We know it’s not the best news when you or your child need to be placed in a cast. But your orthopedic knows it’s the best course of action for your injury to heal properly. For however long it needs to remain on, we have some tips on how to make sure your time in your cast is successful.
When You First Get Your Cast
When first injured, the swelling that occurs can make the cast feel tight and uncomfortable. It’s important to take measures to treat the swelling to help the healing process by doing the following in the first 24-72 hours.
ELEVATE – Prop the injured arm or leg with support so that it is above the heart to allow fluid and blood to drain.
MOVEMENT – Move uninjured fingers and toes to prevent stiffness.
ICE – Apply ice to the injured area. Be sure to place loose ice in a plastic bag to keep the area dry and loosely wrap around the cast.
Caring for Your Cast
KEEP IT DRY – It’s important to keep the cast, and the injury, dry. When bathing or showering, cover the cast in two layers of plastic and seal with a band or duct tape. Avoid submerging in water, even when covered. Some injuries can be treated with a waterproof cast, so ask your doctor if yours is safe to get wet.
KEEP IT CLEAN – Dirt and sand particles can not only irritate the skin, but can hinder the healing process.
ITCHINESS – It’s common, but don’t try to relive any itches with an object or powders into the cast. If it continues and is unbearable, contact your doctor.
DON’T DIY – Don’t mess around with your cast. No pulling at the padding and no trimming of any rough edges without consulting your orthopedic. Never remove the cast on your own.
SPEAK UP – If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, be sure to let your physician’s office know.
- Increased pain or tightness
- Numbness/tingling in the casted area
- Burning or red/raw skin around the cast
- Inability to move toes or fingers
- Crack or soft spot on the cast
With proper care, you can ensure the time needed in a cast isn’t unnecessarily extended. And, as always, the specialists at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are here to answer any questions and guide you through your treatment. We welcome your call any time.