Future casts for broken bones

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Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 4:05 pm | Updated: 4:42 pm, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

Almost seven million of us will be rushed to the E.R. 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 can't get wet! But 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," says Eric Stuffmann, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Douglas J. Abeles MD and Assocs.

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."

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."

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. "The way this works, now that we have this all molded, is hum, with this pushed in, okay, click, and we're just gonna tighten this."

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."

Manali 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."

Now, she's looking forward to tackling the mountain once again. "Just to make it down a blue without falling...hahaha."

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.

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