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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 803047, 3 pages
Research Article

Management of Intolerance to Casting the Upper Extremities in Claustrophobic Patients

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kobe Rosai Hospital, 4-1-23 Kagoike-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-0053, Japan
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 6500017, Japan

Received 19 June 2014; Accepted 10 August 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Syoji Kobashi

Copyright © 2014 Issei Nagura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Some patients showed unusual responses to the immobilization without any objective findings with casts in upper extremities. We hypothesized their that intolerance with excessive anxiety to casts is due to claustrophobia triggered by cast immobilization. The aim of this study is to analyze the relevance of cast immobilization to the feeling of claustrophobia and discover how to handle them. Methods. There were nine patients who showed the caustrophobic symptoms with their casts. They were assesed whether they were aware of their claustrophobis themselves. Further we investigated the alternative immobilization to casts. Results. Seven out of nine cases that were aware of their claustrophobic tendencies either were given removable splints initially or had the casts converted to removable splints when they exhibited symptoms. The two patients who were unaware of their latent claustrophobic tendencies were identified when they showed similar claustrophobic symptoms to the previous patients soon after short arm cast application. We replaced the casts with removable splints. This resolved the issue in all cases. Conclusions. We should be aware of the claustrophobia if patients showed unusual responses to the immobilization without any objective findings with casts in upper extremities, where removal splint is practical alternative to cast to continue the treatment successfully.