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Waterproof Cast Liners For Broken Bones

May 20, 2019

Boy swimming with waterproof castA broken bone is definitely not fun but wearing a cast for healing is a little easier now for patients at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Orthopedic surgeons are offering patients an option of using a waterproof cast liner as an alternative to the traditional cotton cast liner.

Dr. MinnockChristopher Minnock, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, explains that traditional paddings used for casts are made out of cotton and will grow bacteria and mold when they get wet. These casts then typically have to be changed within a few days to avoid significant skin irritation and infection. The waterproof cast padding is made with synthetic water-repellent padding material that dries out and allows children to bathe, swim and exercise without the need for a cast cover. He says it will be especially helpful as warm weather approaches.

“The number one question that I was asked last summer from families of patients with fractures was ‘We are going up north next week on vacation. Do you offer waterproof casting or some way my child could get into the water with the cast on?’ The answer every time was no. The answer this summer will be yes – depending on the individual patient and fracture.”

Dr. Minnock says waterproof cast padding will eliminate the worry that parents have regarding keeping kids dry and away from water in the summer and avoid additional visits to clinic for cast changes on wet casts.  

“There are cast covers that patients can buy online to try to cover a non-waterproof cast, but they do not work very well. You can only wear them for so long, and the ones that are effective can be expensive and still not work well. The waterproof cast padding eliminates the need for any of these products,” he says.

Although waterproof casts are a great option for certain patients, it is not suitable for all patients, such as those who have had surgery or a fracture reduction in the Emergency Department.

For patients at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan who choose the waterproof cast liner it will be offered at no additional cost to patients or additional charges to their insurance.

“We can also see patients who have had traditional casts placed by other providers that are not water-proof and change them to waterproof casts in many circumstances as well. We are very excited to offer this to our patients at all of our clinic locations in the greater Detroit area,” says Dr. Minnock.

For further information on orthopedic services visit Children's Hospital of Michigan Pediatric Orthopedics or request an appointment.

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