Casts, for anyone who has ever had to wear them, aren’t exactly a pleasant experience. They’re bulky and uncomfortable, you can’t get them wet, and, after a while, they start to get a little rank, both in terms of appearance and smell.
While I’ve never broken a bone, I have had to wear a cast for three months on my foot after having surgery. It was arguably one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve had to do, especially because I had staples in my foot under the cast, and I sincerely hope I never have to again.
Advancements have been made already in the cast realm. Prior to having fibreglass casts, which is what most people get nowadays when they break a bone, there were plaster ones, which are likely as unpleasant as they sound.
Good news, though; a futuristic cast design has been developed by engineers in Chicago “that could make itchy, foul-smelling, uncomfortable plaster casts a thing of the past,” says an article from The Good News Network.
Cast21, which is the name of said engineer’s startup company, has developed an alternative to the traditional cast that is breathable, lightweight and waterproof, and it can be worn while swimming, bathing and exercising. The “patented design is constructed from a wide mesh sleeve filled with two liquid resins which are moulded into the correct position for each patient—and it is even available in a range of vibrant colours,” the article says.
Not only does this genius design spare us from having to deal with smelly, dirty, itchy casts that can’t be removed, it also offers simple removal as opposed to having to be cut away with a saw.
“’Our product does not require that at all. It’s designed so that a physician can take clinical shears, snip through the tabs and pull it open easily. It was designed to completely eliminate the use of a cast saw and make the healing process far more pleasant for the patient’” says Cast21’s vice president of engineering, Veronica Hogg, in the article.
I, for one, can certainly appreciate this advancement in the medical world, and I would bet that anyone who has had to wear a cast would be in agreement with me on this one.