Healthy Living

New casts for broken limbs are light, flexible, removable

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Almost 7 million Americans will be rushed to the emergency room for a broken bone at some point in life. After the painful injury, you can face weeks or even months of wearing a big, itchy, smelly cast that can't get wet. Now, the future of casts has arrived.

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 orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric Stuffman.

Stuffmann is no exception, but he is part of a new solution, using an Exos brace instead of a cast to help heal broken bones.

Manali Shah broke her wrist snowboarding.

"I was coming downhill and took an edge wrong and landed backwards on the backside of my hand," said Shah.

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, the Exos one can be removed daily.

"There's still one benefit and that's that the Exos is waterproof," said Stuffman.

Shah had a traditional cast first, then changed to the Exos.

"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," said Shah.

Now she's looking forward to tackling the mountain once again.

Dr. 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.

Exos 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.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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health, health care, healthy living, denise dador
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