Scott J. Tarantino, MD, FAAOS
As clinicians, these are three simple questions we all should ask ourselves when considering a change in the way we practice orthopedic medicine. If you’ve been immobilizing fractures using cotton-based casts with great success for many years or decades, I understand the hesitancy to consider a change to waterproof casting materials. However, as technology continues to move forward and evolve, our patients will start to become less and less tolerant of being in an “old-school” dry cast and be more likely to seek practices that provide modern waterproof options, like AquaCast Liner.
The following studies done over the course of the last 30 years have evaluated different waterproof casting materials with respect to a variety of factors like skin health, odor, itching, and patient satisfaction. Some have also looked at outcomes for fracture healing, maintenance of radiographic alignment, and even return to function. The findings overall are favorable for waterproof cast materials in terms of safety, efficacy, patient satisfaction, and outcomes.
What is the published data and science?
Is it safe for your patients?
The short answer is “yes”, it is safe. Based on the studies above, skin health complication rates were lower than traditional casting and were mostly minor irritation or a rash. This issue can be further minimized with education of our patients on how to properly care for the cast at home. Waterproof casts have been proven to have lower odor and less itching due to the ability to wash out any retained dry or sloughing skin—we’ve all seen (and smelled) that horribly odorous traditional cast with all the dead skin caught on the stockinette and on the arm. The patient satisfaction rates (over 98%) demonstrate that patients and/or parents are happy with their waterproof cast.
Does it achieve the same or better outcomes than what you are doing now? Outcomes with respect to non-operatively treated fractures are mostly defined in terms of (1) radiographic healing with maintenance of alignment and (2) return to function. The studies performed to date looking at these issues have focused on pediatric forearm fractures and have shown no statistical difference in outcomes between traditional or waterproof casting. One study even looked at 100% displaced pediatric distal forearm fractures treated with a formal closed reduction in a cast and showed no difference in alignment when a waterproof cast was used. There is also evidence that children with forearm fractures seem to return to physical function and activity more quickly when treated in a waterproof cast. It is safe to say that when used properly, waterproof casting materials like AquaCast Liner can achieve similar outcomes and perhaps allow a faster return to function.
Does it make your patient’s life better?
Patient satisfaction scores demonstrate the answer is a resounding “yes”! Nobody I know wants to live in a cast for 4-6 weeks, but if it needs to be done, it will naturally be a more enjoyable experience if it itches less, smells less, and allows you to shower, bathe, and swim; all while giving you a better (or at least equivalent) outcome.
As an orthopaedic surgeon, I understand the conservative nature of orthopedic surgeons and their strong will to advocate for and protect their patients. The science and the data have shown that waterproof casting materials are safe for your patients and provide equivalent radiographic and perhaps even better functional outcomes (for forearm fractures in children). AquaCast Liner will make your patient’s recovery from a fracture a little less intrusive and limiting in their life
30 years ago when waterproof casts were first developed by GORE, orthopaedic surgeons and doctors knew they were a great idea in summer months so kids could swim. We all know traditional casts can ruin a summer for a kid because the cast can’t get wet. Fortunately, waterproof cast padding and waterproof cast liners changed that.
Fast forward 30 years, and waterproof casts are not just a solution for summer since kids are playing sports year round and more active than ever. These activities make them more prone to accidents and injuries that result in broken bones every month of the year.
HOW DO WATERPROOF CASTS WORK?
The secret to waterproof casts is in the first layer—the one that comes in direct contact with the skin. That material is made of a special material that doesn’t absorb water. Waterproof casts offer all the benefits of traditional casting plus some additional benefits in addition to being waterproof:
There are a few cases where waterproof cast liners are not recommended. The first is when open wounds are present at the area that needs to be casted. (I would rather not bring this up(BC))
WATERPROOF CASTS ARE CARE FREE
Ironically, the best results with waterproof casts are when the cast gets wet every day. This prevents the liner from sticking to the skin (which could be uncomfortable) and provides the opportunity for dead skin cells to be flushed from the cast. It’s also important to rinse the casted area with clean tap water after swimming in a chlorinated pool, salt water, lake, as chlorine, salt, dirt, can cause skin irritation.
