Category Archives: Itchy Cast Solutions

Cast Claustrophobia Syndrome: How to Keep Your Cool in a Cast!

Diagnosis: Cast Claustrophobia Syndrome

Are you in a cast?  Are you hot? Of course you are! Doesn’t matter the season, hot or cold, casts get hot.  Think about it- you have layers of cotton next to your skin, wrapped with tape and finished with a glue that hardens to form a protective shell.  Can you say claustrophobic?  

Regardless of age or activity level (even lying on a couch watching tv) humans perspire; it’s our natural body regulating and cooling device! 

Wearing a cast prevents this cooling process to occur.  The heat you feel radiating from your body is REAL, it’s just trapped inside your cast.

Fighting that sticky discomfort is another uncomfortable part of wearing a cast, regardless of the time of year. When your arm or leg is itchy & hot you might find yourself getting heated and possibly anxious about your cast.  At CastCoverz!, we call this Cast Claustrophobia Syndrome.

Luckily, we’ve got some cool suggestions for helping you “keep your chill” while wearing a cast. 

Keeping Your Cool

CastCooler: We’ve been a HUGE fan of CastCooler ever since the company made their debut. One determined dad invented this device to help alleviate discomfort while wearing a cast.  Their website states, “by creating a gentle vacuum on the outside of your cast or splint, airflow is directed through the lining of your cast/splint. This airflow immediately removes moisture and cools your skin. Without touching your skin, bacteria, itch, and odor are significantly reduced, and your cast stays fresh.” All you need is a vacuum with a hose.  Check out their website for more info on this game-changing product, as well as a handful of awesome testimonials!

Oh, and it’s nearly indestructible! So, tuck it up on the top shelf of your medicine cabinet for the next injury in your family (we hope not! 🙂 ) OR we know someone in your circle (friends, neighbors, family, classmates, co-workers) will be in a cast and you can gift it to them!  You’ll be loved forevermore for your thoughtful get-well gift. 

Staying Hydrated: There are plenty of reasons to stay hydrated throughout the day, but a primary reason is that it helps your body stay cool! Sipping ice-cold water (even if you’re not feeling thirsty) will help lower your body temperature, therefore, cooling off your casted limb. You’d be surprised how much better and energized you feel when you’re well-hydrated! 

An Icy Washcloth: Placing a damp washcloth in the freezer for a few hours and then placing it behind your neck or on your forehead is an instant fix for cooling down! While we don’t recommend placing an icy washcloth on your cast, you can try placing it around your elbow or behind your knee near the cast; this will at least help cool off the surrounding areas and wick away sweat in proximity to your cast.

Tip: Keep a good supply of ice packs and/or a bag of frozen peas handy.  They can be strategically laid on top of a cast to help cool it (wrap it in a dishcloth to prevent condensation from getting your cast moist).

It’s KEY to avoid getting moisture inside your cast! Moisture and/or getting your cast wet can affect the efficacy of the cast and you could get maceration…a smelly, itchy skin condition.  The last thing you want to deal with while healing it this uncomfortable irritant!

Take a Dip with AquaShieldUSA: Who doesn’t want to dip into a pool on a hot summer day?! Maybe you’re planning a trip to the beach and wanting to enjoy the waves? Whatever your hot summer day antidote is, we’ve got you covered! AquaShieldUSA is a watertight cast protector that seals around your limb, allowing you to keep your cast dry as you cool off! Don’t have a pool or a beach?  Fill your tub with cool, tepid water! As you can imagine, finding the correct size in this product is essential for proper sealing (no leakage); check out the sizing chart on our website to make sure you cast will be sealed properly for ultimate protection!

 

Overcoming Cast Claustrophobia Syndrome

At the end of the day, it’s still frustrating to deal with an itchy, smelly cast as temperatures rise! Just remember- this is only temporary! Just as the seasons change, so does the state of your healing injuries.  With proper care and rest, you’ll be out of your cast in no time! Stay positive and “keep your cool” while sporting your cast! Don’t let your elusive “cast claustrophobia syndrome” get the best of you.

