PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS: CAST CARE
Your cast may be water-resistant, but… Be careful, the padding beneath the cast surface is not waterproof or water repellent. Keep your cast as dry as possible to prevent skin irritation and odor. It is best to avoid letting the cast get wet at all times. The inside of the cast should be dried with a hair drier (cool setting) in the morning, evening, after bathing or exercise, and additionally as often as you like – this will help prevent itching and reduce skin irritation.
When bathing or showering, Cover the cast with a plastic bag (or saran wrap, in a pinch). Hold your hand up in the shower so that water does not run down the arm and into the inside of the cast. If your cast does get wet, towel blot the cast, then use a blow dryer (cool setting) until it is completely dry. If the cast continues to remain wet, call the office to have it replaced.
DO NOT TRIM OR RE-SHAPE YOUR CAST
The cast has been custom designed to provide maximum support during healing. Cutting or altering the cast may lengthen your recovery time or cause improper healing. If the padding has shifted and the edge of the cast rubs against your skin, you may be able to pad it with moleskin (available in the foot care section of any drugstore). However, if the cast feels as though it is tight, loose, or is irritating your skin, please contact the office. The cast may have to be modified or even changed.
DO NOT INSERT ANYTHING UNDER YOUR CAST
Almost every cast causes itching at some time. Never insert anything under your cast to scratch an itch – you could cause a severe skin injury. Avoid getting dirt or other foreign particles under your cast. Don’t put talcum powder, baking soda, or corn starch inside the cast – these may start a skin infection. The best treatment is to dry the inside of the cast with a hair drier on the cool setting.
CONTACT OUR OFFICE IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
If any of the following issues arise, contact the office immediately:
- Cast becomes uncomfortably loose (it is normal to be able to insert one to two fingers easily under the near edge of the cast).
- Cast rubs or presses against your skin and causes irritation.
- Cast becomes uncomfortably snug or tight.
- Fingers become swollen, numb or tingly, difficult to move, or become cool or discolored (bluish or whitish tinge).
- Moderate discomfort develops into severe or constant pain, unrelieved by elevation of the affected part.
- The cast becomes soaking wet