Originally posted on MAKE:
When you break a bone or even just injure the soft tissue in a joint, you have to immobilize it. While the optimal solution might be weeks of lying completely still (yeah, right) we all know that casts or splints are the way to go.
Thousands of years ago, ancient cultures (Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus) used wooden splints wrapped with linen to secure broken bones. Hardened casts started popping up in different forms around 30 AD, incorporating anything from wax and resin, to seashells and egg whites, to flour and animal fat in an effort stiffen the bandages and set the bone more reliably. The process evolved over centuries until we arrived at the plaster bricks we put on our broken bones today, which offer superior support and customized fit to provide the best environment for healing. But casts can invite a host of nasty skin issues, itchiness, staph infections, and…
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