Instructions for patients with fiberglass or plaster casts. If any of the danger signs

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Easton Orthopaedic Group

Instructions for patients with fiberglass or plaster casts.

1. If any of the danger signs listed below appear, contact our office immediately.

  • Swelling of the fingers or toes.

  • An increased amount of pain in the casted area.

  • Change in coloration of the fingers or toes, either pallor, blueness, or increased redness.

  • A feeling of coldness in the fingers or toes not related to ice application.

  • A feeling of numbness in the fingers or toes.

  • Paralysis (inability to move) of the fingers or toes.

Your cast has been applied snugly so as to properly maintain the relationship of the bone, joints, and supporting structures and create the best conditions for healing. If swelling occurs, the rigid unyielding of the cast will become too tight and interfere with healing. The best treatment for swelling is to prevent it from occurring. This is accomplished by elevation of the casted member as often as possible and the application of ice bags over the area of the injury for 30 minutes every three to four hours for 24-48 hours.

  1. Do not allow the plaster cast to become wet.

  2. Do not walk on the plaster cast unless a shoe has been prescribed. Usually 24 hours are necessary for a walking cast to dry sufficiently to support the weight of the body in walking.

  3. Keep the cast clean.

  4. Do not attempt to trim the cast yourself.

  5. If any damage to the cast occurs, contact our office.

  6. Do not put anything under the cast.

Extra instructions for fiberglass casts:

  1. If the cast becomes soiled, it can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap. Use only a

small amount of soap as it could seep through the cast and cause skin irritation.

  1. If there is a rough edge on the fiberglass cast, it can be reduced by light filing with an emery board.

  2. Should the fiberglass cast become wet, it can be dried by first blotting it between two towels, then blow dry with a hair dryer. It can be dried within two to three hours with a hair dryer. If a hair dryer is not available, the cast will air dry only in very warm temperatures. It is therefore advised not to get the cast wet. Too frequent wetting of the cast without proper drying may produce skin irritation and should therefore be avoided.

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