The plaster cast is a mainstay of modern orthopedic medicine. It is the star of countless movies and memories in which an injured child returns to school and collects signatures from dozens of fawning friends. There is nothing like a cast.
Yet now the vaunted cast may be threatened. 3D printing promises to disrupt just about everything about the way objects are created, especially in medicine. Recently a graduate student created a prototype for a lightweight, printable cast made of polymer that includes low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) within its casing. The benefits are clear – far less weight, far more customization in form and appearance, and a greatly increased chance of faster healing thanks to the proven benefits of LIPUS. Most importantly, depending on the 3D printed cast material, it may be safe to use in the water.
Think of this as just one of many new technologies that are changing the field of orthopedic surgery, giving patients across the country better access to more comfortable aftercare and healing. To learn more about some of the most advanced technologies in sports medicine, please contact my San Diego orthopedic surgery center today.