Casts and splints are used to immobilize or to support a part of the body to aid in healing. Casts and splints can also help to reduce muscle spasms, pain and swelling and are typically made of fiberglass or a plaster material. Your medical provider will decide which material and type of cast or split is suited for your particular needs and custom fit it your body.
It is very important for your healing process to keep your cast or splint in good condition. I found these tips from http://orthoinfo.aaos.org to help guide you on caring for your splint or cast.
Keep your splint or cast dry. Moisture weakens plaster and damp padding next to the skin can cause irritation. Use two layers of plastic or purchase waterproof shields to keep your splint or cast dry while you shower or bathe.
Walking casts. Do not walk on a “walking cast” until it is completely dry and hard. It takes about one hour for fiberglass, and two to three days for plaster to become hard enough to walk on.
Avoid dirt. Keep dirt, sand, and powder away from the inside of your splint or cast.
Padding. Do not pull out the padding from your splint or cast.
Itching. Do not stick objects such as coat hangers inside the splint or cast to scratch itching skin. Do not apply powders or deodorants to itching skin. If itching persists, contact your doctor.
Trimming. Do not break off rough edges of the cast or trim the cast before asking your doctor.
Skin. Inspect the skin around the cast. If your skin becomes red or raw around the cast, contact your doctor.
Inspect the cast regularly. If it becomes cracked or develops soft spots, contact your doctor’s office.
If you are having any issues with your cast or splint, it is always best to consult your doctor before attempting to handle it on your own. Also, if you are working while you are in a cast or splint, make sure to get clear concise instructions from your doctor as to what limitations you are under, you may need to explain to him or her in great detail what is expected of you at work so that your restrictions can be written appropriately.
If you or a loved one have suffered a work related injury, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” by clicking this link, or call our office today (804) 755-7755.
Michele Lewane, Esq.