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Cast Care


CAST CARE OVERVIEW

A cast or splint has been applied to protect your bone and reduce pain as you heal. Taking care of your cast or splint is important to ensure it serves you well.

CAST CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • The injured area may swell during the first few days. This may make your cast feel tight. Keeping your limb elevated (raised) can reduce the swelling. This can be accomplished by:
    • Keep your arm elevated in the sling provided or on cushions. Make sure that your hand is higher than your elbow. Gently move your fingers frequently.
    • Keep your leg raised on a pillow or stool so that your ankle is higher than your hip. Gently move your toes frequently.
  • Take your pain medicine as instructed. This reduces pain and swelling.
  • Do not get the cast or splint wet. When bathing, cover the cast with a plastic bag and tape the opening shut. However, despite of being covered, you should not place the cast in water or allow water to run over the area.
  • If the cast becomes wet, you can dry it with a hair dryer on the cool setting. Do not use the warm or hot setting because this can burn the skin.
  • Keep the cast clean and avoid getting dirt or sand inside the cast. Do not apply powder or lotion on or near the cast. Cover the cast when eating.
  • Sticking items inside the cast can injure the skin and lead to infection. Using a hair dryer on the cool setting may help soothe itching.
  • Do not pull the padding out from inside your cast.

WHEN TO SEEK HELP

  • When there are sore areas or a foul odour from the cast, cracks or breaks in the cast, or the cast feels too tight.
  • You develop swelling that causes pain or makes it difficult to move your fingers or toes.
  • You develop tingling or numbness in fingers or toes.
  • Your fingers or toes are blue or cold.
  • You develop severe pain in or near the casted arm or leg.
  • Your cast becomes soaking wet.

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