What Is A Fiberglass Cast and When Would You Need One?

No one wants a broken bone. However, you can make the most out of your recovery by getting a fiberglass cast from your doctor. This cast is lightweight, is available in many different colors, and doesn’t lose its shape if it gets wet.   Fiberglass casts are frequently used instead of plaster casts for these reasons.  Plaster casts are still used nowadays, but only in certain circumstances due to the incredible benefits that fiberglass provides.

How Is This Cast Made?

The injured body part (wrist, ankle, etc.) will first be covered with a stockinette, very similar to wearing a sock.  It is then wrapped in a layer of cast padding, which can consist of a soft cotton or cotton-like synthetic material. This padding helps reduce the discomfort of wearing the cast by creating a soft layer between the skin and the hard outer cast material. After that, the fiberglass tape, which has been soaked in water, will be wrapped around the inner padded layer to create a protective and supportive outer shell. The fiberglass resin will harden quickly and limit the motion of the injured area.

What Is The Difference Between A Plaster Cast And A Fiberglass Cast?

Fiberglass casts are much lighter. They also come in different colors whereas a plaster cast only comes in white. Additionally, a plaster cast must be kept dry. Water will damage a plaster cast by allowing it to soften.

Is Fiberglass Waterproof?

The outer fiberglass cast tape is waterproof, but the traditional inside cast padding and stockinette is not. For that reason, a traditional fiberglass cast needs to be kept dry. However, you can get a cast with waterproof padding instead of one with cotton padding. A waterproof liner allows you to bathe, shower or swim without damaging it or using a cumbersome cast protector.  For these reasons, it is more convenient to wear a cast that has a waterproof lining.  Waterproof casts are ideal for most everyone: children, athletes, geriatric patients who live alone, and adults who use their hands for work.

When Is a Fiberglass Cast Used?

Fiberglass casts can be used to hold broken bones in place until they heal,  protect a limb after recent surgery, or immobilize a joint for other reasons if it is felt necessary by your doctor.

Fiberglass casts are being used much more frequently nowadays given the numerous benefits that fiberglass has over plaster. These casts come in many colors, are lightweight, and make it more convenient for patients to deal with a broken bone. Waterproof casts increase people’s ability to continue with their normal routine. Talk to your orthopaedic provider about getting a fiberglass waterproof cast.

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