Step 10: Patient instructions

  1. Keep the cast dry! If your cast gets wet, see your doctor. The only exception to this rule is fiberglass casts with gortex linings.

  2. Plaster casts take 2-3 days to dry completely, thus, they should be left uncovered for at least 2 days to allow for total water evaporation.  For walking casts, weight bearing should be avoided for at least the first two days (whether weight bearing is permitted at all is fracture dependent).

  3. To reduce and minimize swelling, the limb should be elevated above the heart for at least 2 days.

  4. Fingers and toes should be wiggled often

  5. DO NOT: put anything down the cast, trim or cut the cast, remove any padding from the cast, drive while in a cast.

  6. To relieve itch, a blow dryer on a cool air setting may help.

  7. Seek immediate medical attention if:

    • Pain or swelling increases
    • There is any numbness or tingling
    • There is drainage or an unusual smell
    • The digits distal to the cast are purple
    • There is swelling not relieved by elevation
    • The cast breaks