Plaster materials used to treat bone fractures.


After a fracture, the bone needs rest and support to heal properly. Orthopedic doctors use casts to support and protect injured bones. A cast is a supportive bandage that is tight and completely covers the limb.

Castings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the two most common types of casting materials used are gypsum and fiberglass. Although casts can be uncomfortable and cumbersome, they are an effective and effective treatment for fractures.

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Although fiberglass is a newer material, many of the castings in use today are still made of plaster. Casts are most often used for fracture reduction ( bone reduction).

The reason a cast is used after bone reduction is because the cast can fit the patient well and therefore can hold the bone more precisely. used to keep the bone in the correct position.

The problem with plaster is that it is heavy and must stay dry. Casts are a burden on the patient due to their bulk and severity. Also, the water will distort the shape of the cast and can cause healing problems if the cast gets wet.


Fiberglass dressings are usually placed when the bone is in a normal position or when the healing process has already begun. Fiberglass castings are lighter, last longer, and more breathable than plaster. Fiberglass castings are stronger than plaster and require less maintenance.

The vast majority of castings in use today are fiberglass. Another advantage of fiberglass, which appeals to many (not just children), is that it comes in many colors and is easy to "dress up."

The plaster and fiberglass castings are wrapped in several layers of cotton to protect the skin. Keeping this cotton clean and dry will be essential for your comfort. There is a special type of filler that can be used under fiberglass cast to wet it. Ask your healthcare provider if they are interested in a 'waterproof' dressing .


Castings can also be distinguished from tire materials. The splint is often known by other names, such as a soft or temporary cast.

Splints are often used when more rigid immobilization is not required or in the early stages after a fracture. For example, patients rarely leave the ER in a cast. Instead, after the fracture is diagnosed, they are usually put in a splint. Tires can be made of many materials.

The advantage of the splint in this setting is that there is more room for swelling. A potentially serious complication of cast treatment after a fracture is compartment syndrome . This condition occurs when too much pressure is created within the body and can occur after a fracture, when swelling develops in the space delimited by a cast.

Although compartment syndrome usually causes severe pain, it can be difficult to distinguish it from normal fracture pain after a bone fracture, and therefore most healthcare providers are unwilling to risk complications and therefore Therefore, they will wear a splint to provide adequate space. edema.

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