Applying a cast
There is no pain associated with the application of a cast. You and your child will be brought into the cast room by one of our twelve cast technicians. The cast application will vary depending upon what type of cast your child will be receiving. Your cast technician will go over the specific details with you.
A stockinette will be placed against the skin. This will become the cuff around the edges of the cast and will help to keep the padding intact. A cotton padding will be applied (see image on right); followed by the fiberglass or plaster cast material. Initially the cast will be white in color, this is what the structure of the cast is made of, then the last layer of material will be the color of choice. We have fifteen colors and patterns to choose from.
Your child will feel warmth from the chemical reaction as the fiberglass sets up. It will not burn, but should feel warm –like a bath. This reaction will last about 10 minutes. It will take less than 5-10 minutes for the cast to completely set.
Can my child get a water-proof cast?
You may speak with the doctor or nurse about this option during your appointment. If your child was seen in the Emergency Department and the doctor in the ED told you that your child is eligible for a water-proof cast, your child must wait at least 5-7 days before she can switch to a water-proof cast due to concerns of swelling. There is an extra cost for a waterproof cast as most insurance companies do not cover the cost for a water-proof cast. Another choice is a special waterproof sleeve that can be purchased.
Moving around while in a cast
Assistive devices for children with casts include:
Removing a cast
Cast removal can be a scary thing for children. The cast technician will use an oscillating saw to remove the cast. An oscillating saw does not spin, it rapidly vibrates back and forth. The cast saw does make a lot noise. Some children are afraid of this initially, but once we start to cut through the cast material, they begin to laugh due to the vibration. It is very important to tell your cast technician if your child has picked out some of padding, or placed anything inside the cast.
What should I do if my child has gotten his cast wet?
If your child’s cast has gotten wet, please contact us immediately at 617-355-6021. Wet casts can lead to complications and need immediate attention. A nurse will decide if your child needs to be seen that day, or the next. In most cases your child will need to be seen that day. If this occurs after normal business hours please contact the orthopedic physician on-call through the page operator at 617-355-6000. Your child may need to be seen in the Emergency Department to have the cast changed.
Please note the above information does not apply to waterproof casts.