Overview on a cast

A cast mainly surrounds a damaged body part for protection, limit movement and promote healing. Casts are made of plaster or fiberglass and often used for fractures but also used for torn tendons or ligaments.

Application and removal

The doctor will initially apply padding around the damaged part of the body to protect the skin. The doctor also immerses fiberglass and plaster strips or rolls in water ad envelops them over the padding. The material will solidify as it dries.

The doctor will get rid of the cast using a specialized saw to avoid damaging the skin. Only the healthcare professionals can remove it.

Length of use


The length of time the cast is used is based on the injury of the individual.

The length of using the cast is based on the injury of the individual. Some injuries recuperate in just a few weeks, but others can take several months. As the injury heals, it involves replacement or adjustments.

Self-care measures while under a cast

Manage the pain and swelling from the injury by:

  • Taking pain medications as instructed by the doctor
  • Prop the cast on cushions while sitting or lying down
  • If the uninjured toes or fingers are free under the cast, wiggle or move them every few minutes

It is vital to keep it dry. If a plaster variant is wet, it falls apart. As for a fiberglass type, it will not fall apart but the padding beneath might itch or produce foul odor.

If there is itchiness inside the cast, use a hairdryer on cool setting or position a fan to blow into the end of the cast. Avoid scratching the skin around the cast or poking any objects since it might damage the skin.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a cast is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about casts, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.






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