The use of the buzzsaw in orthopedics

A cast saw in common use today

Gazing at the cast cutter as a child, I saw an ominous thing that looked like it was going to eat me alive. Guess what? It did! The cast cutter (possibly a buzz saw in a former life) cut my cast off all right; it also cut my skin. It was a tiny cut, but my 12-year-old saucers-eyes saw a huge crater which became infected and left a large scar. A  bit of history so you can understand my apprehension about having this cast removed. I could only hope that in 50 years there have been advancements in cast removal!

“Joy to the world!” Advancements have been made! Cast saws of today are much different than the buzz saws of yesterday in that they saw through the cast but not the skin. How do they pull that one off?

The resistance offered by the cast as it encounters the saw is quite firm, so the saw cuts the cast; whereas, the resistance offered by the skin is very minimal so it doesn’t cut-but it can generate a lot of heat.

After surviving The new-fangled saw, another x-ray was taken to make sure the bones were aligned correctly,  I was splinted and I’m to go back in four weeks. So four more weeks of this thing and then I’ll start physical therapy. I take it off every now and then do mild exercises But when I start physical therapy exercises will be much more intense.

Most notable was a reptilian quality to my skin:IMG_2076 I couldn’t use enough hand lotion, and I could have soaked in a vat of  Vaseline overnight; and in the a.m, the flakiness, the dryness, would still be there.


About Annie

My 20 year nursing career ended when i was diagnosed with lupus. So, I began another career as a freelance writer and advocate for people with chronic illnesses.

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