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J Athl Train. 1994 March; 29(1): 37-38, 41-43.
PMCID: PMC1317757

Casting in Sport

Mark DeCarlo, MS, PT, SCS, ATC
Mark DeCarlo is Director of Physical Therapy at Methodist Sports Medicine Center/Thomas A. Brady Clinic, 1815 N Capitol Ave, Ste 401, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
Kathy Malone, MA, ATC
Kathy Malone is Research Assistant at Methodist Sports Medicine Center/Thomas A. Brady Clinic, 1815 N Capitol Ave, Ste 401, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
John Darmelio, MS, ATC
John Darmelio is Clinical Athletic Trainer at Methodist Sports Medicine Center/Thomas A. Brady Clinic, 1815 N Capitol Ave, Ste 401, Indianapolis, IN 46202.


Attempts by sports medicine professionals to return high school athletes with hand and wrist injuries to competition quickly and safely have been the source of confusion and debate on many playing fields around the country. In addition to the differing views regarding the appropriateness of playing cast usage in high school football, a debate exists among sports medicine professionals as to which material is best suited for playing cast construction. Materials used in playing cast construction should be hard enough to provide sufficient stabilization to the injured area and include adequate padding to absorb blunt impact forces. The purpose of the biomechanical portion of this investigation was to attempt to determine the most appropriate materials for use in constructing playing casts for the hand and wrist by assessing different materials for: 1) hardness using a Shore durometer, and 2) ability to absorb impact using a force platform. Results revealed that RTV11 and Scotchcast were the “least hard” of the underlying casting materials and that Temper Stick foam greatly increased the ability of RTV11 to absorb impact. Assessment of the mechanical properties of playing cast materials and review of current developments in high school football rules are used to aid practitioners in choosing the most appropriate materials for playing cast construction.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bassett FH, 3rd, Malone T, Gilchrist RA. A protective splint of silicone rubber. Am J Sports Med. 1979 Nov-Dec;7(6):358–360. [PubMed]
  • Bergfeld JA, Weiker GG, Andrish JT, Hall R. Soft playing splint for protection of significant hand and wrist injuries in sports. Am J Sports Med. 1982 Sep-Oct;10(5):293–296. [PubMed]
  • Brunet ME, Haddad RJ., Jr Fractures and dislocations of the metacarpals and phalanges. Clin Sports Med. 1986 Oct;5(4):773–781. [PubMed]
  • Gieck JH, Mayer V. Protective splinting for the hand and wrist. Clin Sports Med. 1986 Oct;5(4):795–807. [PubMed]
  • Hunter SC, Blackburn TA. Silicone cast treatment for athletic injuries to the upper extremities. J Med Assoc Ga. 1982 Jul;71(7):495–497. [PubMed]
  • Riester JN, Baker BE, Mosher JF, Lowe D. A review of scaphoid fracture healing in competitive athletes. Am J Sports Med. 1985 May-Jun;13(3):159–161. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association