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Exoskeleton Orthopedic Casts Form-Fit Human Anatomy

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Mar 2021
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Image: Exoskeleton Orthopedic Casts Form-Fit Human Anatomy (Photo courtesy of ActivArmor)
Image: Exoskeleton Orthopedic Casts Form-Fit Human Anatomy (Photo courtesy of ActivArmor)
A hygienic, fully custom, and breathable orthosis provides a better solution for healing broken bones than existing casting and splinting technologies.

ActivArmor (Pueblo, CO, USA) is a custom fabricated, 100% recyclable ABS plastic cast for immobilizing the thumbs, fingers, hands, wrists, arms, and lower limbs. The proprietary manufacturing process starts with an optical scan (precise to 0.5 mm) that creates a three-dimensional (3D) model of the patient’s limb. A 3D printer then fabricates a completely individualized and fitted splint, based on the physician’s specific instructions and each patient’s unique needs. The clamshell sections of the cast are locked into place to form a lattice-like structure.

Benefits of the custom made cast include an exact fit that allows the tissues to remain in the desired position for optimal rest and healing; a custom design that allows doctors the freedom to immobilize or free-up specific areas, which is not possible with prefabricated devices; observation of skin condition through the lattice frame; water safety that allows the patinet to bathe or swim without concern for the device losing its ability to provide support; and reduced need for maintaining product inventory and/or storage of prefabricated devices. ActivArmor casts comes in a variety of colors.

“The products are made from one hundred percent ABS, which is the same plastic as Legos. They're tested for biocompatibility, microporosity, et cetera, so they don't trap moisture against the skin, so they're completely hygienic,” said Diana Hall, President and COO of ActivArmor. “You can wash, bathe, and shower like normal. It's about continuing your active lifestyle while healing, while being immobilized. If you need a splint later in the healing phase, this transitions to a removable splint.”

Traditional casts are a shell, frequently made from plaster or fiberglass that encase a limb or other parts of the body to stabilize and hold anatomical structures, most often broken bones, in place until healing is confirmed. Advantages of plaster casts include accurate molding for a snug and more comfortable fit. The major disadvantage is that the limb is unreachable during treatment; skin becomes dry and scaly; and cutaneous complications abound. In hot weather, staphylococcal infection of the hair follicles and sweat glands can lead to severe and painful dermatitis.

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