Plaster Cast

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Plaster Cast


a rapidly hardening binding widely used for immobilization in treating injuries and diseases of the support-motor apparatus. The first plaster cast was used by N. I. Pirogov during the Crimean War (1853-56).

To apply a plaster cast, plaster bandages are used—that is, gauze bandages with plaster rubbed into them. They are immersed in a basin of water at room temperature, wrung out, and then applied either directly to the patient’s body (unlined plaster cast) or to a layer of gray cotton (lined plaster cast). Lying evenly and close to the body and accurately reproducing the contours and shape of the given part, the plaster cast reliably fixes the injured part of the body.

Plaster casts are widely used in the form of circumferential bindings, plaster splints, corsets, and cribs to treat simple and compound fractures of bones, injuries to joints, and osteoarticular tuberculosis and to correct deformities. They are also used after various operations on the support-motor apparatus, for treatment of extensive wounds and ulcers of the extremities, and in prosthetics. After application of a plaster cast, blood circulation in the extremity may be disrupted because of pressure on the blood vessels. In case of the appearance of cyanosis or pallor of the peripheral parts of the extremity, edema, severe pains, formication, and disruption of sensitivity, the entire cast is immediately cut apart lengthwise. To avoid friction sores, windows (openings) are cut over limited pressure areas.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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