How to Take Care of Your Cast

Having a cast for treatment of a broken bone can elicit different emotions. While some are excited to have a cast, this often quickly turns into annoyance with the realization that you may have to learn to do simple activities in a new way. Fortunately, you are not the first person to have a cast, and those before you have figured out tips and tricks to make having a cast not as difficult an experience.

Close-up of girl’s cast
igor kisselev / Moment / Getty Images

What Casts Are Made Of

Casts are usually made from either plaster or fiberglass. Each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages. The plaster is usually used in the early stages of treatment because it can be molded more precisely. Fiberglass is more durable and therefore applied once the broken bone has started healing.

How to Keep a Cast Dry

Keep your cast dry is probably the most important thing you can do to keep happy while wearing a cast. Wet casts itch, smell, and are annoying. Keeping a cast dry is possible, even while keeping you clean.

How to Keep Odor Away

Cast smells are usually due to moisture under the cast. It is important to keep moisture away by not letting water get on the cast, and not sweating excessively under the cast.

How to Walk With Crutches

Crutches are often used for the treatment of injured legs. Using crutches requires good upper body strength and flexibility. Using crutches also requires the injury to be isolated to a single leg; patients with an injured arm or two injured legs will usually require another type of support.

How to Have Fun With Your Cast

Maybe having a cast is not your idea of fun, but why not at least have some fun with the hand you're dealt. You've got to have this cast all the time, so you might as well enjoy what you're looking at.

When to Ask for Help

As a general rule of thumb, if you are unsure, call your doctor. Most cast problems are minor, but there are a few warning signs to be aware of when you have a cast. If you think there is a problem under your cast, you should have this seen by your doctor.

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