Orthopedic Casting for Fractures: FAQs, The Process, & RemovalDr. Paul Haynes

When someone sustains a broken bone or fracture, casts are utilized to immobilize the injured bones, help to facilitate healing, and minimize pain and swelling during the recovery period. The casting process can seem intimidating, especially for pediatric patients, but this article aims to educate and alleviate the anxiety associated with getting a cast. At Seaview Orthopaedics, our pediatric orthopedic doctors are the trusted destination for your child’s orthopedic needs, injuries, and pain. With specialized training and personalized treatment plans, our physicians are committed to providing high-quality pediatric care for our patients.

When Would Patients Need to Get a Cast?

Fractures can occur due to various reasons, such as a sudden impact or trauma from falls, sports injuries, car accidents, or direct blows. They can also result from overuse or repetitive motion, leading to stress fractures, or from underlying conditions like osteoporosis that weaken the bones. A cast is used to immobilize the broken bone, ensuring it stays in proper alignment during the healing process. This protects the area from further injury, and allows the bone to heal correctly and efficiently.

How Long Does it Take to Put the Cast On?

The casting process is brief, taking only about 20 minutes to apply.

What is the Biggest Responsibility While Having the Cast On?

The most important responsibility when it comes to caring for a cast, is to keep it clean and dry throughout the healing process. This is essential in preventing skin irritation, infection, and ensures the cast material will not break down. Moisture trapped inside a cast can lead to unpleasant odors, skin sensitivity, and bacterial or fungal infections. Additionally, a wet cast can weaken and lose its ability to provide proper support and to the healing bone. Proper care makes sure that the cast remains effective in protecting the injury and promoting optimal healing conditions.

The Cast Removal Process

Most children will be in a cast for 4-6 weeks. The removal process is most often the most intimidating part of the process, but it is very safe and handled with great care to ensure comfort and protection.

The entire removal process is done in three easy steps:

Step 1: The cast is cut with a cast cutter, a small friction-saw that vibrates back and force in order to break down the casting material.

Step 2: A spreader is used to separate the casting material for removal.

Step 3:  Special scissors with a rubber coating are used to carefully cut through the cotton layer of the cast, safeguarding the skin.

Example of Applying and Removing the Cast

Contact Our Seaview Orthopaedics Pediatric Specialists in NJ

Our pediatric orthopedic specialists at Seaview Orthopaedics, are highly experienced in treating fractures and traumatic injuries in children. Whether the fracture is simple or complex, Dr. Haynes, Dr. Collins or Dr. Lentz, can offer treatment options to help ensure the fracture heals without long-term problems. To schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric physicians, call us a 732-660-6200 or book an appointment online.