Short leg casts are designed to protect and hold an injury in place as it heals -- including fractures, muscle injuries, tendon injuries; as well as to protect individuals as they recover from lower extremity surgery. Short leg casts are made of a fibreglass material, which is hard. Failure to care for your cast properly can make life with a short leg cast uncomfortable.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Ask for extra padding. When your cast is applied, ask your doctor or the technician who applies your cast, if they can apply an extra layer of soft padding. Soft padding is designed to help protect your skin from the rough fibreglass.
Cover your cast when bathing. A wet cast can cause skin breakdown. While bathing, apply a cast cover -- which can be purchased online -- or plastic bags secured with a rubber band to your cast.
Walk on your cast as directed. If you are not permitted to bear weight, never walk on your cast. Non-weight bearing casts are not designed to withstand weight. If you are able to walk in your short leg cast, wait an hour. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons indicates fibreglass casts take up to one hour to dry.
Have your doctor trim your cast. If the edges of your cast become broken or damaged, never trim the cast yourself. Call your doctor. Your cast should be trimmed by a medical professional.
Keep your cast clean. Never stick anything down into your cast -- including powders, lotions, dirt or long objects to help with itching. These items can irritate the skin and become stuck in your cast.
Examine your cast regularly. Look for signs of skin breakdown, blisters, lacerations or infections. Contact your doctor immediately, if you notice problems with your skin.
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