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Osteocast: Improving Distal Radius Fracture Management

Team Members:
  • Shipra Khatri
  • Victoria Chen
  • Nikhil Murty
  • Ronak Mahatme
  • Amir Manbachi, PhD
  • Ryan Hurley, PhD
  • Jason Hammond, MD
  • Tom Benassi
  • Stephen Belkoff, PhD
  • Jane Webster


There are approximately six million hospitalizations with fracture diagnoses per year. For adults, 50% of all reported fractures occur in the arms. This amounts to a market of over $2 billion for the treatment of over three million cases in the United States per year. A fracture is caused by a bone experiencing a force greater than it can absorb. In order for the bone to heal, the fracture needs to be realigned and immobilized to maintain the bone’s natural anatomical alignment and protect against additional impacts and possible refracture. This is normally done with a plaster or fiberglass cast. It is well known that patients experience discomfort with the itchiness, sweating, and a lack of water resistance of the current casts, and some efforts have been made to address this. In addition, one overlooked issue of fracture management is cast loosening or tightening that occurs due to changes in swelling of the arm. This issue forces patients to go through up to two replacement casts, with each visit taking 30 minutes. This takes away valuable time from both doctors and patients.

Osteocast is an auto-adjustable device that accounts for changes in swelling that occur throughout the fracture management process. The device can automatically loosen and tighten in response to changes and swelling, while remaining stiff. This enhances stabilization and prevents the risks associated with refracture of the bone. This novel, wearable technology will eliminate the need for extraneous visits to the clinic, allowing patients and physicians to navigate fracture management with greater efficiency and ease. Furthermore, the device incorporates waterproof, breathable materials in order to solve patient complaints that result from discomfort, itching, and lack of hygiene that is experienced with fiberglass casting.

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