How to Properly Care for Your Cast
You have been placed in a cast to protect your bone and reduce pain as you heal. Taking proper care of your cast is very important. If you have questions about your cast, let your doctor know right away.
Cast Care Instructions
- Keep your cast dry at all times. To bathe with a cast, place a washcloth at the upper edge of the cast, cover the cast with a plastic bag, tape the opening shut, and hang the cast outside the tub. Even when covered, do not immerse your cast in water. For small children, sponge bathing is recommended.
- Cast covers are sold, but these are sometimes not waterproof. The cast cannot be covered in water even with the cast cover.
- A new cast can make your skin itchy. Using a hair dryer on a cool setting to blow air into the cast can help. Do not set the hair dryer on a warm or hot setting, as this can burn the skin. Benadryl can also be helpful for significant itching.
- Do not stick anything into your cast! This can be very harmful to your skin.
- Mild swelling is common during the first few days. Swelling may make your cast feel snug initially. Gently move your fingers/toes and elevate your limb to help reduce swelling. This can be accomplished by resting it on pillows.
- Take your pain medicine if you have pain. You may be able to take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) if allowed by your doctor.
- If the cast becomes wet, you can dry it with a hair dryer on the cool setting. If it still seems quite wet after 15 minutes of drying, call the office. Your cast may have to be changed.
Please make sure to call the doctor if you experience severe pain that does not get better with medication, if your fingers change color, or if your cast becomes wet or damaged.