Cast Care Instructions
Here are a few tips to maintain cast effectiveness and maximize your comfort.
Keep it Clean
Don’t put or insert anything into your cast.
Keep it Elevated.
Keep your casted extremity above your heart as much as you can.
For lower extremities, lie back on a couch or bed and put cushions under your leg(s) so your heel is about chin level. You can also lie on the floor and put your legs up on a couch or chair.
For upper extremities, raise your arm in the air for a few minutes periodically or lie down and prop your arm up so it’s higher than your heart.
Keep it Dry.
In the shower, be sure your cast is sealed from moisture. (Ask us about great products available!)
Keep Checking On It.
This is especially important for parents with a small child who is in a non-removable cast or splint. Inspect cast regularly for:
- things down inside,
- structural integrity
Any of these properties can reduce effectiveness of the cast and increase risk of skin irritation and/or infection, so if you observe any of the above, contact OPA for advice:
Cast Care FAQs
What if I get an itch?
Resist! Do not put ANYTHING into the cast to scratch an itch. Casts desensitize the skin and scratching could cause injury or infection. Solutions:
- Using the back of a spoon, try tapping the cast over the area that itches.
- With a blow dryer set on COOL, blow cool air inside cast.
- Elevation is important and often remedies the itching.
What if I have swelling?
Periodic swelling is normal. You may also notice some color from bruising in your digits and the cast or splint may even seem like it is getting tighter at times. When this happens, this is just your body’s way of letting you know that it is time to elevate!
- Elevate your injured extremity above heart level and rest.
- Try using an ice pack or a package of frozen peas or corn to reduce the swelling of your extremity. But remember, keep your cast dry!
What if my cast gets wet?
Moisture in your cast may compromise its integrity and cause skin irritation or infection.
- If only the surface of the cast is wet, pat it dry with a towel. You could also try using a hair dryer on cool to medium heat.
- If moisture may have entered inside the cast, call OPA. We’ll either advise you over the phone or have you come in.