Plaster Cast Advice

Please look after your plaster.

If you are having problems with your plaster cast, or have any queries contact your local Fracture Clinic.

In an emergency attend you local emergency department or phone your local hospitals plaster room (in working hours).

After an acute injury keep the affected limb elevated for 24 to 48hrs (affected limb should be held above the level of your heart).

How long does the cast take to set?

A synthetic cast (colourful cast) takes about an hour to fully harden after application, if you are permitted to weight bear through the cast, avoid doing so until this time has passed.

A traditional Plaster of Paris cast may take up to 2 to 3 days to fully set to allow weight bearing.

Always wear a plaster shoe to protect the plaster if walking on your cast.

Too Tight?

If the cast is starting to feel tight, stop what you are doing and elevate the broken limb. Try get it to the level of your heart. eg. For a broken ankle lie down and elevate the leg on a few pillows ‘toes above nose’.

Got an itch?

Do not put anything down the cast to try and scratch, you may damage the skin and or lose the object down the side of the cast.

Can I get my cast wet?

Do not get the plaster wet (unless have a swimming plaster on).

You may wish to purchase a waterproof cover (limbo) for showering or bathing.

What exercises should I do?

Keep wiggling your fingers, and moving your toes.  This helps to reduce the swelling and stop your fingers and toes becoming stiff.

Attend your local emergency department URGENTLY if:

  • You notice extreme swelling in your fingers or toes and they turn blue (Not bruising though).
  • The cast feels very tight and the pain becomes severe and does not respond to simple elevation (raising the limb to the level of your heart).
  • You are unable to move your fingers or toes and a little movement of the fingers or toes is very painful.
  • You are getting pins and needles in your fingers or toes.