The outside of your cast is fiberglass. The inside of your cast is usually either a soft cotton material or a waterproof material.
These things can be signs of problems in the cast and should any occur, you should contact our office immediately.
DO NOT attempt to remove your cast. You could do further damage to your injury or sustain a new injury simply trying to remove the cast.
DO NOT put anything in your cast. Sticking something (coat hanger, ruler, etc...) in the cast can scratch the skin, which could lead to an infection. Furthermore, anything you stick in the cast could get stuck, which could also cause skin irritation or an infection. Please contact our office if something gets stuck in your cast.
Swelling is greatest in the first 24-48 hours after the injury. To help minimize swelling in your cast follow these simple instructions.
Elevate/raise the cast above the level of the heart.
Wiggle your fingers or toes as tolerated.
Use your sling intermittently during the first 24-48 hours after injury. Your arm and hand will be below the level of the heart while in the sling and that can increase the initial swelling.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Advil can be taken. Take as directed on the bottle. DISCONTINUE IF THIS CAUSES AN UPSET STOMACH.
Newest research suggests these medications may negatively interfere with fracture healing. Prolonged use for more than 48 hours in the first 3 weeks after a fracture is not recommended.
If these methods fail, your cast may need to be split down the sides to allow for swelling to resolve. Please contact our office and DO NOT attempt to alter or remove the cast yourself.
Stop taking anti-inflammatory medications and anticoagulants (these include Coumadin, Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Aspirin, and any Ibuprofen or Naproxen products) prior to surgery. Your doctor will notify you how long to stop taking these medications prior to your surgery. You may take Tylenol as needed for pain. If you take a daily prescribed blood thinner, you are to consult with the prescribing doctor on dosage instructions for before and after your surgery.
No eating or drinking for 8 hours prior to surgery except for prescribed medications.
Take prescribed medications on the day of your surgery with a small sip of water.
We recommend being aware of your surroundings and avoid staying outside for a long period of time to avoid scrapes, rashes, blisters, abrasions, or bug bites. We do not want any open wounds or rashes on the affected extremity. If you notice any type of these skin conditions, please contact our office so we can perform a quick skin check.
Do not shave the affected extremity for 1 week prior to your surgery and remove any artificial nails and/or nail polish.
If you have a fracture requiring surgery, please keep the affected extremity elevated as much as possible to keep the swelling to a minimum.
Keep the incision clean and dry.
Keep cast or splint clean and dry, and do not try to remove it. If there are problems with the cast or splint, please contact our office or on-call doctor.
Maintain a schedule of prescribed pain medications. Once a severe level of pain is reached, it is much more difficult to control the pain.
Keep your extremity elevated (if possible) to minimize swelling. This will also help with pain control.
It is not unusual to have a slight fever after general anesthesia for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Drinking fluids, deep breathing, and coughing are helpful after general surgery to limit the development of fever. Any high fevers over 101.5 may be more concerning. Please contact the office for further instructions.
Pain medicine can cause itching, nausea, and/or constipation. These are all COMMON side-effects of narcotic-based medicine and are not necessarily a drug allergy.
If you have a pain pump, please call the office to have the pain pump removed in 24 to 48 hours.
It is not unusual to have swelling and pain of the extremities after surgery. If necessary, the ace wrap can be loosened if it seems too tight, but please do not remove the splint (if applicable).
It is not unusual to have some mild bleeding that soaks through the dressing. Please reinforce the dressing with more gauze dressing, or ace wrap, if available, to provide more compression. If this does not control the bleeding, then please contact the office.
Please contact the office with any further questions.
Perform gait training as taught by physical therapists.
No hip strengthening exercises for 6 weeks.
After 6 weeks post-op, be aware of these hip precautions:
If any invasive procedure such as dental work, colonoscopy, or other surgeries are planned, please contact the office for antibiotics to be taken prior to a procedure. This will lessen the risk of post-operative joint infections.
Ambulate as instructed by physical therapists with a brace on at all times.
It is not unusual to experience wound drainage immediately post-op. If this persists for more than 5 days, or if the drainage is foul smelling or cloudy, please contact the office for further instructions.
Any sudden change in neurovascular statuses such as sudden, new weakness or numbness in the legs, loss of control of bowel or bladder function is concerning. Please notify our office or on-call doctor immediately.
Persistent headaches or lightheadedness after surgery may be of concern. Please call our office for further instructions.