What creative ways have you or a loved one cooled off while in a cast?  Help your fellow members of the Broken Bones Club, by sharing your family-friendly ways to cool off while wearing a cast, below: 

5 Tips for Going Back to School on Crutches

Guest Post by Goodbye Crutches

Back to school on crutchesGoing back to school can be exciting and challenging all at the same time. When your child is on crutches, it’s a whole new ball game with plenty of new rules thrown into the mix. Here are five tips to help you prepare your child for going back to school on crutches and helping the experience go as smoothly as possible.

 

Tip#1:  Talk to the School

You will want to let the school know about your child’s condition. He might need to take medications or have a few extra minutes between classes to get around. He might also need to be excused from gym class or have extra help at lunch. Arrange as much as you can in advance with the school, so there are no surprises for him or the school on the first day.

Tip#2:  Arrange Help with Friends

Find out which of your child’s friends are in his classes and talk to them before school starts. Ask if they wouldn’t mind helping carry his books, lunch tray, and anything else he might need help with. Most friends will be more than willing to help, but you could offer a special ice cream treat or a movie adventure at the end of the recovery period as a thank you.

Tip#3:  Look into Alternatives to Crutches

boy_scooter_thumb-resized-600If your child struggles on crutches at home, surely he will have even more trouble at school. One of the best things you can do for him is to look into another mobility device that will help him get around easier. Goodbye Crutches has three options including the Knee Scooter, Seated Scooter and Hands Free Crutch. Look at the details on each and see which would fit your child’s activity level and lifestyle the best. Goodbye Crutches has a number of other products that can help your child with his recovery, as well, both at school and at home.

Tip#4:  Think about Style

PrintsCombo__65624.1366341893.1280.1280If your child would like to add some personality to his cast or would prefer concealing it, CastCoverz! cast covers slip on easily over the cast and come in a wide variety of colors and stylish fabrics. Not only do cast covers help your child stand out or blend in, depending on his personality, they keep the cast clean and snag-free! Who wants to look at an ugly, dirty cast or have his favorite clothing and furniture snagged from the rough casting material? CastCoverz! provides many other fun and functional products that comfort orthopedic patients; such as, designer color crutches, CastCooler for relief from itchy, stinky casts, the CastShield waterproof cast protector for bathing, and DryPro waterproof cover for swimming and going to the beach. Style and comfort help orthopedic patients feel better, so they heal better.

Tip#5:  Pamper Him at Home

Once your child gets home from school, he will be extremely tired from the long day of getting around on crutches. Pamper him as much as possible by bringing his snack to him on the couch and letting him lounge around more than usual, so he can store up as much energy as possible for the next day.

Going back to school always has its challenges. But, when you’re on crutches, it can be even more challenging. We hope these 5 tips will help you prepare in advance and help your child get through his orthopedic recovery experience while going to school.

8 Things You Must Know About Wearing a Cast

If you have injured a bone or ligament, or had surgery, your doctor may choose to apply a cast.  A cast will immobilize the injured area to allow healing.  Wearing a cast will feel awkward and inconvenient, but here are some important things you should know.

5 Things You Must Know About Wearing a Cast:

1.  The most important thing you must know about wearing a cast is to keep it DRY!  This is the #1 request of orthopedic doctors.  If your cast gets wet and becomes gooey inside, your skin could get raw and quite possibly infected (ewww), while the cast loses it’s integrity…Oh No!  Fear not, CastCoverz! will help you keep your cast dry, clean, and scratch & snag-free with fabric cast covers and waterproof cast protectors, which allow you to bathe and swim, while keeping your cast dry!  If you have to be injured, might as well add some personality with cast covers and have a little fun with waterproof protectors!

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2.  Keep your broken bone elevated above the level of your heart, especially in the first 24-48 hours.  This will be crucial in helping reduce the swelling and pain.

3.  Know that it is very normal to lose muscle mass in the area that is casted.  When your cast is removed, you will notice your arm or leg being very scrawny and weak (gasp!,) this is to be expected.  No worries, you’ll gain your muscle mass back in no time!

