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J Am Acad Orthop Surg . 2021 May 1;29(9):380-385. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-00723. Cast Saw Burn Prevention: An Evidence-Based Review

Larson JE, Nicolay RW

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2021 May 1; 29(9):380-385


Cast saw burns are an avoidable complication of cast removal and cast splitting. These iatrogenic injuries often lead to unacceptable clinical sequalae with significant financial and legal consequences. Therefore, a considerable body of research has been directed toward cast saw burn prevention. This review of currently published data provides clinicians with a summary of the literature to guide practice based on the best available evidence, with the goal of preventing iatrogenic cast saw burns. The PubMed database was queried for articles published from 1980 until present with the following key words: cast saw burns, cast saw blades, cast saws, orthopaedic education or surgical simulation. Relevant articles were reviewed and summarized. The prevention of cast saw burns involves awareness of clinical risk factors, maintenance of equipment, use of the proper technique, and the education of novice providers. By implementing evidence-based methods, orthopaedic surgeons and associated healthcare providers can aim to eliminate these preventable complications from their practice.

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