Plaster Casts On and Off

Casting is considered a non-surgical treatment option for various sports injuries and medical conditions affecting areas from the hands and shoulders to knees and toes. Casting provides support and protection to the injured bones and soft tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Casting also reduces pain, swelling, muscle spasm and even stretches the contracted muscles. Depending upon the condition of the patient, the doctor may recommend casting either alone or in concurrence with other methods such as bracing and splints.

Consequences of the casting depend upon the quality of the casting material, induced hardness, and nature of padding to withstand impact forces. Suitable casting material will produce optimum hardness for adequate stability of the injured area. A skilled and experienced person is required for cast application over the injured area.

Post-casting care

The injured area may show swelling in the first 48-72 hours after casting that may induce pressure on the injured area. Therefore, the swelling of the injured area can be reduced by elevating the injured arm or leg above heart level, by applying ice or by gently and frequently moving the uninjured fingers or toes.

Follow the instructions below to keep your cast in good condition for the best recovery:

  • Keep the cast dry, as moisture deteriorates the plaster and may induce irritation.
  • Cover the cast before taking a shower.
  • Avoid walking on a walking cast initially, as it takes 2-3 days for hardening of the cast.
  • Prevent dust, sand and powder from entering inside the cast.
  • Do not draw out the padding from the cast.
  • Avoid the use of powder or deodorants on itchy skin, below the cast. If required consult your physician regarding itching.
  • Contact your physician if cracks or soft spots develop over the cast.
  • Contact your physician if skin around the cast becomes red and peeled.
  • Do not cut or trim the edges of the cast without consulting your physician.