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ACC received 87,766 claims for fractures in the 2014/2015 year

ACC received 87,766 claims for fractures in the 2014/2015 year

The NZ Ministry of Health's statistics found that there were 700,000 patients admitted to NZ Emergency Departments (ED) during the 2014/2015 year.

During this same period of time, ACC received new claims of 87,766 for fractures (broken bones) or dislocations.

These numbers tell us that 12% of all ED visits end up with someone in a cast. A cast is necessary to keep a bone stable while allowing the body to do the natural work of healing. A proper fitting cast is the first line of treatment for all bone-related injuries. They are invaluable for your recovery, but also add an extra challenge to everyday tasks.

Activities that you took for granted, last summer, like going swimming or taking a shower after a sandy day at the beach have to be done more consciously when you have a cast.

Luckily, a simple solution is to choose a waterproof cast protector when you need to. This will prevent your cast from getting damp and ensures that your recovery is as quick and painless as possible.

You can check out our range of waterproof cast covers for broken bones and fractures by clicking here.

 

We've got you covered - Cast Covers for Kids

We've got you covered - Cast Covers for Kids

We all know how children can be messy or rambunctious- especially during the summer time. From midday swims with friends at the pool to a summer night's milkshake, spills and thrills are bound to happen.

When your child is sporting a broken arm or leg, you don't want them to miss out on fun, childhood memories that they can only make during the summer.

Swimming can turn into a bad experience quickly once they exit the water if their cast isn't protected. 

A damaged cast is costly to replace and in worst case scenarios can even hinder the healing process. 

A waterproof cast protector enables kids who have a broken arm or leg to shower and swim without risk of getting the cast wet. You can rest easy knowing they can fully enjoy their day out in the pool or in the sea under the sun.

You can find out more information about Cast Covers for Kids by clicking here.

Ever wondered how long it takes a broken bone take to heal?

Ever wondered how long it takes a broken bone take to heal?

Breaking a bone isn’t fun. Not only does it hurt, but it can stop you from doing things you enjoy. If you have broken a bone, you’re probably keen to know how soon it will mend. You may also be interested in ways to make your recovery more comfortable. In this post, we discuss how long it takes broken bones to heal and suggest some orthopaedic accessories that can make life a little easier.

Common types of bone breaks

Most breaks fall into one of the following categories:

  • Stable: the ends of the bone are in line and barely out of place
  • Traverse: the fracture runs across the bone horizontally
  • Oblique: the break runs at an angle
  • Comminuted: the bone shatters into three or more pieces
  • Compound: the broken bone pierces the skin.

The most common causes of broken bones are trauma, osteoporosis and overuse/stress. Men 45 years and younger are more likely to suffer a fracture than women. However, after 45, women take the lead. The group with the highest number of fractures is those in the 75-plus age bracket.

How long does a broken bone take to heal?

Of course, healing time depends on several things, like the type of break, the bone that is broken, your health and your age. Depending on the circumstances, fractures take between four weeks and three months to mend. As a rule, the smaller the bone, the faster it should heal.

The following chart is a useful guide (source)

Bone

Healing time

Collarbone 

4 – 8 weeks

Shoulder blade

6 – 8 weeks

Ribs

4 weeks

Upper arm

4 – 10 weeks

Lower arm

5 – 8 weeks

Wrist

4 – 12 weeks

Finger

3 – 6 weeks

Pelvis

4 – 6 weeks

Upper leg

12-plus weeks

Lower leg

2 – 24 weeks

Ankle

6 weeks

Foot

2 – 12 weeks

Toe

3 – 4 weeks

 

Helpful orthopaedic accessories

When wearing a cast on your arm or leg, you must keep it dry. Consequently, showering is difficult and swimming? Forget about it! Actually, this needn’t be the case because you can now get orthopaedic accessories, such as waterproof cast covers, to return some normality to your life

What is a waterproof cast cover?

Well, once upon a time, it might be a plastic bag taped over a cast. Not anymore, though. Today, waterproof cast covers are available; made of rubber, they protect casts on arms and legs — as well as wounds and burns — from getting wet. You can also get covers to protect orthopaedic walking boots from the wind and rain.

Feeling itchy?

Ask anyone who has worn a cast, and one of the biggest irritations is that ‘unscratchable itch.’ Attached to vacuum cleaners, the Cast Cooler keeps casts fresh by removing moisture under the linings, and in doing so, reduces the urge to itch.

What brilliant inventions!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share.

