Moulds and Casts for Orthopaedic and Prosthetic Appliances
Charles C Thomas†*
When someone pioneers by writing a book on a new technical subject, he assumes a great deal of responsibility with respect to research and other background information. To be valuable to students the material must be current, readily adaptable, and appealing in a productive sense. In "Moulds and Casts for Orthopaedic and Prosthetic Appliances" Mr. Gleave has met the test of the occasion, and compiled a text that will fill a very obvious void in the orthotics and prosthetics literature, for no one before has covered this subject in so much detail from the chemistry of plaster to the casting of a toe. Today, when more and more of our appliances are produced with a plaster reproduction of a body segment, we find that successful fittings relate to our ability to anticipate the biomechanical requirements of a suitable socketó patient contact. Furthermore, without an understanding of the principles described in this book, it is difficult for one to make a satisfactory cast that could be utilized reliably in the application of all of the new plastic materials and techniques available today.
Before outlining a variety of techniques for moulding and casting various body segments the author discusses a seldom considered element in the moulding process, the displacement of soft tissue that can be voluntarily controlled or unknowingly permitted. Mr. Gleave makes the reader aware of the factors involved, and outlines methods for the technician to utilize body position, plaster bandage application, and other mediums to accomplish the goals dictated by the deformity or condition of the affected part.
Over the past ten years there have appeared on American programs complex and controversial approaches to "ideal" moulding procedures. These and others are described and well illustrated. Of particular interest to me was the inclusion and promotion of the laminated mould which seems to offer great potential for accuracy, especially for bony parts, e.g., foot, ankle and leg.
Whether the interest of the student lies in the trunk or in the digits, or in orthotics or prosthetics he will find helpful suggestions on all moulding problems. Last, but not least, we can well follow the author's opening remarks and standardize our terminology with the proper use of "mould" for the negative wrap and "cast" for the positive. We are indebted to our English colleague for his efforts and to all our European counterparts whose influence has contributed to the completeness of the work.
Carlton Fillauer, C.P.O.