Research Article| Volume 46, ISSUE 8, P681-685, December 1993

Download started.


Do babies require arm splints after cleft palate repair?

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Traditionally, arm restraints are used in children after cleft surgery to prevent traumatic disruption of the repair. A questionnaire amongst consultant plastic surgeons in the UK showed that restraints are in common use.
      However, a prospective randomised trial of 46 children having primary cleft palate repair showed that arm splints did not decrease the incidence of oronasal fistulae. Six of 21 children who had arm splints in the postoperative period and 5 of 25 who did not have splints developed an oronasal fistula. We have therefore abandoned the use of arm splints after cleft palate repair.


        • Millard RD
        2nd ed. Cleft craft: the evolution of its surgery. Vol. III. Little Brown and Company, Boston1980: 159-163
        • Randall P
        • La Rossa D
        Cleft palate.
        in: McCarthy JG Plastic surgery. WB Saunders Company, Philadelphia1990: 2723-2751
        • Grabb WC
        General aspects of cleft palate surgery.
        in: Grabb WC Rosenstein SW Bzoch KR Cleft lip and palate, surgical, dental and speech aspects. Little Brown and Company, Boston1971: 373-392
        • O'Riain S
        Cleft lip surgery without postoperative restraints.
        Br J Plast Surg. 1977; 30: 140-141
        • Fish J
        Growth of palatal shelves of post-alveolar cleft palate infants: effects of stimulation appliances.
        Br Dent J. 1972; 132: 492-501
        • Jolleys A
        • Savage JP
        Healing defects in cleft palate surgery: the role of infection.
        Br J Plast Surg. 1963; 13: 134-139
        • Moore MD
        • Lawrence WT
        • Ptak JJ
        • Trier WC
        Complication of primary palatoplasty: a twenty-one-year review.
        Cleft Palate J. 1988; 25: 156-162
        • Abyholm FE
        • Borchgrevink HHC
        • Eskeland G
        Palatal fistulae following cleft palate surgery.
        Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg. 1979; 13: 295-300
        • Amaratunga NA de S
        Occurrence of oronasal fistulas in operated cleft palate patients.
        J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1988; 46: 834-837
        • Cohen SR
        • Kalinowski J
        • LaRossa D
        • Randall P
        Cleft palate fistulas: a multivariate statistical analysis of prevalence, etiology, and surgical management.
        Plast Reconstr Surg. 1991; 87: 1041-1047