(WYTV) – Fracture your wrist and it’s quite likely you’ll have to wear some kind of cast for a while as the bones heal.
There is something new that is starting to replace the traditional fiberglass cast.
It’s a waterproof polymer material and a new way to heal, thanks to 3D printing technology.
In about 90 minutes, physical therapists can turn a scan of the injured area into a digital model and print it with special equipment and supplies.
“With traditional casting, we have to keep it dry, and that can be a pain, especially for bathing and for hygiene, but with these newer 3D spints and casts, they are allowed to get wet,” said Dr. Daniel Montero, who works in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
That includes sweating, which will allow someone wearing the cast to stay physically active.
Unlike a fiberglass cast, which transmits the force of impact to the bone, the polymer material used in a 3D printed cast disperses force evenly across the surface.