What is Orthopedic Cast

Orthopedic cast is also known as body cast or surgical cast. Orthopedic is a cast which was made customarily from cotton bandages drenched in plaster of paris and it is a part of medical science which basically deals with disorders, injuries of the Skelton system, muscles, joints and ligaments allied with it. It is basically like a shell that is made up of plaster of paris; its main purpose is to support a broken bone until it is properly healed.

The orthopedic cast has been used since the 1800’s. But initial orthopedic cast was not helpful because plaster of paris inflate as it dries. If we apply this cast snugly then it can even wedge our blood circulation.

There were some limitations in using orthopedic cast that were made from plaster of paris. These were:-

People that use it were susceptible to skin irritations or infections. It was very heavy so it was difficult to do daily routine tasks by wearing it. I can result in ulcerations, rashes, itching, burns which can be due to presence of formaldehyde in plaster bandages.

To avoid these limitations some physicians recommended fiber glass casting instead of plaster of paris. But its results were still not satisfactory. Although it was lighter in weight and easier to apply still skin irritation was there in it and it was less comfortable also.

So, keeping in view the benefits of fiberglass some improvements were done in it. To make fiberglass waterproof lining called PROCEL was used. It is comparatively expensive than other two.

Some physicians suggest splint instead of orthopedic cast. It was previously used to hold a fracture. Splints are right strips laid parallel to each other on both side of bone. When dry it was stiff and inelastic, but when warmed it became soft and malleable. In 1851, Utterhoeven describe the usage of splints for treatment of fracture.

If there is any bad stink in the cast then we can keep odor away. Usually due to moisture under the cast smell occurs. So, we should keep moisture away by not letting water get into the cast and not sweating excessively under the cast.

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