has applied a cast or splint to protect a broken bone or injury. If you have a
removable splint, follow your doctor's instructions and only remove the splint
if he or she says you can. If you have a cast, follow your doctor's
instructions for when you can first put pressure on the cast. Fiberglass casts
dry quickly, but plaster casts may take several days before they are hard
enough to use. Once your cast can be used, don't put excessive weight on it
for long periods of time without rest.
A brace with a built-in air cushion is ready to use right away. It is made of either hard or soft plastic and inflatable air pads. The plastic is fitted around the injured area and often held in place with straps. Then the air pads are inflated to firmly hold the injury in place.
Your child is bleeding heavily.
The wound is deep.
The edges of the wound are gaping.
The wound is spurting blood.
You can't stop the bleeding after 10 minutes of direct pressure.
An object has punctured the skin and is still in the body.
Never cut or modify your
cast or splint or use powder on the skin under the cast. Keep dirt and sand
from getting into the cast.
Your cast or splint may feel tight for a
few days after your surgery or injury. This is usually because of swelling. To
reduce the swelling by raising the injured arm or leg above your heart as often
as possible during the first 72 hours after you get your cast or splint. You
may need to lie down, and it helps to use a pillow to prop up the arm or leg
and to cushion it from hard surfaces.
Put ice in a plastic bag,
wrap it in a towel, and place it over the injured area. If you have a plaster
cast, do not get the cast wet or damp. Ice the area several times a day for
about 15 minutes at a time.
severe pain or increased pain that you think is from
swelling, and your cast or splint feels too tight.
Your hand or
foot feels numb or tingles.
You have a lot of swelling below your
cast or splint.
The skin under your cast or splint is burning or
It's also important to keep up your muscle strength and
tone as much as possible while protecting your injured limb or joint. Your
doctor may want you to tense and relax the muscles protected by the cast or
splint. Check with your doctor or physical therapist for instructions.
Keeping a cast or splint dry
Unless you have a fiberglass cast with a
quick-drying lining or a brace with air pads, do not get your cast wet. If you have a removable splint,
ask your doctor whether it's okay to remove it to bathe. Even though the splint
is removable, your doctor may want you to keep it on as much as possible.
Keep your cast or splint covered with at least two layers of
plastic when showering or taking a bath or when you have any other contact with
water. Moisture can collect under the cast or splint and cause skin irritation
If you have a wound or have had surgery, moisture can
increase the risk of infection.
If you have a fiberglass cast with
a fast-drying lining or a brace with air pads, make sure to rinse it with fresh water after swimming. It
will take about an hour for the fiberglass cast lining to dry.