How to Keep Your Cast Dry

It is very important that you keep your cast clean and dry.  Moisture can soften the cast and cause skin irritation under the cast.  To keep your cast dry when showering you can cover with a plastic bag and tape the base of the bag.  We recommend doing this with 2 separate bags to ensure a water tight seal.  If you are interested, the clinic has commercial products available for keeping your cast dry.  These are typically priced between $20-30 and are designed specifically to keep your cast dry.  These products can also be found a medical supply stores and drug stores or online.

If the cast becomes slightly wet this can usually be dried with a hair dryer set to the high setting.  If there is significant water that has gotten onto/into the cast please call the clinic to discuss the issue. You may need to come to the clinic for a cast change. (If you are not located close to the office this can sometimes be arranged at a primary care or orthopedic office closer to home)

How to Manage Swelling in the Cast

Unlike a splint that is designed to accommodate swelling, a cast does not accommodate as easily.  You may feel swelling or the cast becoming tighter over the first 24-48 hours due to swelling of the injured area.  It is important to elevate your injured extremity above the level of your heart to help control this swelling for the first 24-48 hours.  You can apply ice around the cast in a sealed plastic bag or using an ice pack.  If the cast is becoming uncomfortable or you have significantly increasing pain please call the clinic to discuss (if after regular business hours ask for the on call doctor).

Weight bearing or limiting your weight bearing in the cast is directed by your doctor.  You can move your exposed toes in the cast to help control swelling and prevent stiffness.  Please call the clinic if you experience: increased pain, numbness around the cast, drainage from the cast, fevers or chill, if the cast feels extremely loose, or if the cast becomes damaged.

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