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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.
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Accepted: August 24, 1993
Received: April 8, 1993
This study was presented at the meeting of the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain in Bristol, September 1992.
© 1993 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc.