Casts are hard, rigid devices that immobilize a body part such as an arm
or leg. An orthopaedic doctor can apply a
cast to protect an injured body part while it heals. If you’ve received
a cast, it’s important to follow the directions given to you by
your orthopaedic doctor to take proper care of your cast.
Do reduce the swelling in the area.
It’s common for a cast to feel exceptionally tight for the first
few days, which is usually attributable to swelling. For the first few
days, keep the injured body part elevated above the level of your heart
as much as possible. Your orthopaedic doctor may recommend taking over-the-counter
or prescription strength anti-inflammatory medicine. Cold therapy can
also be helpful for reducing swelling. Place an ice pack in a sealed plastic
bag and wrap the bag in a towel before placing it on the injury.
Don’t get the cast wet.
Be careful not to get the cast wet while applying an ice pack or bathing.
An easy way to protect the cast is to use a water-tight cast protector.
These products are often available in drugstores. Alternatively, you can
wrap the cast in a double layer of plastic. For example, surround the
cast with plastic wrap intended for use in the kitchen. Seal the ends
of the plastic wrap with duct tape. Then, wrap the cast in another layer
of thicker plastic, such as a plastic grocery bag. Seal the ends with
duct tape. Even with these precautions, it’s advisable to keep the
cast out of the water. Consider taking a bath instead of a shower and
propping the injured body part on the edge of the tub.
Do be aware of the signs of potential complications.
Call your orthopaedic doctor promptly if you experience worsening or severe
pain, or if you notice signs of a skin infection or pressure sore. These
can include a foul odor and unusual drainage.
Casting and immobilization must be performed by specially trained and certified
providers to avoid the possibility of health complications. At MK Orthopaedics,
our certified casting staff specialists work out of a dedicated cast treatment
room to give each patient the personalized care he or she needs. If you’ve
suffered a broken bone or another type of sports injury, call (815) 741-6900
today to schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet.