“Orthopedic surgery saves more lifestyles than lives.” I was once told these words by Dr. Karl Rathjen. The purpose of orthopedic surgery is to help people return to their lives. Therefore, if one method of surgery is more detrimental than beneficial to the patient, the newer method of surgery should be implemented. In this article, the importance of the new plaster cast technique known as ‘close contact casting’ is highlighted, especially in its usage for the elderly.

Every surgery is dangerous. Think about it rationally. People are opening up the human body, fixing it, and then closing it, without purposely harming the patient’s body. Furthermore, the casts of today are terribly outdated. Nothing is wrong with the surgeons and nurses who apply the casts, but rather the mistake lies in the cast techniques themselves. According to the article, “Traditional plaster casts are associated with misaligned bones, poor healing and plaster sores.” This notion is especially true in elderly people who have weaker bones and joints. So when both of these techniques are not recommended what should one do? Well, surgeons found the most reasonable answer to be that a new technique should be created, this one keeping in mind the state of the elderly.

This new technique was known as the ‘close contact casting’. According to the article, “close contact casting uses less padding than a traditional cast and sets the bones by being a close anatomical fit.” This means that instead  of simply wrapping the both in a malleable cast, a cast that resembles the model human body is fitted around the patient’s part of the body that needs re-structuring. What does this mean for the elderly? Well, in general, instead of having to have surgery performed to fix a body part, it can be pushed into the ideal place by an ideally shaped cast.

How does this affect orthopedic surgeons and me (as a student studying orthopedic surgery)? Well, for starters, two things were introduced: a brand new technique and a brand new tool. While these two things are not well introduced in the world of orthopedic medicine, I feel that they will become big in the future. This means that both current surgeons, as well as students going into orthopedic surgery, will have to know about this method of casting as well as the specific tool required to perform the surgery. This technique will be performed to save even more lifestyles.


“Top News In Orthopedics October 14 2016 (2 Of 2)”. Mdlinx.com. N. p., 2016. Web. 22 Oct. 2016.

https://www.mdlinx.com/orthopedics/top-medical-news/article/2016/10/14/2 

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