THE STANDARD OF CARE IN MODERN CASTING
Waterproof cast liner technology and the providers who use it are changing the lives of people every day. Waterproof casts are an advancement in healthcare that makes life much easier for both kids and parents – and delivers better skin health.
Scott J. Tarantino, MD, FAAOS
A waterproof cast makes total sense when it’s 97 degrees outside, sunny, and you just want to wade in the pool and cool off. Or more importantly, you simply want to let your child just be a kid and jump in with his or her friends and not allow that broken arm or leg ruin their summer. The entire concept of waterproof technology for casting in the hotter months of the year is simply natural. But what about the winter?
Now it’s 27 degrees and the ground is covered with snow. Does a waterproof cast make any sense at all in the winter? There has been some hesitation in the past concerning the use of waterproof casts in the colder months due to fear of snow or ice getting into the cast or water actually freezing inside the cast and creating problems with the skin. The reality is that snow, ice, or water getting into the cast outdoors is not a problem for AquaCast Liner—this is one of the situations for which it is designed.
If you or your child are heading out in freezing temperatures, the cast will likely be covered with a coat and/or gloves, which will minimize any exposure to the snow, ice, or elements. There is no need to place any additional protective material over the cast; you don’t need to use any of those crazy plastic bags or cast covers. They just get in the way and will take away the use of your hand where your cast is located. Just put on your coat and gloves like you would normally. If any snow or ice happens to get into the cast adjacent to your skin, it will melt when exposed to your body heat and the water will then run out from under the cast material, just like it does in the summer. Yes, you might feel a little colder, just like you would if your gloves or clothing get wet in the snow, but it shouldn’t cause any damage to the cast or to your skin. If you get a piece of ice or a hard piece of snow under the cast and it is uncomfortable, simply go inside and run warm water into the cast to melt it more quickly – not a problem.
We have heard concerns about water getting under the cast in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, freezing into a piece of ice, and causing skin breakdown or irritation. Although anything is possible, the likelihood of this happening is small due to the constant body heat under the cast. Again, in the rare event that this should happen, simply running warm water under the cast will melt any ice quite quickly. To date, as far as AquaCast is aware, there have been no reported cases of this situation happening and their products are applied year-round in cold weather environments.
With a regular cast in place, you definitely need to be concerned about moisture, snow, ice, and water. The cotton under a regular cast cannot get wet because it is unable to dry quickly enough and will irritate the skin. If you do get it wet, it will require a cast change in the doctor’s office; this will cost you time (office visit), and in many cases, money (think co-pays). AquaCast Liner solves this problem quite easily and will save you that time and money.
Breaking a bone is never any fun, nor is being in a cast for several weeks. AquaCast Liner has historically made the summer months more enjoyable for patients by allowing them not only to shower and bathe normally, but to get in the pool to cool off on those hot, intolerable days. The winter isn’t any different. Patients will continue to bathe and shower in the colder months just like they do in the summer. Why not use AquaCast Liner in the winter to allow patients to enjoy the snow and cold weather safely without the concern of getting the cast wet and needing an unnecessary cast change?
Scott J. Tarantino, MD, FAAOS
Although the coronavirus pandemic may have slowed us all down, orthopedic surgeons worldwide are still treating patients with broken bones using casting techniques. Unfortunately, traditional casts with cotton padding do not allow for thorough handwashing for fear of getting the cast wet and needing it removed. I think we’re all familiar with that horribly “smelly cast” or the dirty hands and feet we see at follow-up visits. But now with Covid-19 around, should traditional casting techniques still be the norm if there are other options that may allow for better hygiene?
