Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Casts & Splints Care

Casts and splints are orthopedic devices used to immobilize broken bones, sprains, or other injuries to aid in proper healing. Proper care of these devices is essential to ensure effective treatment and avoid complications.

Types of Casts & Splints

  • Plaster Casts: Made from gauze and plaster strips, these casts are heavier and take longer to dry.
  • Fiberglass Casts: Lighter and more durable, they dry faster and are water-resistant.
  • Splints (Half-casts): Provide less support than a full cast but allow for swelling; often used for initial treatment before a full cast is applied.

Common Symptoms Requiring a Cast or Splint

  • Pain at the site of injury
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Inability to move the affected limb
  • Deformity or misalignment of the limb

Application of a Cast or Splint

  • Casts: Applied by medical professionals after aligning the bone. The limb is wrapped with padding, then the plaster or fiberglass material is molded around it.
  • Splints: Applied to provide temporary support and allow for swelling. They can be adjusted as the swelling decreases.

General Care Tips

  • Keep it dry: Avoid getting the cast or splint wet. Use a plastic cover or waterproof cast protector when bathing.
  • Avoid inserting objects: Do not insert any objects inside the cast to scratch an itch. This can cause skin damage or infection.
  • Check for damage: Regularly inspect the cast or splint for cracks, soft spots, or any other damage.
  • Elevate the limb: Keep the injured limb elevated above heart level to reduce swelling, especially in the first 48 hours.
  • Follow doctor’s instructions: Adhere to any specific care instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Skin Care

  • Keep it clean: Ensure the skin around the cast or splint remains clean and dry.
  • Avoid lotions and powders: Do not apply lotions or powders inside the cast as they can cause irritation or infection.
  • Monitor for irritation: Check for signs of skin irritation or infection, such as redness, swelling, or foul odor.

Monitoring For Complications

  • Pain and swelling: Increased pain, excessive swelling, or numbness could indicate a problem and should be reported to a doctor.
  • Skin issues: Look for sores, blisters, or color changes in the exposed skin around the cast or splint.
  • Circulation problems: Watch for signs of restricted blood flow, such as cold or pale fingers or toes, and difficulty moving them.

When To Call A Doctor

  • Severe pain or tightness: If you experience severe pain, burning, or a sensation of tightness that doesn’t improve with elevation and pain medication.
  • Wet or damaged cast: If the cast becomes wet, damaged, or develops a bad smell.
  • Signs of infection: Increased redness, swelling, or discharge from under the cast.

Removal

  • Do not remove it yourself: Never attempt to remove a cast or splint on your own. This should only be done by a healthcare professional.
  • Post-removal care: After removal, follow your doctor’s instructions for skin care and rehabilitation exercises to regain strength and mobility.

To schedule an appointment:

To speak with a medical professional, call: