Currently it is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide suffer from this Osteoporosis. Approximately 30% of all postmenopausal women have osteoporosis in the United States and in Europe. At least 40% of these women and 15-30% of men will sustain one or more fragility fractures in their remaining lifetime.
Most of the fragility / osteoporosis fractures are treated by Cast immobilization for period of 4-8 weeks which may extent longer in case of Osteoporosis due lo lake of mineralization. The function of a cast is to immobilize an injured bone or joint until it gains enough strength for normal movements by physiological healing process. The cast most often used consists of layers of fabric and cotton padding tape wrapped around the limb. Current major problems with existing cast are that they are not allow skin to breathe results in excessive sweating, discomfort and itching under cast. Because of these problems, patient feels it very uncomfortable. Parts of the cast such as POP material, Padding are sensitive to moisture that makes bathing, swimming and other activities difficult and /or impossible for the wearer. Further difficulties may be experienced in the ability for casts in adjusting to accommodate for swelling. Poor visibility to the skin underneath the cast can lead to complications such as unnoticed infections, swelling and complicated wound.
To summarize problems of conventional cast i.e PoP or Synthetic Glass fiber cast
Poor breathability: almost all cast immobilization being used currently are not allowing air circulation under cast. As a result, patient suffers from perspiration under the cast and itching.
Non – washability: sensitivity of casting and/or padding material to moisture restricts patient’s routine activity such as bathing, swimming, and working with water or wet conditions. Over the period of time patient may suffer from poor skin hygiene due to inability to wash it routinely.
Bulky and heavy: Specifically Plaster of Paris cast is heavy and bulky. In addition to that POP captures moisture and becomes heavier if it comes in contact with humid climate or water. POP cast is a troublesome in many situations such as hand movements especially in pediatric patient.
Poor visibility to skin under cast: either POP or Glass fiber cast, there is poor visibility to skin under cast. Many times, there is unnoticed skin/wound infection under cast or complication such as compartment syndrome. In such case patient may suffer severe consequences and even disability.
Application and removal of the cast: Application process of cast is vary from 30-45 mins. Most of time is consumed in preparation and setting of the materials (i.e. POP or Glass fiber resin). During removal of the cast auto tool is being used to cut the cast. There are few evidence of iatrogenic injuries during removal of the cast especially in Glass fiber cast.
Let us explain how we have solved above problem with our next Generation orthopedic immobilization, FlexiOH.
FlexiOH™ is having multiple holes through which skin can breathe and stays dry and clean throughout the duration of cast application.
FlexiOH™ is made up of materials which are absolutely washable. There is no padding material required because FlexiOH™ is adaptable to contour of body part. Hence patient will have complete freedom for routine activities such as bathing and swimming.
Current design of FlexiOH™ -short arm is weighing less than 300 grams compared to currently use POP cast weighting ~1000-1500 grams.
Having multiple holes in FlexiOH™ , Patient can see skin through Cast and can contact doctor if find some abnormal i.e. exudate, pus, Swelling etc
FlexiOH™ is having application time of 10-15 mins. Hence application process would take less time. FlexiOH™ can removed simply by cutting through cutline by scissor. Hence less chance of iatrogenic injury during removal process.