Regular Casts or Waterproof Casts: How to Choose the Right Cast for Your Injury

Green cast on an arm of a woman
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If you've broken a bone, you probably didn't enjoy the restriction from your favorite activities. And if you've ever had to wear a cast, you know that avoiding water was one of the most difficult things to do. 

Casts have come a long way in recent years, allowing you to enjoy more of your favorite activities while you heal. 

Thanks to advances in medical technology, you may be surprised to find out about a new type of waterproof cast alternative that provides the same protection of a traditional waterproof cast, but is made of lightweight materials, is comfortable to wear, and is made for the 21st-century lifestyle. 

In this article, we will compare regular casts, waterproof casts, and introduce a waterproof cast alternative to help you make an informed decision about which one is best for your healing process.

First of All, What Is A Cast?

All casts are meant to protect the injured area from further harm by holding together the damaged bone fragments. 

In addition, a cast helps stabilize the broken bones and maintains their position during healing. This type of immobilization allows the affected area to heal and remain strong. 

Regular Casts

Male hand wrapped in fiberglass plaster cast dries with a hairdryer. Broken wrist in a modern waterproof bandage.
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Regular casts are made of plaster or fiberglass and are typically used for fractures that are not expected to heal quickly. They are often less expensive than other casts, but they are less comfortable to wear and more difficult to care for. 

They can also make your skin itchy and cause odor. If you have a regular fiberglass cast or traditional plaster cast, you will need to keep the cast dry at all times as these types of casts are not suitable for use in water. This means wrapping it in plastic or using a cast cover while showering, bathing, and swimming. You should be careful about how much water you expose your cast to. Excess moisture can cause the cast to disintegrate. 

Benefits of a Regular Cast Include:

  • They provide good immobilization for broken bones that are not expected to heal quickly.
  • More cost-effective than waterproof casts and usually covered by insurance. 

Disadvantages of a Regular Cast Include:

  • Bulky, heavy, and difficult to move around in. 
  • They can trap moisture and bacteria, leading to skin irritation and foul odor. 
  • You have to keep the cast dry at all times, which means no showers, baths, or swimming.
  • They can take up to 45 minutes to apply and 24 to 72 hours to set.
  • You'll have to wait 1-2 weeks for swelling to go down before you can get a cast applied. 

Waterproof Cast Covers

Young boy wearing a waterproof arm cast cover in swimming pool
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If you're worried about your cast getting wet, there are also waterproof cast coverings available. They fit over your regular cast and provide an extra barrier against moisture for non-waterproof casts. Cast covers are made of plastic, vinyl, or rubber and can be worn in the shower, bath, or pool. They are less expensive than waterproof casts and can be reused multiple times, making it easier to keep your cast dry.  

Waterproof Casts

Waterproof casts have become a popular option for those who have a broken bone and need to wear a cast while they heal.

Waterproof casts are made of synthetic materials that are resistant to water. They are more expensive than traditional fiberglass casts, but they have the added benefit of being a cast you can get wet, meaning you can shower and bathe, but you should still avoid hot tubs or pools.

Benefits of a waterproof cast include:

  • They’re more comfortable than regular casts.
  • You can get the cast wet to shower and bathe.
  • They don’t require a protective covering.
  • They’re less likely to get a bad smell and cause itchy skin.

Disadvantages of a Waterproof Cast include:

  • Water-resistant casts are more expensive than traditional casts.
  • Insurance companies are often not willing to cover it.
  • Can’t be used after surgery or while you have an open wound.

3D Printed Cast

Black orthopedic plastic prosthesis printed on 3D printer on hand.
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This type of cast is made from plastic that can be printed in any color or design. It is also much more comfortable to wear than a traditional plaster or fiberglass cast, and it can be easily removed when the bone has healed.

However, the process of making a 3D cast can be time-consuming and require a 3-dimensional printer that not all doctor's offices or hospitals have access to. 

Benefits of a 3D Cast include:

  • Can be custom-fit to your body.
  • Comfortable and breathable.
  • The plastic casting material is water-resistant.

Disadvantages of a 3D Cast:

  • Printing a 3D cast is more expensive and not all hospitals have the machine.
  • The 3D printed cast process can be long and complicated, taking days to complete.

Cast21 Waterproof Cast Alternative

kid wearing cast21 waterproof cast alternative in swimming pooli

If you're looking for a truly unique cast experience, consider Cast21. Made from quick-setting resin, it’s the perfect solution for those looking for an alternative to traditional waterproof casts. 

The open lattice structure allows for airflow that can help prevent skin issues like infections, dermatitis, itching, or bad odors, making it ideal for everyday activities. 

Cast21 also weighs less than a traditional cast, so you'll feel comfortable and unrestricted while wearing it. Plus, it's completely waterproof, meaning there’s no need for a waterproof cast cover, allowing you to enjoy worry-free fun in the water. 

Cast21 is FDA-registered and has been covered under most insurance policies, so you can focus on healing and getting back to your normal activities.

Benefits of Cast21 include:

  • They are made from lightweight resin. 
  • Rapid application with no special equipment necessary.
  • They are comfortable and breathable.
  • 100% waterproof meaning you can shower, swim, and enjoy the hot tub.
  • They are FDA-listed.

If you're looking for an innovative waterproof cast alternative that is comfortable, stylish, and easy to care for, Cast21 is the perfect solution. Click here to learn more about Cast21's waterproof casting technology and find a health care provider near you.

Where to Get a Cast21 Waterproof Cast Alternative?

If you're interested in trying a waterproof cast alternative, Cast21 is available around the world. You can also contact our team to request a sample. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about Cast21 and help you on your way to a faster, more comfortable recovery process.

Making the Decision

We hope this blog post was helpful in deciding which type of cast is best for you. Waterproof casts and waterproof covers are a great option for those wanting to avoid the hassle of a traditional cast. 3D printed casts have come a long way in the industry but are still not available in all clinics and take a long time to create. 

If you're looking for a truly unique experience, Cast21's quick-drying resin cast is a medical innovation that is the perfect alternative to traditional waterproof casts that is affordable and widely available. 

No matter which type of cast you choose, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for care. With a little TLC, your cast will help you heal in no time. 

Have questions about our waterproof cast alternative? Leave us a comment!