A cast is a protective shell formed around broken bones. It prevents the bones from moving, thus allowing them to heal into proper form after suffering a traumatic injury. Casts are made with plastic or fiberglass and are typically applied to extremities like legs and arms to accelerate healing.
Do I need a cast?
Casts are most often used to treat broken bones. If you suddenly experienced a trauma and are in extreme pain, it’s advisable that you go to the doctor to get an x-ray and confirm whether your limb is actually broken. Larger extremities like arms and legs can be in a cast, while smaller appendages like fingers and toes cannot.
Once the doctor confirms you have a broken bone, he or she will proceed toward setting it right away. The body is resilient and begins healing soon after an injury. That’s why it’s crucial to set a broken bone as soon as possible. This prevents improper healing which can impact overall functionality of the limb and even the shape of it.
Getting the Cast
Prior to getting a cast, the doctor will take several x-rays to determine how to set your bones. Once he has an idea he will begin to position the limb.
Today’s casts are incredibly comfortable. They have high levels of conformability, fast settings times, and many can be load bearing within 20 minutes. These benefits help make living with a cast easier, thus improving the rate of proper healing.
To apply the cast the doctor will create a mixture (what it is will depend on what he chooses to use). He will then dip bandages in the mixture and form them over your limb. After the cast has been applied, he will then take a final x-ray to make sure everything has set the right way.
Life With a Cast
Living with a cast is not as difficult as it used to be. The hardest part is avoiding water, however, many sheaths can protect your cast. And, in a pinch, a plastic bag will help! Casts are designed to be hard and absorb impact. This ensures the limb enclosed doesn’t get the brunt of the impact and is totally protected. With that in mind, many people find the excess weight and bulk of a cast to be particularly frustrating. After a week or so you’ll be used to it and functioning as normal.
Casting one’s limbs is an old medical practice that has been around for ages. It began with splinting, but at technology evolved better, more secure and effective options came about.
If you believe you suffered a broken limb visit our clinic. Through x-ray and physical examination our team of medical professionals will ensure you get the best treatment and are back to enjoying the life you love.