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Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Removable Cast (Splint)

You will be going home with a removable cast. This is also called a splint. A cast helps your body heal by holding your injured bones or joints in place. A damaged cast can keep the injury from healing well. Take good care of your cast. If the cast becomes damaged, it may need to be replaced. 

You have a broken ___________________ bone.

This bone is in your ____________.

General care

  • Wear your removable cast according to your healthcare provider’s instructions.

  • Always keep the removable cast dry. Bathe with your cast out of the water. Hold the body part with the cast outside the tub or shower. Protect it with a large plastic bag. Close the bag with tape or rubber bands. Use 2 layers of plastic to help keep the cast dry. Or you can buy a waterproof shield.

  • If your cast gets wet, dry it with a hair dryer on the cool setting. Don’t use the warm or hot setting. Those settings can burn your skin.

  • Keep the cast clean and away from dirt.

  • Don’t cut or tear the cast. 

  • Keep your cast away from open flames.

  • Don’t expose your cast to heat, space heaters, or a lot of sunlight. Too much heat will cause the cast to change shape.

  • Exercise all the nearby joints that are not limited in movement by the cast. If you have a long leg cast, exercise your hip joint and your toes. If you have an arm cast, exercise your shoulder, elbow, thumb, and fingers.

  • Raise the part of your body that is in the cast. Do this as often as possible during your day. This helps reduce swelling.

Cleaning your cast

  • Clean the removable cast with soap and lukewarm water. Scrub it with a small brush.

  • Use alcohol wipes to rub the inside of the cast. This is to reduce odor and bacteria.

  • Wash the Velcro straps and inner cloth sleeve (stockinet) with soapy water. Then let it air dry.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Tingling or numbness in the affected area

  • Severe pain that is not relieved with medicine

  • Cast that feels too tight or too loose

  • Swelling, coldness, or blue-gray color in your fingers or toes

  • Cast that is damaged, cracked, or has rough edges that hurt

  • Pressure sores or red marks that don’t go away within 1 hour after removing the cast

  • Blisters

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2022
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.