Waterproof cast padding and materials have been available for use for nearly 30 years, but there has been hesitation from some orthopedic surgeons in adopting this technology for various reasons. Is it truly safe to get water under the cast? Will it irritate the skin? Are the casts well-tolerated by patients? Are they less comfortable? Will the fracture stay in proper alignment? These are all good questions. Many of us physicians have used our own “tried and true” methodologies in caring for patients for decades and have a healthy concern about change and the risks it may present to the patients who count on us to make the right treatment decisions for them on a daily basis. The barriers to change are certainly understandable.
However, given the incredible importance of handwashing to limit the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, now may be a good time to consider a change to the use of waterproof casting methodologies. Orthopedic surgeons may not be on the front lines battling this virus in the ER or the ICU, but if we can help to contain the caseload of Covid-19 and in turn, help lower the burden on our colleagues, as well as provide patients the ability to wash their hands while recovering from a fracture, we should at least consider it. None of us wants our pediatric wrist fracture patient to give Covid to his mother or grandmother because he/she can’t wash their hands. For orthopedic surgeons who have been successfully using traditional cast padding for their entire career, this may still be a difficult or uncomfortable transition.
Beginning in the early 1990s with the Gore Procel cast liner, the concept of waterproof cast technologies took off. Many comparative studies have been done over the years to look at the safety, reliability, and outcomes with the use of waterproof cast liners to treat fractures. A selection of these studies can be reviewed here:
1. A waterproof cast liner earns high marks
2. Waterproof casts for immobilization of children’s fractures and sprains
3. Waterproof versus cotton cast liners: a randomized, prospective comparison
Although other waterproof cast options were and have been available, the “Gore-Tex” cast liner became the worldwide leader in a very short time, but its lifespan was limited as the company decided to stop production earlier this past decade for strategic reasons. In 2013, AquaCast created essentially the next-generation, “upgraded” cast liner model of the Gore Procel product.
A waterproof cast liner is designed to take the place of the cotton padding traditionally used under fiberglass casts. It is a non-absorptive, breathable padding that allows for water to run out from underneath the cast via channels created by small “pillows” built into the material. Any residual perspiration or water caught between the liner and the skin will evaporate directly through the liner from the patient’s body heat. It allows for patients to shower, swim, or bathe safely and without concern. It allows for soap and water to be used for hand and arm hygiene.
In the current days of the Covid-19 pandemic, hand hygiene is of paramount importance. Never before have we as a people been so keenly aware of the impact of doing something so simple as washing our hands. Watch this webinar by orthopedic surgeon and clinical assistant professor, Dr Kali Tileston, from Stanford University discussing “Modern Casting Techniques in a Covid-19 World” to get her view on the use of waterproof cast liners during the pandemic.
We, as orthopedic surgeons, may not feel like we can directly impact the coronavirus pandemic, but maybe we can. If you have ever considered the use of waterproof cast materials in your practice, now may just be the right time to move forward to help out your patients, our frontline healthcare workers, and families all over the world by facilitating hand hygiene for those recovering from fractures requiring casting.
:the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
"she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support"
For over eight years our mission at AquaCast Liner has been to provide high-quality products that bring comfort during an inconvenient time. When you break a bone, with our waterproof cast padding under the fiberglass, you’re able to live life more normally. You’re able to wash hands, shower, bathe, swim, or workout while wearing a cast. Because of coronavirus and Covid-19, these last few weeks have been challenging for everyone; even more so for those on the front lines battling the pandemic.
One of the casualties of this health crisis not often mentioned has been (and will be) non-profit organizations. Dave Slomkowski, a great friend and the founder of one such non-profit, Athletes Serving Athletes, began the mission of elevating the quality of life for individuals with limited mobility 12 years ago. In 2019, ASA helped almost 70 athletes compete in over 250 running events. Because of social distancing and the cancellation of myriad events, the athletes his organization serves have been unable to train or race. Their marquee fundraising event is on hold. There is uncertainty. Sadness. Fear. Isolation. Loss of hope. Emotions we have all felt recently.
