Casts are used to protect injured bones and soft tissues. They completely encircle your limb and have a hard outer shell with a soft layer underneath that serves as padding on your skin. Casts are made with plaster or fiberglass, which make them hard on the outside. Fiberglass is lighter, more durable, and “breathes” better than plaster. Plaster is less expensive and sometimes shapes better than fiberglass. Some casts are waterproof, but not all.
Even if you are wearing a waterproof cast, you should take the following precautions:
If you are NOT wearing a waterproof cast, you should avoid getting it wet at all costs. Wear a bag around your cast while showering and keep it out of the water. Follow these other cast care tips:
Sometimes, there can be problems with casts. Swelling can cause the cast to feel too tight and then perhaps too loose after the swelling goes down. If you feel any of the following symptoms while wearing a cast, call your doctor immediately, as it may mean you need a cast change:
You should also contact your doctor if your cast develops a crack or a soft spot. Learn more about cast care and other conditions/injuries of the upper extremity at www.HandCare.org.