Stink proof, break proof, and water proof - a new removable cast will change how doctors treat broken bones.
Almost seven million of us will be rushed to the ER for a broken bone at some point in our lives.
After the painful injury, you can face weeks or even months of wearing a big, itchy and stinky cast - that you can't get wet.
Now, the future of casts has arrived.
From the skate park, to the playing field, many of us will break bones not once, but twice during our lives.
"First time was roller skates, and I just slipped backward, landed under my wrist. Second time was monkey bars," said Eric Stuffmann, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at Douglas J Abeles MD and Assocs.
Orthopedic surgeon Eric Stuffmann is no exception, but he is part of a new solution, using this Exos brace, instead of a cast to help heal broken bones.
"We already have it all molded right now. Okay it's all nice and warm, right now, so we can go ahead and fit it and mold it to your hands," Dr. Stuffmann explained.
Manali Shah broke her wrist snowboarding.
"I was coming down hill and took an edge wrong and landed backwards on the backside of my hand," she said.
From the downhill to the doctor's office, she's one of the first to get the customized cast. It's made out of three layers of high tech polymers and foam that create a lightweight, adjustable, extremely strong brace.
Unlike traditional plaster and fiberglass casts, this one can be removed daily, and, “There's still one benefit and that's the Exos is waterproof," said Dr. Stuffmann.
Shah had a traditional cast first, then changed to this one.
"It was great, because I could finally take it off to get a shower, I didn't have to put a bag over my hand; and it just breathes really well," she said.
Now, she's looking forward to tackling the mountain once again.
"Just to make it down a blue without falling," Shah laughed.
Doctor Stuffmann says, he uses the new cast for most breaks, the only time he doesn't use it is when he thinks the patient will not keep it on long enough during the day.
The new casts are being used more and more throughout the country. They cost the same as traditional casts. Most of the time, your insurance will cover it.
BROKEN BONES: If more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. A break of any size is called a fracture. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open fracture (compound fracture). A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone that develops because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone. (SOURCE: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus)
How to administer first-aid to a person with a broken bone(s):
* Keep the person still and calm. DO NOT move the person if a head, neck, or back injury is suspected.
* Examine the person closely for other injuries.
* In most cases, if medical help responds quickly, allow the medical personnel to take further action.
* If the skin is broken, it should be treated immediately to prevent infection. Don't breathe on the wound or probe it. If possible, lightly rinse the wound to remove visible dirt or other contamination, but do not vigorously scrub or flush the wound. Cover with sterile dressings.
* If needed, immobilize the broken bone with a splint or sling. Possible splints include a rolled up newspaper or strips of wood. Immobilize the area both above and below the injured bone.
* Apply ice packs to reduce pain and swelling.
EXOS CAST: Say good-bye to that old, stinky, itchy, bacteria ridden traditional cast and hello to Exos. The Exos technology is the world's first dry heat, fully customizable, adjustable, reconformable, waterproof splinting, casting, and bracing system. (SOURCE:/www.exosmedical.com)
EXOS VS. TRADITIONAL CAST:
* Exos products can be fully immersed in water for prolonged periods of time without delaminating or softening.
* There is no saw removal; simply take off the expos brace.
* Exos material is 25% to 50% lighter than fiberglass or plaster.
* The Exos can be washed with soap, so buildup of bacteria and odor is greatly reduced.
* Exos products feature foam linings that increase patient comfort; they are cooler and less irritating than the traditional cast.
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EXOS Thermoformable, Waterproof Braces and Sheets