AquaCast Liner has been a proud sponsor of this amazing non-profit since our founding. I received this video from Julia Kardian, an Athlete Serving Athletes director, and it’s a humbling reminder of just how fortunate we truly are, despite our current situation. Our three plus weeks of quarantine is nothing compared to the challenges these amazing athletes have dealt with their entire lives. These events bring joy and a sense of community these families treasure. The competition; the love; the “normal-ness” these events offer. I’ve never left a race dry-eyed or without having my perspective jolted around the high quality of my so-called problems.
“Isolation is hard and painful and affects our physical, emotional, and mental health in significant ways. During this unexpected time of social distancing,” noted ASA’s Julia Kardian, “it has been a reminder of how important and empowering our mission is to so many. We know that for our Athletes and their families, this experience is an everyday reality, not just “right now”. More than ever, I am so proud to be a part of an organization that uplifts the lives of our ASA Athletes, their families, and our communities as a whole”.
The world has changed and hopefully our humanity will be better because of this unique challenge. We have already seen so many positive examples from our healthcare workers, first responders, and so many other “forgotten” industries. When the dust settles on this pandemic, for what will we be remembered? Will it be for our behavior as an inspiration to others? To our children? Or, like the little boy in the cartoon, will we be remembered for panic and fear and toilet paper?
We have always been a people of hope. Perhaps now is a time to be even more grateful for what we have. And, in our own unique way, to share our good fortune with others so that they too, can remain hopeful.
Perhaps reworking the second part of this sentence. I’m a little unclear on it. Maybe something like “or without having my perspective jolted around the quality of my so-called problems.”
How AquaCast® Liner Helps Patients Stay Home & Stay Safe
In the current environment, patients are being encouraged to stay away from doctors’ offices unless a visit is absolutely necessary. Even though healthcare waiting rooms are typically clean environments, the proximity to other patients means that visitors are still more exposed to risk than they would be at home. AquaCast Liner helps patients avoid contracting COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses by increasing the ease of handwashing and reducing the need for recasting. Learn more about the benefits of our waterproof casting materials below.
A great benefit of waterproof cast liners is that they allow patients to wash their hands more frequently, and more thoroughly, than they would with a traditional cast with a cotton or synthetic cast liner. We don’t need to tell you that increased handwashing can highly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and other diseases! By offering your patients a waterproof cast, you are not only helping to make the recovery process easier; you are also increasing the level of safety from communicable diseases, too.
If a traditional cotton or synthetic padded cast becomes wet, it will likely stay wet for an extended period of time, forcing the patient to return to a medical treatment facility for recasting. As we mentioned above, this exposes the patient to more risk, as public waiting rooms have a higher potential for disease transmission than private homes. Recasting is also typically expensive, and some healthcare insurers do not cover it, creating an additional cost for the medical facility.
If the patient is able to wear a fiberglass cast with a waterproof cast liner underneath it, however, the necessitation of a recast is significantly reduced. The waterproof cast liner and fiberglass over-layer will not hold water. With summer days fast approaching, this becomes all the more important as patients spend more time at the beach, pool, lake or ocean. With an AquaCast waterproof cast liner, an accidental fall into a pool is not a problem, and your patient can stay home and stay healthy!
Order the World’s Leading Waterproof Cast Lining Material!
AquaCast Liner produces the highest-quality, most cost effective waterproof cast material available in today’s healthcare market. Our waterproof cast liner products help patients wash their hands, shower, bathe, and even swim (doctor permitting) as they recover. To learn more about waterproof casts and their benefits, or place an order for our products, please contact us here!
We often say that patients with AquaCast® waterproof cast liners have good or excellent skin health when the cast is removed, but is there any research to back up that claim? The answer is: Yes! Researchers at Towson Orthopaedic Associates applied AquaCast® waterproof cast liners on patients recovering from bone fractures. They found that, of the of 72 participants, 71 had average or better skin health after the removal of the cast as evaluated by the clinician removing the cast. Even better, 71 out of 72 trial patients reported that they would recommend AquaCast® waterproof cast liners to others! Learn more about the study and its findings below.
What are the Issues with Non-Waterproof Casts?
Non-waterproof plaster or fiberglass casts, which use cotton linings, limit patient activities such as swimming, showering, and bathing. This often results in poor hygiene, increased odor, and itchiness and discomfort under the cast, particularly in pediatric and adolescent patients.
What is AquaCast Liner?
AquaCast waterproof cast material is made from ePTFE, or Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, a non-absorbent, highly breathable material developed in the late 1960s. This material contains billions of tiny pores which are larger than water vapor molecules, but smaller than liquid water droplets. This technology allows the AquaCast waterproof liner to remain dry while the wearer’s skin gets wet. After the patient bathes, showers, or swims, water drains quickly from the ends of the cast, and the patient’s body temperature causes remaining moisture to evaporate through the liner and overlying fiberglass cast tape. Cotton cast liners, by contrast, absorb and hold the moisture next to the skin for extended periods of time, which can result in skin complications or poor skin health.
To test whether the use of a waterproof cast liner improves skin health in wearers, researchers applied short-arm, long-arm, and short-leg casts to seventy-two patients, aged 24 months to 64 years. An AquaCast waterproof cast liner was placed beneath fiberglass casting tape. Patients or their parents were instructed to rinse the cast with clean water after sports practice or swimming, and to dry the cast thoroughly before going to bed. At the time of cast removal, the patient or parent completed a survey measuring:
Cast liner type
Duration of immobilization
Frequency of swimming, bathing, or sporting activity
Average amount of time required for cast to dry completely
Overall cast satisfaction/likelihood to recommend to a friend
In addition, skin integrity was evaluated by an orthopedic technologist or physician at the time of cast removal and rated as excellent, good, average, or poor.
Study Results & Conclusions
During the one-year study period, 71 out of 72 patients (98.6%) wearing an AquaCast waterproof liner were noted by an orthopedic technologist to have Average, Good or Excellent skin quality. Only 1 patient was noted to have poor skin quality, but the orthopedic technologist noted that that the cast had not been properly rinsed during the immobilization period. In addition, the majority of patients (52.8%) reported that it took only 1-2 hours for their cast to dry, and 38.9% reported it took one hour or less to dry. Only 6.9% of patients reported it taking more than 2 hours to dry.
In the comment section, patients noted that AquaCast Liner allowed them to continue their daily activities without inconvenience, and decreased odor and itchiness. Overall, 71 out of 72 patients would recommend AquaCast Liner to others! Taking all of these results into consideration, researchers concluded that AquaCast Liner is proving to have great satisfaction for both patients & cast technologists.
Help Your Patients with AquaCast!
AquaCast Liner produces the highest-quality waterproof cast material available in today’s healthcare market. To learn more about waterproof casts and their benefits, or place an order for our products, contact us today!
No one wants a broken bone. However, you can make the most out of your recovery by getting a fiberglass cast from your doctor. This cast is lightweight, is available in many different colors, and doesn’t lose its shape if it gets wet. Fiberglass casts are frequently used instead of plaster casts for these reasons. Plaster casts are still used nowadays, but only in certain circumstances due to the incredible benefits that fiberglass provides.
How Is This Cast Made?
The injured body part (wrist, ankle, etc.) will first be covered with a stockinette, very similar to wearing a sock. It is then wrapped in a layer of cast padding, which can consist of a soft cotton or cotton-like synthetic material. This padding helps reduce the discomfort of wearing the cast by creating a soft layer between the skin and the hard outer cast material. After that, the fiberglass tape, which has been soaked in water, will be wrapped around the inner padded layer to create a protective and supportive outer shell. The fiberglass resin will harden quickly and limit the motion of the injured area.
