Each year an average of 6 million people in the United States break a bone. Most people remember their first bone break; they fell out of a tree, or took a kick wrong in a soccer game, or simply tripped down a flight of stairs. It happens all the time! Most people also remember getting a cast put on that broken bone; trying to shove a pencil down it to scratch an unreachable itch or the ultimate feeling of relief when it’s finally removed. Broken bones are common but are serious injuries that should always be assessed by a medical professional.
Although bones are stiff and rigid, they still have some “give” to them, allowing them to bend to a little pressure. It doesn’t take much pressure, though, to push that flexibility to the limit and break or fracture the bone. The harder the force applied to the bone, the more severe the break will be. A more intense trauma will cause a worse break, which will, in turn, take longer to heal. A very serious break could even require surgery and the installation of metal pins and plates to rebuild the bone.
A cast doesn’t actually heal the bones, but rather it keeps them in place so they can heal on their own. It also adds an extra layer of protection over the sensitive area where the bone was broken.
Casts are constructed from plaster and fiberglass. The top layer is typically a colorful fiberglass wrapping. To administer a cast, your podiatrist will take an x-ray of the broken foot or ankle to assess the damage. They will then disinfect the area and set the bones so they are positioned for best healing. It takes about 45 minutes to administer a cast to the affected area, but the cast won’t be completely set and dry for about 72 hours. In that time, it’s important to keep it away from water so the materials don’t break down.
If you recently broke a bone in your foot or ankle, give Feet First Foot Care Specialists a call! Dr. Adam Mucinskas can help answer any questions you might have about casts or about foot health. We feature innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies at our conveniently located office in the Cromwell, Connecticut area. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment at (860) 632-5499.