A cast is given to help broken bones and torn ligaments heal. The injury will heal more quickly because the cast keeps it immobile. Casts are usually worn for about four to six weeks.
Broken bones and torn ligaments cause pain. With a cast, the pain becomes less severe with each passing day. Once the injury is casted, most of the pain is associated from swelling. Thus, keeping the swelling is key to reducing the pain. Here are some tips to follow that will help your recovery.
It’s important to keep the extremity elevated above the heart as much as you can. The first 48 hours after the cast is applied are critical to reduce swelling. If your leg is casted, lie flat on your back and prop your leg on a large pillow or couch cushion. Remember that your leg needs to be higher than your heart, which is why you need to lie flat.
If your arm is casted, place a pillow across your chest. Place your arm on the pillow and make certain that it is elevated above the heart. When you walk, keep your arm elevated with your fingers pointing to the ceiling.
Ice the cast. This is especially important for the first 48 hours. If you keep the ice on long enough, it will penetrate through and help to reduce the pain and swelling. A great way to ice down the cast is to us a bag of frozen vegetables. If you don’t have frozen vegetables, use ice in a zip-lock bag wrapped in a towel to prevent the water from leaking onto your cast.
Be sure to take your medication on time for the first 48 hours. Take the medication as directed by the hospital or clinic. Don’t think that you are feeling good enough to not take your pain meds, as the anesthesia will wear off quickly. You’ll want the medication in your system to help ease the transition. Do not take more medication that prescribed without first speaking with your doctor.
Take precautions to avoid getting the cast wet. Don’t submerge it. Wrap it in a plastic bag when you shower or bathe. If you do accidentally get it wet, try using a hair dryer on a low heat setting and blow air through the cast.
Following these guidelines will help you care for your cast properly. Please visit the website for additional information and for x-ray services in San Diego area.