Cast Care

 

A boy with a right leg fracture struggles to walk with two crutches.

 

Article by Dr. Misako McLeod

Casts are important to maintain the bones in the correct anatomical position so they can heal correctly. Casts assist the body in healing by preventing motion around a fracture or surgery site. Casts can also be used to immobilize a foot and ankle while the tendons and ligaments heal.

Cast Care Guidelines

It’s your responsibility to maintain your cast clean, dry, and intact

DO NOT get your cast wet. You can cover the cast with a plastic bag and duck tape; however, most patients prefer to purchase a Cast Cover for $35.00 from Dr. McLeod’s office.

 

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If you do get your cast wet, it will need to be replaced. Please be reminded that there is a $100.00 charge for casts replaced outside of the 10 day global period as dictated by your insurance.

Elevation

After your surgery you should ice and elevated you leg for the first 72 hours. This reduces the swelling and thus the pain.

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Place an ice-pack behind your knee. This will cool the blood going towards your feet and toes. Leave the ice pack on for about 10 minutes and then remove it for 10 minutes. Repeat this cycle. Ice-packs can be purchased at Dr. McLeod’s office for a nominal fee, or you can use a bag of frozen peas with a dry wash cloth.

Fall Prevention

It is important that you prevent all falls as even with a cast, you can cause serious damage to your surgery or fracture site.

 

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Precautions with Casts and Splints

Deep Ven Thrombosis. 

There are some precautions that patients should be aware of when having a cast placed. First, although thousands of patients have casts placed everyday, there is a small risk of developing blood clots in the legs called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Certain patients have higher risk factors and, therefore, you may be placed on a temporary blood thinner to reduce this risk. However, many times patients that do develop a blood clot don’t have any of those risk factors at all.

If you experience the following, you should call 911 and go to the nearest Emergency Room immediately

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Chest pain or discomfort.
  3. Palpitations
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