What Is The Difference Between A Plaster Cast And A Fiberglass Cast?
Fiberglass casts are much lighter. They also come in different colors whereas a plaster cast only comes in white. Additionally, a plaster cast must be kept dry. Water will damage a plaster cast by allowing it to soften.
Is Fiberglass Waterproof?
The outer fiberglass cast tape is waterproof, but the traditional inside cast padding and stockinette is not. For that reason, a traditional fiberglass cast needs to be kept dry. However, you can get a cast with waterproof padding instead of one with cotton padding. A waterproof liner allows you to bathe, shower or swim without damaging it or using a cumbersome cast protector. For these reasons, it is more convenient to wear a cast that has a waterproof lining. Waterproof casts are ideal for most everyone: children, athletes, geriatric patients who live alone, and adults who use their hands for work.
When Is a Fiberglass Cast Used?
Fiberglass casts can be used to hold broken bones in place until they heal, protect a limb after recent surgery, or immobilize a joint for other reasons if it is felt necessary by your doctor.
Fiberglass casts are being used much more frequently nowadays given the numerous benefits that fiberglass has over plaster. These casts come in many colors, are lightweight, and make it more convenient for patients to deal with a broken bone. Waterproof casts increase people’s ability to continue with their normal routine. Talk to your orthopaedic provider about getting a fiberglass waterproof cast.
There are two things you can get very tired of when you are wearing a cast: people asking what happened and having to wrap the cast in plastic every time you shower. There is not much that medical innovation can do about the first problem, but there are now waterproof casts.
What Is a Waterproof Cast?A cast is made up of a soft lining and a hard shell. Traditional casts were made of plaster and lined with cotton. Both materials could be ruined if they became wet.
What is a waterproof cast made of?
Today’s cast are often made with a fiberglass outer shell, which does not absorb water. Until recently, however, they were still lined with cotton. There are now newer synthetic materials that can replace the cotton and make the entire cast water-proof. These casts can be worn in the shower, tub, or swimming pool with no additional protection from the water.
Pros and Cons of Waterproof Casts
Are Waterproof Casts for Kids an Option?
While it is normally physician preference, there is typically no reason a child cannot have a waterproof cast if the doctor approves.
These casts make the healing process much easier for children since they do not have to be so careful about getting the casts wet. Waterproof casts perform best when they are rinsed out with forceful stream of water, particularly when coming out of pool. Make certain to rinse out soap after a bath or shower.
If you have questions about whether a waterproof cast is right for you or your child, give us a call today. We are always happy to discuss your options and help you ask the right questions to your doctor about your broken bones and the types of casting they provide.
Most standard casts consist of two parts: a fiberglass covering and cotton padding underneath. The fiberglass is water resistant and won’t fall apart if it gets wet. The cotton padding inside, however, must be kept dry. Knowing how to waterproof a cast can come in handy when you want to take a shower or go swimming with a cast and here are three ways you can do it on your own as explained by our team here at AquaCast Liner.
1. Purchase a Cast Cover
Cast covers fit over the cast and fasten with a watertight seal. They usually take the form of a long plastic sleeve that can slide over an arm or leg cast. The opening has a plastic gasket that fits tightly against the skin to keep water out. Some covers include a pump to suck out air from inside the cover. They are completely waterproof and make it possible to go swimming with a cast. Most cast covers are reusable. They can be purchased in a drug store or online.
We recommend you keep an eye on the seal if you are active or swimming to make sure the it is tight and you do not see any water entering the cover. If you do, then we suggest you quit swimming immediately to check the cover seal and make sure no water has come in contact with the cast padding.
2. Use Plastic Bag & Tape
Plastic bags and tape are not as handy as a cast cover, but will work to keep your cast dry, for the most part. Slide a small garbage bag, a plastic newspaper bag or a grocery bag over the cast. Seal the opening with a thick rubber band or some tape or both. This method is not as reliable as a cast cover and is not meant to be a full proof way to keep water out, but it will work for taking a shower or if you are caught out in the rain.
