Splints: FSA Eligibility
What are splints?
Splints are one of the oldest and continually used forms of medical technology that are used to protect or support fractured bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and other tissues. Splints are often referred to as “half-casts,” in that they are placed on only one side of the affected area and do not wrap all the way around. Instead, they are typically held in place by medical tape, elastic bandages or are built into the structure of an athletic brace to provide stability to an injured area so it can heal more effectively (AAFP).
What are the types of splints and when are they used?
In the vast majority of cases, splints are used for orthopedic injuries like broken bones or following surgery, but they are also known to be used in the immediate aftermath of an injury to control swelling before a cast is placed over this area. Additionally, some orthopedists may opt to use a cast for one portion of the treatment period, and then transition the patient to a cast further down the line.
Splints can be made of nearly any kind of material, but today the vast majority are made of fiberglass and plaster. Fiberglass is the most popular option, as these are very lightweight so they won’t dramatically affect the wearer’s range of motion, while also allowing air to flow through the affected area to keep it cool (Cleveland Clinic).
Treatment plans and uses of splints vary greatly and are highly contingent on the type of injury that the patient has suffered. But, because of their role in treating acute injuries and pain, they are a qualified medical product available for purchase with pre-tax healthcare funds.