Children's Hospital Colorado

3D Printed Casts for Broken Bones and Other Injuries

Skateboarding girl with a 3D cast on a yellow background.

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What are 3D printed casts and splints?

Traditional plaster casts are bulky, itchy, non-adjustable and not meant for water. In short, they’re not made with kids in mind. 3D printed casts are a game-changing option to help your child be more comfortable and active as they heal from a broken bone or other injury.

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Children’s Hospital Colorado is the first pediatric hospital in the nation to offer 3D printed casts. We want our patients to have the best treatments available. This breakthrough technology combined with our pediatric orthopedic expertise ensures that your child will heal completely and comfortably from sprained ankles, broken wrists and everything between.

While healing your child’s injury, 3D printed casts and splints allow them to move through everyday tasks with much more comfort and ease. These casts also allow kids to practice safe hand hygiene, which is particularly important during the coronavirus pandemic.

Babies, kids and teens can all wear 3D printed casts. They won’t prevent kids and teens from enjoying many of their favorite activities like swimming, sports and playing with friends. The digital scanning process for fitting is quick — typically less than a minute — and ensures optimal rest and healing.

Child swimming underwater with 3D printed cast

Incredibly unique casts

3D printed casts offer many advantages over traditional casts and splints:

  • Waterproof: the only cast that allows kids to wash their hands, swim and bathe like normal
  • Breathable: doesn’t trap bacteria, odor or moisture
  • Customized: created just for your child’s arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Adjustable: removable or semi-permanent based on your child’s injury
  • Lightweight: lighter than traditional casts so your child can participate in their normal activities
  • Comfortable: customized to your child and some casts are removable
  • FDA Registered: so you can rest easy

What should I expect from a 3D printed cast?

Every step of our 3D printed cast process is designed with your child in mind. From kid-friendly care settings through a healing process that lets them do their favorite activities, we make sure kids can be kids.

Personal digital scan

To ensure your child’s cast fits them perfectly, our pediatric orthopedic experts will move a digital scanner completely around their injured limb while they hold it still. This typically takes less than a minute and ensures the cast is made specifically for your child and their injury.

Depending on your child’s injury, our pediatric providers may recommend immobilizing certain parts of their limb, such as their ankle, wrist or a finger. While we produce your child’s 3D printed cast, we will give them a temporary cast or splint to wear. Your child can typically expect their waterproof, breathable cast in four days.

Receiving your child’s cast

Once your child’s cast is ready, you will return to our office to meet with our orthopedic technicians and athletic trainers. They will help your child put their cast on for the first time and make sure it fits properly. Our providers will answer your questions, discuss an expected timeline for wearing the cast and schedule follow-up care.

Follow-up care for 3D printed casts

Our orthopedic experts will schedule follow-up appointments as necessary for your child’s injury to make sure it’s healing as well as possible. If at any point your child feels their cast isn’t fitting correctly please call our clinic and we would be happy to schedule an appointment to check their cast.

Getting your cast off

We will schedule an appointment to remove your child’s cast once their injury has healed. We will examine them to make sure their injury is completely healed and make sure your child is comfortable moving forward without their cast. Removing your child’s cast is quick and painless. Please contact our clinic if your child feels any discomfort after removing their cast.

What kind of injuries do 3D printed casts treat?

Our orthopedic doctors will determine if a 3D printed cast is appropriate for your child’s injury. Our experts prescribe 3D printed casts for various orthopedic injuries, including:

Why choose Children’s Colorado for 3D printed cast care

Children’s Colorado is the first pediatric hospital in the country to offer 3D printed casts. We have the most experience ensuring that kids have a waterproof, adjustable, breathable cast that will help them heal while not interrupting the rest of their life.

We also have an unmatched level of pediatric fracture care expertise in our region. Kids’ bones are different. They heal faster and differently than adults’ bones. For the best results for your child’s broken bone, see our orthopedic experts, who have training, expertise and experience specific to caring for kids with broken bones and other orthopedic injuries.

When you want a cast that will allow your child to play and live their full lives matched with the highest level of pediatric expertise to make sure their bones heal properly, Children’s Colorado is the only choice.

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