Your orthopedist may place you in a cast to immobilize a broken or injured bone or joint to allow it to heal. It’s normal to have a period of adjustment as you get used to wearing your cast, but it’s important to follow your orthopedist’s instructions closely to prevent delays in healing. You can take care of your cast and get on the road to recovery with these steps.
Keep the Cast Dry
The most important part of caring for you cast is keeping it dry. Before you bathe, wrap the cast in a plastic bag you’ve checked for holes or in a cast cover from a drug store or medical supply company. If your cast is made of fiberglass and it gets damp, you can dry it using a hairdryer on the cool setting. However, if your cast gets wet enough that the skin underneath it gets damp, your orthopedist may need to replace it. When wet skin is trapped under your cast, it won’t dry, and you could develop an infection. This is also true if your skin becomes wet under your cast because of excessive sweating.
Don’t Stick Things Under the Cast
Getting an itch under a cast is a common—and frustrating—problem. Although the urge to use a coat hanger or other sharp object to reach under the cast and scratch your skin can be strong, doing so can cause injuries and infections. Never stick anything under your cast. Instead, try aiming a hair dryer set on a cool setting under the cast to ease your discomfort. For persistent itching, talk to your orthopedist about taking an antihistamine.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Your orthopedist will provide you with specific instructions for caring for your cast. For instance, if you are in a cast for a broken ankle, your doctor may allow you to put pressure on the cast while walking as long as you wear a cast boot. The closer you follow your doctor’s instructions, the faster you will be able to say goodbye to your cast.
At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, our team is dedicated to helping patients get the right treatments quickly and easily. When you need care for a sports injury near Queens, call (718) 897-2228.