Cast and Splint Care

Fiberglass cast:

  1. It will take up to two hours for the fiberglass to fully harden. Do not apply weight on the cast during that time or it may break.
  2. To prevent swelling under the cast, for the first 48 hours:
    • Arm: Keep it in a sling or raised to shoulder level when sitting or standing; rest it on your chest or on a pillow at your side when lying down.
    • Leg: Keep it propped above the level of your hip when sitting or lying. Sleep with the cast raised on a pillow. Avoid crutch walking as much as possible during this time.
  3. Keep the cast completely dry at all times. Bathe with your cast well out of the water, protected with a large, rubber-banded plastic bag. If your cast does become wet, use aa hair dryer to warm the cast and speed up the drying process. A wet cast may cause skin irritation.
  4. Follow up with your doctor as advised.
  5. Get prompt medical attention if any of the following occur:
    • The cast cracks
    • The cast or padding gets and remains wet over 24 hours
    • Bad odor from the cast or wound-fluid staining the cast
    • Increasing tightness or pressure under the cast
    • Fingers or toes become swollen, cold, blue, numb or tingly
    • Increased pain under the cast

Splint care:

  1. Keep your splint clean and dry.
  2. Keep splint in place as directed by your doctor.
  3. To prevent swelling, elevate above heart level.
  4. If you have any questions or concerns about your splint, please call the office.
For more information about cast and splint care, call our office at 283-1126 or visit orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00095.
 
© 2009–2014 Southern Maine Medical Center www.smmc.org