Lower Leg Splint
There are many ways to improvise a splint for a lower leg for ankle injury. But few methods have the advantage of using an ensolite or foam sleeping pad to make the splint.
The advantage that ensolite (closed cell foam) has is that it is very flexible, soft, conforms easily, it is warm and insulating, and has good support when formed to the extremity and tied in place.
Technique for making a lower leg splint with an ensolite pad:
1. Remove the shoe and sock to be able to inspect and monitor the foot once the splint is in place. Fold the ensolite pad in half width wise, adjust the length to fit the length of the leg keeping the doubled over portion at the foot end. The pad should extend at least 12″ above the knee and a 12″ below the foot.
2. Roll the ensolite around the leg and tie it in place above and below the knee.
3. The section that extends below the foot can now be folded up against the sole of the foot. To aid in tying the folded-up foot support section around the leg, put a 6′ piece of tubular webbing, rope, or other material through the folded over end of the ensolite pad.
4. Take the webbing (or rope) material and cross in front of the leg.
5. Then wrap around the lower leg and cross over the top of the leg.
6. Then wrap around the folded up section of the ensolite with the foot being held at 90°, position of comfort.
7. Finish by tying off the webbing on the front of the leg.
Remember to monitor circulation, sensation, and warmth in the distal extremity every fifteen minutes.
This blog is powered by the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, now celebrating 20 years of publication. The WMN is published and distributed online six times each year by TMC Books, and subscriptions cost as little as $10 per year. To find out more, or to subscribe online, click here.