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A Primer On Post-Surgical Casts

We’ve got tips to help you maximize the benefits of post-surgical splints, casts, and braces.

Broken bones need time to heal. Pain usually stops long before the healing process is complete and bone is solid enough to withstand normal activity. Casts, splints, and braces may be cumbersome, but they can be an essential component of safe recovery following an injury or surgery. These devices support and protect injured bones, and hold them in position so they will heal correctly. The extra support they provide can also reduce pain, swelling, and muscle spasm. Understanding the different types of casts, and the correct way to care for them, can help make your proscribed time in a cast, splint, or brace safe, effective, and problem-free.

While you are wearing a plaster cast, it’s important to keep it dry—moisture weakens the plaster and may cause skin irritation. Resist the temptation to cut or trim your cast, and don’t remove the padding. To avoid infection of the surgical wound, guard against dirt and sand, and don’t use powder on the skin under the cast. If the cast cracks or develops soft spots, contact your doctor. And of course, never try to remove your cast yourself.

With a little patience and proper care, your splint, cast, or brace will keep you safely on the path to a full recovery.

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