Taking proper care of the cast immobilizing your bones is vital for the healing process. Keep the following tips in mind for proper cast care:
- Don’t let your cast get wet unless your provider says it’s OK. If the cast isn’t waterproof, it’s difficult to get it dry again. A wet cast can lead to sores or infection, so use a plastic bag or waterproof cover made to protect casts. Sometimes the cast can fall apart — if this happens it should be replaced immediately.
- Check the skin around your cast often. If you see redness or drainage, or if your skin is sore, contact your healthcare provider.
- Keep the cast elevated above your heart if possible during the first 24 to 48 hours (one to two days). Put it on top of a pillow.
- The skin under your cast may itch. This is an uncomfortable sensation, but you have to leave it alone. Never insert anything into your cast to scratch the itch.
- Wiggle your toes or fingers if it’s safe to do so (check with your healthcare provider). This can help prevent swelling.
- Check the edges of the cast to see if they’re rough or sharp. If they are, use tape and gauze or another thin, soft material to prevent the rough or sharp edges from hurting your skin.