Cast and Splint Care
InfoSheet – Cast and Splint Care
David M. Klein, MD – Kennedy - White Orthopaedic Center
WHAT IS A CAST?
A cast is a hard, fitted covering used to
immobilize and support an injured part
of the body. They are used during the
healing process of broken bones and
soft tissues. Casts are typically made of
a rigid material, such as plaster or
fiberglass. They are custom-fitted to
your body to provide the best support
possible.
cast. Keeping the casted area elevated
will help keep swelling down. You can
apply ice packs (wrapped in plastic to
prevent wetting the cast) to the area to
further reduce pain and swelling. Your
doctor will show you how to gently
exercise the area to prevent joint
stiffness.
HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY CAST?
•
Avoid bearing weight on the cast
until it has completely hardened.
Your doctor will inform as to how
much weight the cast can sustain
during your daily activities.
•
Avoid excessive heat and moisture.
Do not use a heating pad on your
cast. Take measures to keep the
cast dry. For example, double bag
the cast or apply a waterproof shield
before bathing.
•
Keep the inside of the cast as clean
as possible. This will reduce your
likelihood of developing skin
irritation. Avoid activities that can
cause dirt and other contaminants to
lodge inside the cast.
•
Do not put objects inside the cast to
scratch the skin. You can injure your
skin this way, which may lead to
infection.
WHY DO I NEED A CAST?
When your body is mending, it is
working to repair damaged areas and
make new healthy bone or tissue. The
cast will hold the area in the correct
position while it heals. It also helps
prevent re-injury to the area that can
result from too much movement. Pain
and swelling are greatly reduced
through the supportive protection
provided by a cast.
HOW IS THE CAST APPLIED?
Your doctor or other healthcare provider
will first place a layer of padding on the
area. This will help protect your skin
while you are wearing the cast. Next,
the cast material is wetted and applied
in strips or rolled on (like a bandage).
Often, the joint above and below the
affected area is covered as well to limit
excessive movement. Once the area is
covered, it is allowed to dry and harden.
Fiberglass casts need about an hour to
completely harden. Plaster casts may
require a few days before they are fully
rigid.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER THE
CAST IF APPLIED?
For the first few days, you should focus
on making yourself comfortable with the
WHAT SHOULD I BE AWARE OF
WHILE WEARING THE CAST?
Casts can sometimes cause skin and
circulatory problems if they are not
properly monitored. Report problems to
your healthcare provider if you notice:
•
Excessive swelling in the affected
area (some swelling is normal)
•
Discoloration of the fingers or toes
(blueness, whiteness) While a
Cast and Splint Care
change in color is expected, too
much may mean the cast is too tight
•
Numbness or tingling in the area,
especially if you lose feeling in the
fingers or toes
•
Inability to move the fingers or toes
in the injured area
•
Pain that worsens instead of
improving
•
Pain in the forearm or leg when
having your fingers or toes passively
bent and straightened (“pain on
passive motion”)
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WEAR
THE CAST?
The length of time you will have to wear
the cast will vary according to your injury
or surgery. You may need the cast until
the area has healed as proven by X-ray.
Talk with your doctor regarding the
expected recovery time with your injury.
HOW IS THE CAST REMOVED?
A specialized cast saw will be used to
remove your cast. The saw does not
spin, but vibrates and makes quite a bit
of noise. It should not harm your skin.
Page 2
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement