Dr. Jeffrey Settecerri is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
offers the waterproof casts for certain types of fractures.
"Waterproof means waterproof.
You can swim in a pool, you can wash the dishes, you can swim in a lake.
The cast itself doesn't have to be covered when it's submerged in water," said Settecerri
said the outside of the cast is still made of fiberglass, it's the lining that's different.
"The standard liner is made out of cotton and much like a sponge, if it were to get wet, it would remain wet under the fiberglass that doesn't breathe," said Settecerri
"From comfort issues and hygiene, it's just really revolutionized fracture care and has made everyone's life a lot easier," said Settecerri
Waterproof casts are not an option for all fractures.
said they're generally best for wrist and forearm fractures, but not breaks involving the upper arm or legs.
"I don't think it's as useful for a walking cast where weight-bearing has to be done through the cast," said Settecerri
The special lining is also sometimes used for children who need to be in body casts for weeks at a time.
"It's just a lot more comfortable for the child," said Settecerri
said insurance companies are not typically willing to pay the extra cost for the waterproof liner, but it only adds about $15 to $30.