Cast PaddingWhere there is a need for a cast, there is also a need for cast padding. An intricate part of the casting process, cast padding adds comfort and protection to any cast, whether an elbow, knee, ankle, or wrist.
But what is cast paddings, and what are they for?
What Are Cast Paddings?Cast paddings are padded materials used before the application of the cast to protect any joints or protrusions and other pressure points. They prevent irritation, rubbing, and the creation of sores caused by the cast rubbing against or roughly contacting the skin. Cast paddings can also be known as tubular stockinettes.
Whatever the material, cast paddings conform well to the contour of any limb and keep the skin in the cast both dry and comfortable.
What Is Undercast Padding Typically Made Of?Undercast paddings are usually made with one of three combinations: 100% cotton material, a cotton blend including some form of viscous material and polyester, or a rayon cast padding. Cast padding comes in weights of 60-90 grams.
Cast padding is absorbent to maintain a dry environment in the cast while still allowing the skin to breathe. Cast padding also comes in varying lengths and can be wrapped in overlapping passes to provide even more protection.
What Are Common Applications for Cast Paddings?Cast paddings, or tubular stockinettes, go under nearly any kind of plaster or fiberglass cast. When a cast contacts the skin, it can be abrasive, bruising, and can compromise the skin underneath. In some cases, this can cause sores or itching which makes the injury worse.
You would use heavier around joints like the knee or elbow, or around where a bone may protrude like the wrist or ankle. These areas can be especially sensitive inside a cast.
What Sizes Do They Come In?Cast paddings come in a variety of sizes to fit various limbs, joints, and everyone from children to the elderly. It is generally packaged for several uses (you might get several cast padding applications from a 25-yard pack, for example). The sizes include, but are not limited to:
Choosing the right size of tubular stockinette depends largely on the location and size of the injury, the specific joints involved in the casting process, and the type of cast, whether plaster or fiberglass.
Are There Different Varieties of Cast Paddings?Cast paddings come in a few different varieties. Those involve the type and thickness of the material, including rayon cast paddings, polyester cast paddings, and 100% cotton cast paddings. Most are certified latex-free to protect those who might have latex allergies.
There are also sterile and non-sterile varieties of tubular stockinette available as well. If there is a surgical incision with the cast, sterile cast paddings are a must to prevent infection and further damage to the wound.
As with any injury involving a cast, be sure to let your medical provider know about any fiber allergies. Watch the affected area for swelling, redness, loss of feeling, discoloration, or bruising, and be sure to consult a physician if any of these symptoms occur. Never use anything to itch under the surface of the cast, and never remove a cast without the help of a trained medical professional.