3. Cover with Plastic Wrap
This is the least secure method, but it can do the job in a pinch. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the cast in overlapping layers. Make sure the ends above and below the cast are completely sealed. It’s a good idea to use tape to help hold it in place and we strongly recommend that you do not submerge the wrapped cast in water, as this type of wrap is likely to leak.
Alternative Physician Recommended Cast Waterproofing Solution
You can also ask your physician for a waterproof cast in the first place. Waterproof casts combine the traditional fiberglass shell with a waterproof cast padding liner instead of the usual cotton liner. You can wear these waterproof casts in the shower or swimming or out playing sports and they won’t be damaged due to moisture.
If you would like more information or help about how to waterproof a cast, contact AquaCast Liner today.
Breaking a bone can be an exceedingly painful condition. The physical toll can be tremendous, but what’s often overlooked is the emotional pain associated with a broken bone.
People who are injured often feel sad, depressed, or even angry after their injury — and most of the time, they can’t explain why.
This is attributed to broken bone depression.
It’s a common result of the body’s suppression of certain hormonal systems while healing, but it isn’t fun and here are a few ways to alleviate it.
Not all exercises may be possible with a broken bone, and any attempt should be done carefully so that you don’t aggravate the injury further. However, exercise can be great for boosting your mood and helping your body get the physical exertion it requires while you’re healing. You can do low-impact exercises like swimming, even with a cast on! Waterproof cast liners allow your cast to get wet while swimming or showering. There’s no need to stay immobile the entire time. If you want to get out there and have fun, get waterproof cast liners as soon as the injury occurs.
2. Pamper Yourself
It’s important to treat yourself with a bit more care than normal, especially while recovering from a broken bone. Get a book you’ve been interested in, go see a movie you’ve had your eye on, and make sure you have comfortable cast padding. Keeping yourself comfy is absolutely necessary for recovering — and it helps fight the depression, too.
3. Seek Out a Support Group
Sometimes online support groups can be just the trick. Online, you can remain completely anonymous, giving you the freedom to divulge any fears you may have in regard to your recovery. Make use of these outlets. If you’re scared or concerned about something, but you don’t want to admit it to someone in person, go online. There are numerous sources designed specifically for your situation.
Broken bone depression is unpleasant and may seem like it will never end, but hold steady; you’ll recover and be back to your normal self in no time. Until then, make use of these three tips to keep your spirits high while recovering.
When you break a limb, it’s important to have a cast to immobilize the injury so that the bones can properly heal. However, wearing a cast can be challenging. Having access to a waterproof cast so that you can live as normal a life as possible while you recuperate is of great benefit. A waterproof cast is important so that you can bathe and even swim. You can keep up with your daily hygiene necessities by using the proper cast care. Here are the best tips for waterproof cast care and maintenance.
In general, most casts aren’t waterproof. However, if you choose a waterproof padding, your cast becomes waterproof if used in conjunction with a fiberglass outer shell. The liner is a padding that includes billions of microscopic pores that are small enough to block water from getting to the cast but large enough to allow water vapor to pass through it. However, you have to make sure to use these practices so that your cast can last for as long as you need it.
A cast for a broken bone is sometimes a necessary evil. Although a cast can greatly speed up the healing process, its design generally does not allow for good air circulation. Sooner or later skin irritation and unbearable itching will occur. Traditional cast paddings or cast liners are made of cotton and become soiled from sweat ,body oils and dead skin. New advances in waterproof casts use special cast liners to reduce and alleviate this problem.
Why does it itch so badly?
One common culprit of itchy skin beneath a cast is swelling. This is actually a normal reaction but can be very uncomfortable. To help with swelling, try keeping the broken limb elevated above the heart as often as possible. You can also try icing the area several times a day, taking care not to let melted ice dampen the cast.
