Cast or Splint Care

Casts and splints support injured limbs and keep bones from moving while they heal.

HOME CARE

  • Keep the cast or splint uncovered during the drying period.

  • A plaster cast can take 24 to 48 hours to dry.

  • A fiberglass cast will dry in less than 1 hour.

  • Do not rest the cast on anything harder than a pillow for 24 hours.

  • Do not put weight on your injured limb. Do not put pressure on the cast. Wait for your doctor's approval.

  • Keep the cast or splint dry.

  • Cover the cast or splint with a plastic bag during baths or wet weather.

  • If you have a cast over your chest and belly (trunk), take sponge baths until the cast is taken off.

  • Keep your cast or splint clean. Wash a dirty cast with a damp cloth.

  • Do not put any objects under your cast or splint. Do not scratch the skin under the cast with an object.

  • Do not take out the padding from inside your cast.

  • Exercise your joints near the cast as told by your doctor.

  • Raise (elevate) your injured limb on 1 or 2 pillows for the first 1 to 3 days.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • Your cast or splint cracks.

  • Your cast or splint is too tight or too loose.

  • You itch badly under the cast.

  • Your cast gets wet or has a soft spot.

  • You have a bad smell coming from the cast.

  • You get an object stuck under the cast.

  • Your skin around the cast becomes red or raw.

  • You have new or more pain after the cast is put on.

  • You have fluid leaking through the cast.

  • You cannot move your fingers or toes.

  • Your fingers or toes turn colors or are cool, painful, or puffy (swollen).

  • You have tingling or lose feeling (numbness) around the injured area.

  • You have pain or pressure under the cast.

  • You have trouble breathing or have shortness of breath.

  • You have chest pain.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.