The Skud
Sounds like a brilliant solution to an age-old problem! 2 ideas - 1: find a (harmless) plastic that will dissolve at a suitably slow rate inside the body. 2: Using a bone scan as the template, make the splint in the OR, sliding a half-finished splint under the bone, then completing it around the bone ready to suture the wound and fasten it securely in place. Once done, with hopefully contamination out of the picture, it could be checked for healing with scans as usual, and just left to dissolve as healing is complete.
Ricky Hall
Nice. And just think of the crazy suntan you'd get too
Racqia Dvorak
I could definitely see this becoming a mainstream technology within 10 years.
Pc Carraway
I want this as a new kind of jewelry piece.
Having been in a cast twice (and I suspect the writer, who appreciates the need for shower, may have been at least once), I think this is a killer idea and it's implementation is probably only a couple years away.
Gregg Eshelman
There's already something like this. Low Temperature Thermoplastic. Available in solid or perforated sheets.
It softens in near boiling water then can easily be molded to the shape of body parts. It will also bond to itself when heated and pressed together.
Best of all it doesn't take hours to make, it's even faster than a fiberglass cast.
I can see uses for this concept well beyond its already ingenious intent as a super cast. Its open custom form fitted lattice structure, if altered slightly so as to render it removable, could make for a wonderful impact shielding exoskeleton which could be worn as protection during extreme sports our when sparring with various hand wielded weapons such as the staff. The concept might also find its way into the actual bio amplification exoskeleton arena, assuming that it could be printed from a strong enough substrate or printed as a scaffold to which a stronger substrate could be affixed, it could then have bracing properties while being light and form fitted. This could go a long way towards making the exo' feel more natural.
As much as it looks great there are issues with point support structures as pressure sores and swelling can occur at and between the supports. ordinarily the load is shared over the whole cast and even pressure is applied to all the skin surfaces. problems occur where there is uneven pressure - as this concept would do so that smaller areas of skin carry a greater amount of supoort load. Much like a shoe thats too tight in the toes = blister. If it wqas a removable split splint where it can be removed and reapplied it may work around these issues but there is still no room for 'padding' to soften between the hard structure and the skin. Skin is a very bad supported of load. excess pressure leads to decreased blood supply to the region and necrosis (death) of the overlying skin. Hence bedsores, blisters, pressure sores and the like. Maybe with development some of these issues could be got around. Good luck coz it looks very flash.
Henry Van Campa
@Gregg Eshelman, Those thermoplastics are hot after forming. That would cause burns on the skin!
Τριαντάφυλλος Καραγιάννης
Having a broken bone as we speak (right medial malleolus), I can hardly imagine this being a practical replacement for the resin cast I was wearing up till this week (5 weeks now).
Maybe it'll have better luck as a fashion thing, but I'm a little skeptical seeing this as a potential alternative to casts.