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June 16, 2014

Summer Story Idea: Keeping the Cast Dry

Abstract: “A Comparison of Various Contemporary Methods to Prevent a Wet Cast”

Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS)
Embargo: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 @ 1:30 p.m. ET

Many traditional methods and commercially available products are available to prevent a wet cast, though there is a paucity of literature regarding the optimal strategy.
Methods: Using a synthetic leg model, a short leg cast was applied and six different methods were tested. Group A (Glad©Press and Seal), Group B (plastic bag with rubber band), Group C (plastic bag with duct tape), Group D (double plastic bag with duct tape), Group E (CVS©Reusable Cast Protector) and Group F (Dry Corp©Dry Pro Cast Cover). Casts were submerged in water for two minutes and weighed. Each group had 10 individual trials. Effectiveness was measured by calculating the amount of water absorption using cast weights before and after submersion.

The percentage of water absorption prevention ranged from 62% to 100% with Groups A and B being the least effective and Groups D, E, and F being the most effective.  There was considerable variation in simplicity of use. Groups C, D, and E were found to be simple to use with increasing difficulty in Groups A, B, and F.

Discussion and Conclusion: Our findings conclude that the six methods tested are effective in preventing the majority of water saturation. Although abstaining from contact with water is the most prudent approach, if a cast cover is to be used,   double plastic bags with duct tape (100% prevention, $13) or the CVS cast cover (100% prevention, $13) are the preferred contemporary methods to prevent a wet cast.

Type of Study: Clinical Relevance.
Kayee Ip
phone: 847-384-4035
Lauren Pearson Riley
phone: 847-384-4031
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