The care and treatment of orthopedic injuries and conditions often require the use of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) including bracing, splinting. Urgent Orthopedic Specialists is proud to offer casting and bracing in Midland, TX by a DME specialist with extensive training and 14 years of experience.
- Plaster and Fiberglass Casting and Splinting
- Exos and FastForm Fracture Bracing
- AirCast, Pro Care, Breg, Donjoy and Hely & Weber Bracing
- Standard and Custom ACL/PCL Sport Braces
- Playmaker Braces
- Unloader Braces for Osteoarthritis
Casting & Bracing FAQs
What is casting and bracing?
Considering the human body has 206 bones, it’s not all that unusual for a person to fracture one. When you injure a bone it often requires immobilization to heal correctly. This is usually accomplished with a cast, brace, or splint. There are several options that are available, and we’ll decide the right choice for your situation.
What are the benefits of casting and bracing in Midland?
Unlike strained muscles or ligaments that usually require some movement, even after surgical repair, to aid healing, bones need full immobilization. This is necessary to allow the bone to fully knit back together. If the bone has any movement whatsoever, this will weaken the healing at the fracture point.
The goal of a cast, brace, or splint is to allow you to have range-of-motion and perform weight-bearing activities such as light walking without putting stress on the healing bone. The cast, brace, or splint takes the weight, rather than your bone. That’s why theses pieces of durable medical equipment are rigid.
How long do you need to wear a cast, brace, or splint?
The amount of time you’ll need to wear your cast, brace, or splint is completely dependent upon your individual rate of healing. Some patient’s bones simply grow back together more quickly than others. In most fractures, you can expect to wear your cast or brace between 4 and 10 weeks.
Do I need to sleep with my cast, brace, or splint on?
For casting, the answer is always yes. Casts are meant to fully immobilize the bones, muscles, and tendons. This prevents further injury and aids the healing process. We’ll provide instruction on sleep, but it’s always wise to elevate your limb with the cast above the height of your heart, if possible. This decreases the chances of developing a blood clot.
Braces used immediately after an injury may not be able to be removed during sleep. Those used after removal of a cast or at the end of the healing process may be able to be removed for sleep. We’ll discuss this with you.
Splints usually will need to stay in place, as they may be used in place of a hard cast, but the goal is the same.
What is the casting or bracing process like?
Casts are made from plaster or fiberglass. Sometimes an initial plaster cast is made and is then replaced by the lighter fiberglass cast. Before the casting material is applied, a stockinette is placed around the area that will be covered by the cast. Next, we place another layer of padding made from cotton or a soft material known as Webril®. This layer further protects the skin, but it also provides elastic pressure on the area to aid healing.
Now it’s time to create the cast. Plaster and fiberglass both come in rolls or strips. The material is moistened and rolled on over the padding. Plaster isn’t the paste you think of but is made from dry muslin that is treated with starch or dextrose and calcium sulfate. After the plaster or fiberglass strips are applied the material starts to dry in 10-15 minutes. Plaster can take up to two days to fully harden, so the patient needs to be careful to not place any pressure on the cast, as it may crack before fully hardened. Fiberglass dries more quickly.
When a plaster cast is hardened it will appear smooth and white. Fiberglass casts will appear rough after hardening.
What results will a cast or brace achieve?
At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, we use casts or splints when a bone is broken, and following many cases of orthopedic surgery. Sometimes, splints are the first step after the injury occurs, as we need to wait for swelling to decrease. We then place a cast on the injured limb.
As the limb heals, we may replace a cast because the underlying limb and tissue have become less swollen and the cast is now loose. We may replace the cast with a splint at this point.
The overall goal of casting and splinting is to protect and support broken or injured bones and joints. They help to immobilize the injured limb to keep the bone in place until it fully heals.
What should I be aware of once I have a cast, splint, or brace in place?
At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, we have a durable medical equipment (DME) specialist on our staff, Tara Johnson, CNA, ROT. She will discuss everything you’ll need to know about your cast, splint, or brace, such as if you can put any weight on it, sleeping instructions, and elevation of the limb.
While we take great pride in the quality of these services at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, patients do need to be on the lookout for complications associated with these DMEs. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to contact us immediately:
- Numbness or tingling in the affected limb
- Cold or pale skin or skin with a bluish tinge
- Burning or stinging
- Increased pain or swelling
These can be signs that a cast is constricting a swollen limb, and this can cause damage to muscles, nerves, or blood vessels under the cast if the cast is not removed and replaced.
Contact Us Today
DME and Orthopedic Brace Specialist:
Tara Johnson, CNA, ROT
Contact Urgent Orthopedic Specialists to learn more about casting and bracing in Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, Stanton, Andrews, and every other small Texas town in between!