4.  Do not stick anything inside your cast, especially sharp objects to scratch an itch.  This can cause a skin breakdown, your incision to get infected, or your item could get lost in the abyss of your cast (uh-oh!)  If you have an itch, try the CastCooler®.  This dad-invented product reduces itch and keeps your cast fresh and odor-free by drying out the moisture in the lining.  All you need is the hose of your vacuum cleaner!  It’s a BLAST of fresh air for your icky, stinky, itchy cast.

5.  Feeling claustrophobic from your cast? With the CastCooler, the cool, fresh air will relieve that stifling feeling.  What a relief!  Side benefit of the CastCooler:  It will dry out your cast, if accidentally spilled or splashed on, especially these hot summer days!

6.  Your cast will scratch and catch everything in sight…your favorite sweater, those expensive Egyptian sheets, car upholstery, Fido the family dog, Grandma’s dining room table, and everything you can imagine!  Keep your cast clean and protect your favorite items and people by wearing CastCoverz! daily! These fashionable and functional cast covers come in a wide variety of fabrics from solid colors to bold, vibrant prints.

7.  Casts get dirty and are just plain ugly!  Prevent daily grime, spaghetti sauce, and coffee stains from putting a damper on your day.  It’s bound to happen, but with CastCoverz!, you’re covered because we care!  Our fabric cast covers will hide the grime and give your cast some personality.  Go bold, go beautiful, or stay neutral with our wide variety of fabrics.  Simply remove and hand wash to keep your cover clean.

8.  Please call your doctor if you experience any of the following; swelling, fever, cast feels too tight or too loose, cast breaks or cracks, or if you have ANY questions or concerns about your condition or care of your cast.

For more info on cast care, check out the following article:  Care of Casts and Splints by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.  With proper cast care, a cast will do it’s job and promote healing effectiveness!

 

How to Know if a Bone is Broken in Adults

Did you know you are born with over 270 bones?  But, many of these fuse together as you grow, leaving a total of 206 separate bones in an adult!  Broken bones (also known as fractured bones) are common for both children and adults.  In our previous post, “How to Know if a Bone is Broken in Children“, we learned that most fractures are usually due to a fall, athletic activity, or car accident.  In addition, some people can be more prone to breaks because of genetic conditions or bone disease that weakens bones.

An X-ray image of a fractured radius showing the characteristic Colles’ fracture with displacement and angulation of the distal end of the radius.

Adults most commonly fracture leg and ankle bones, along with forearms.  One-sixth of all fractures treated among adults are known as Colles’ fractures.  A Colles’ fracture is a fracture of the distal radius in the forearm with dorsal (posterior) displacement of the wrist and hand (commonly referred to as a “dinner-fork” or “bayonet” fracture.) They are most common in the elderly and often seen in people with osteoporosis.

A doctor may suspect a fractured bone simply based on the appearance of the injured area.  Following is a list of signs and symptoms you can use to help determine whether or not a bone is broken in an adult.

How to know if a bone is broken in adults:

  • Is the area swollen and bruised?
  • Is the limb hanging at a funny angle or look out of place?
  • Is the bone sticking out through the skin?
  • Did the injured person feel or hear anything crack?
  • Can they move the injured area?
  • Does it hurt when touched?
  • Most importantly, consult a doctor.  X-rays of the injured area will usually confirm the diagnosis of a broken bone, although stress or hairline fractures can be difficult to detect on an x-ray.  If the x-ray does not show a fracture, but after 7-10 days, there is still pain or something just doesn’t feel quite right, do not hesitate to ask for another.  By that time, calcium “ribbons” will be visible.  Calcium ribbons occur only when a bone has broken or suffered a Greenstick fracture (a mild bone fracture or bone bend.)

If you suspect a broken bone, do your very best to keep the injured area still, until you know for sure what type of orthopedic injury you are dealing with.  Once you know you’re dealing with a fracture and have been casted, you’ll definitely want to visit CastCoverZ!  CastCoverZ! provides fun and functional products that comfort orthopedic patients, from cast covers and walking boot covers, to colored crutches and CrutchWear crutch accessories, we’ve got you covered!  OH, and don’t forget you’ll need to keep that cast DRY with DryPro waterproof cast protector, and for some much needed relief from that itchy, stinky cast, try CastCooler!

Feel Better, Heal Better, and be sure to check out our previous post, “How to Know if a Bone is Broken in Children.”