Other causes of itching inside of your cast are dead, flaky skin cells. Under normal circumstances, the outer-layer of dead skin cells would be brushed off during the day or washed off in the shower. When the dead skin is trapped underneath a cast, these dried-up cells have nowhere to go and can become a source of irritation.
How do I safely relieve the itching?
The first thing you should know is that it’s never a good idea to insert any object into a cast. The smallest abrasion on the skin inside of a cast can easily lead to infections and other medical complications. A better solution is to blow cool air from a hair dryer into the cast. This should provide much needed airflow to help cool and dry the skin under the cast. You can also try placing an icepack on the cast to help calm the itch.
The best overall option for itchy skin in a cast is to wear a waterproof cast. This style of cast uses a breathable, water-resistant cast padding that allows you to sweat, bathe and swim without complications or the use of a cast protector. It’s a great way to keep the affected area clean and odor-free while allowing you to maintain an active lifestyle.
Wearing a cast can pose as an obstacle for even the most common daily tasks and anyone who has needed a cast for a broken bone understands how much of a nuisance they can really be.
One of the most difficult tasks is keeping the cast dry, if you opted out of getting a waterproof cast. From swimming to showering or walking in the rain to even sweating, there are many potential situations where a cast can get wet and you have to mindful of your situations. In addition to ruining a cast, water can also bring about unwanted odors that can be quite unpleasant to those around you. If your non waterproof cast padding or lining gets wet, please consult your physician immediately.
From all of us at AquaCast Liner, we would like to share three ways to ensure your cast stays as dry as possible, no matter what you are doing.
1. Ask Your Doctor for a Protective Waterproof Cast Liner
A majority of casts today are made with fiberglass shell. This sturdy material protects the broken limb from further damage and helps to prevent movement as bones heal. While the fiberglass itself is water resistant, the cast padding underneath is not. When this material gets wet, it is very hard to dry out, even all the hairdryers in the world sometimes can’t help.
While you are having your cast constructed by the doctor, you can request to have a waterproof cast lining put in between the fiberglass exterior and your skin. This waterproof liner will enable you to shower, bathe, wash hands while also allowing for improved airflow and dry time, thus decreasing potential future problems as your bone heals.
2. Invest in Cast Covers
Perhaps the most cost effective method for keeping your cast dry is to invest in a cast cover. There are cast cover products designed specifically for particular limbs. For example, some cast covers are designed for arms while others are designed for legs. These covers look like large bags that are placed over the cast acting much like a poncho. Many of these covers also come with pumps that allow patients to suck out all of the air in the bag creating a tighter seal, resulting in an effectively waterproof cast.
We would like to point out that not all cast covers are 100% effective at keeping water out. For instance, if some cast covers are submerged in water when taking a bath or swimming, water has a chance to enter. The same would apply for taking a shower with constant water raining down on the cover. We recommend you be careful and check to make sure your seal is tight, but not so tight as to inhibit your circulation to the extremity.
3. Use Homemade Materials
For some people, cast covers and waterproof liners may not be an option and when it comes to an emergency situation, you may not have the time to buy these products. In these moments, several homemade materials can be used as protection to help waterproof your cast. The most obvious of these alternatives is the good-old trash bag. Often used as makeshift plastic wraps, these bags can be easily placed and secured around all forms of casts using tape or rubberbands. Again, we advise being mindful of your circulation and to not have the seal be too tight.
Additionally, we have heard of patients getting creative with plastic wrap used mainly for food preservation to help waterproof a cast. Pretty clever, but understand these homemade cast covers are not 100% water resistant and if you should have any issues, contact your physician right away if you smell something odd, a rash develops, or the cast padding is damaged or discolored.
Keeping your cast dry can be difficult without the proper materials, but we hope our tips help you make the best decision for your given circumstances if you are dealing with a broken bone now, or ever have to go through the unfortunate process of healing a fractured bone.
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