fixation of fractured bone segments using plates, screws, pins, or rods. Internal fixation stabilizes the bone fragments, enabling early mobility and reducing the risk of complications like nonunion or malunion.

Advantages of treating fractures with surgery include precise alignment of fractured fragments, immediate stability, and the potential for faster healing and recovery. Surgical intervention is often chosen for fractures that could lead to long-term functional impairment or deformities without proper realignment. However, surgery carries inherent risks like infection, bleeding, and anesthesia-related complications. Recovery from surgery might also involve rehabilitation and physiotherapy to restore full function and strength.

Learn More With Paris Orthopedics 

The choice between casts, splints, and surgery for treating fractures depends on a range of factors, including the type, location, and severity of the fracture, as well as the patient’s overall health and preferences. 

Ultimately, the decision on the appropriate treatment approach should be made in consultation with a medical professional who can evaluate the specific circumstances of the fracture and the patient’s needs. Our team at Paris Orthopedics can help you make that call. Contact us today to get started!