 

 

How to wear a waterproof cast cover in the shower

How to wear a waterproof cast cover in the shower

‘Cleanliness is next to godliness.’ But, if your arm or leg is in a cast due to a fracture, showering can be tricky. Depending on the severity, your broken limb could take up to 12 weeks to heel, so unless you don’t mind the ‘ungodly’ smell, avoiding the shower is not an option. Your cast needs protection.

Keep your cast dry

The number-one rule when wearing a cast is KEEP IT DRY. Why? Well, not only will moisture be irritating to your skin, but it can also produce a build-up of mould or mildew and cause infections. Be aware that not even ‘waterproof' casts are completely waterproof because water can still seep through the openings. So, it makes sense to wear a waterproof cast cover.

If your cast does get wet, don't panic. To dry, use a CastCooler try using a vacuum cleaner hose, which will speed up the drying process by pulling air through your cast.

Plastic bags and rubber bands

What is a waterproof cast cover? Well, it’s simplest, more ‘agricultural’ form is a plastic bag secured by rubber bands. However, this method is tedious and far from reliable. Thankfully, fit-for-purpose products are available.

Waterproof cast covers

Waterproof cast covers are made of plastic and designed to keep out water while you shower, bath or take a swim. They are reusable and easy to slip over the cast of your arm or leg.

Wearing a waterproof cast cover

Before putting on your cover, check for sharp parts sticking out from your cast. These could cause tears, so while taking care not to damage the integrity of the cast, file or sand them down, or cover them with a bandage or tube bandage.

You’ll see the cast cover opening is quite narrow. That’s okay; you can stretch it up to five times its size.

Once you’ve put the cover on, the opening seals tight to keep out water. Also, with leg covers, you’ll see there are skid pads at the bottom. Be aware that you shouldn't walk on leg covers consistently; the skid pads are there purely to stop you slipping in the shower.

Note: Waterproof cast covers are not designed for orthopaedic boots.

How to measure for  a cast cover

Waterproof cast covers for arms and legs come in two categories (short and full), which are then divided into four sizes.

To determine the right size for you, follow these instructions:

Arms

  • Measure the circumference of your arm just above where your cast ends.
  • Measure from the end of your middle finger to the top of your cast.

 Legs

  • Measure from your heal to about 3 cm above where your cast ends.
  • At approx. 5 cm above where your cast ends, measure the circumference of your leg.
  • Especially if you have had foot surgery or are wearing a unique kind of cast, measure the diagonal circumference from your heel to the top of your foot.

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How to make life easier when wearing an arm or leg cast

How to make life easier when wearing an arm or leg cast

Wearing a cast is a nuisance. Sure, you get to decorate it with pretty pictures, but the novelty soon disappears when dressing and bathing become difficult — and you start to itch! We FEEL YOUR PAIN, which is why we have put together some ideas to make your life easier while wearing an arm or leg cast.

Getting dressed

The daily ritual of dressing and undressing can become a daily ‘headache’ when a cast is involved. A simple solution is to wear clothes that are easy to get on and off. For example, if you wear an arm cast, choose short-sleeve shirts or shirts with no sleeves. For a leg cast, wear basketball shorts or baggy tracksuit pants. You needn’t ‘break the bank.’ For some temporary clothing, head down to your local ‘pre-loved’ clothing store.

Showering

It is important to keep your cast dry because water under a cast causes skin irritations, mould and mildew build-up as well as infections. So, when taking a bath or shower, wear a waterproof cast cover, which is designed to protect against water.  Don’t bother with the commonly employed plastic bag with rubber bands; that will just elevate your stress levels.

Eat well

When trying to heal broken bones it is especially important to eat the right foods. So, make sure you feed your body plenty of the following:

  • Calcium is critical for bone health. Foods high in calcium include kale, salmon, sardines and sea vegetables, like kelp and kombu. Yoghurt is also good.
  • Zinc causes a chemical reaction necessary for building bones. Foods containing zinc include spinach, oysters, pumpkin seeds and some types of beef.
  • Vitamin C is also essential for bone health. Citrus fruits, like oranges, strawberries and tomatoes, contain plenty of this essential vitamin.
  • Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium, and milk is a reliable source.
  • Vitamin K1 helps bones fuse together and create new bone mass. Kale, broccoli and cabbage are rich in vitamin K1.

 

Don’t smoke, drink too much coffee and alcohol or overindulge in red meat. Doing these things will slow down your healing process.

Exercise

When recovering from a broken bone, don’t neglect the other body parts of your body.  Here is some useful information on exercising with a leg cast.

Soothe that itch

An itch under your cast can be enough to drive you mad. So, if you’re experiencing itchiness, you’ll be glad to know there are a couple of remedies. Moisture under the cast lining is usually the culprit so applying talcum powder can help, though tight casts can make this difficult. Another option is to use a cast cooler, which in combination with a household vacuum cleaner, will help keep your cast fresh by removing moisture from the lining of your cast.

We hope you have gotten a few ideas from this post on how to make a living with a cast easier. If you found this post useful please share.

 

 

3 Easy Bone Fracture Prevention Tips for when you age

3 Easy Bone Fracture Prevention Tips for when you age

Being active is vital for good health. As age creeps upon us, however, we become more susceptible to bone fractures. Does this mean you should retreat to a sedentary lifestyle once you hit a certain age? Certainly not. In this post, we offer three easy tips for bone fracture prevention.

What happens to our bones when we age?

It is a fact that our bones become thinner and lose strength when we get older. Bone thinning is called osteopenia, and severe bone thinning is called osteoporosis.

Fractures in men

Up until about the age of 45, men break more bones than women. According to life insurer Friends Life, 87% of claims relating to broken bones come from men. By comparison, only 13% of broken-bone claims are from women. Friend Life says that most of the injuries are due to sports, hobbies and bike-related activities. So, why are males in that age bracket more prone to breaking bones? There is no clear answer; however, maybe women are more careful. Just a thought.

Fractures in women

After the age of 45, women take the lead in bone fractures. In fact, one in two women over 50 will suffer an age-related fracture in their lifetime, compared to 25% of men.

The reality is that women over 50 are more susceptible than men to osteoporosis. Here’s why:

 

Bone fracture prevention

Okay, now we've discussed the causes for fragile bones, let's discuss what you can do to for bone strength.

There are at least three things you can do:

  1. exercise regularly
  2. consume enough calcium
  3. consume enough vitamin D.

1: Exercise

As you age, it is still important to be active. Experts recommend that those over 65 get about 150 minutes of moderate exercise, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, every week. Exercises can include walking your dog, tending the gardening or playing a round of golf.

Don’t tempt fate. Ensure your floors are slip-proof and clutter-free; install grab rails in your bathroom and make sure your home is well lit.

2: Calcium

Calcium is essential for maintaining bone mass. Experts recommend that women over the age of 50 consume 1,200 mg of calcium per day and men 1,000 my per day.

Where to find calcium:

  • dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese
  • dark-green, leafy vegetables such as bok choy, and broccoli
  • orange juice and cereals
  • sardines, salmon with bones, nuts, tofu and soybeans

3: Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium.

Where to find vitamin D:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • tuna
  • eggs
  • mushrooms

 

You can also get a dose of vitamin simply by spending time outside in the sun. Don’t overdo it, though; your skin health is important, too.

Did you find this post useful? If so, please share.

 

Customer Testimonials

We've helped hundreds of people find relief while they are recuperating and we're an ACC approved vendor. 
Meet a few of our customers and see how Cast Covers has impacted their recovery:

'"We have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Rarotonga. Before we left our 8-year-old daughter fell off her scooter and broke both bones in her arm. This was a huge blow for us as our holiday was all booked and we were nearly packing to leave. I went online and google searched cast covers and thankfully you guys came up! I was absolutely blown away by how amazing this product was … no more plastic bags, yay !!! Our girl was able to enjoy the holiday just like the rest of us, even diving and jumping into the pool and snorkelling out in the lagoon for hours on end. We have just had her cast removed but will be holding onto this wee gem for the future, thanks so much!!!  I can’t stress enough how awesome your product is. Even after using it every day for 6 weeks in plaster it’s still in absolutely pristine condition." 

Jenna Sayer, Queenstown

" I would just like to congratulate you not only on the great service, but also the great product i.e. Waterproof Protector. My wife received hers yesterday, she has been suffering from an ulcer on the lower part of her leg which has required heavy bandaging twice a week for some time, and today had the first carefree shower that she has been able to have for many weeks. We will both be eternally grateful for this great product. Thank you so very much."

Neville & Dian Butler

"Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how I am going with my evenup. 

I have been using it every day since going from a cast into a moonboot and honestly do not know what I would do without it! Although I am still uneven due to my moonboot having a particularly large sole to it, the evenup at least reduces the strain on my other Achilles’ tendon and my hips and back. 

I have been interested to observe that few physiotherapists are even aware these are available and are very impressed with the concept on seeing mine." 
                                                                          
Louise Manders

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