|Rest for a couple of days once the plaster is applied to allow it to set completely.|
|Keep the plaster dry. Put a plastic bag over the plaster and seal with a rubber band when having a shower or bath.|
|Try to keep the plaster out of the rain.|
|Don’t stick objects down the plaster, as this will damage the skin.|
|Don’t cut or interfere with the cast.|
A broken bone is a common event. Given time and the right care, the bone is able to heal itself. A plaster cast is applied to hold the arm or leg fracture in place while the bone heals. Once the plaster has been applied, you are advised to see a doctor the next day to check that it is fitted correctly.
On average, plaster casts stay on for about six weeks. This time is sometimes longer or shorter, depending on your age, general health and type of fracture. During this time, x-rays are done to check that the bone is healing well. If there are problems with the type of fracture or the way in which the fracture is healing, you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon (bone doctor).
We, as a team, treat patients with a range of conditions, from fractures to congenital birth defects. Patients should contact the Plaster Room with any concerns regarding their injury/condition/cast/brace. If out of hours, please contact Accident and Emergency. We are available to offer advice to clinical staff as well as patients.
We promote a calm and relaxing atmosphere, encouraging family members to accompany relatives to hear important care advice and instructions “two pairs of ears are better than one”.
Our plaster theatre service provides limb and body casts to assist with the healing of broken bones. The plaster theatre works closely with the orthopaedic and trauma service and accident and emergency, and provides an orthotics service. Patients are referred to the service by a hospital consultant.
Plasters are normally made up of a bandage and a hard covering to hold broken bones in place and usually need to stay on for 4 to 12 weeks. It is important to look after the cast to ensure the best recovery.
• Exercise any joints that aren’t covered by the cast – such as your elbow, knee, fingers or toes – to help improve your circulation
• Avoid getting small objects, powders and sprays inside your cast, as they could irritate your skin
• Don’t try to alter the length or position of your cast
• Don’t lift anything heavy or drive until the cast has been removed
• Use crutches or a sling, as advised by your health professional
• Fractures can be painful. The pain can be extreme at the beginning but it will ease when the plaster is on and the fractured limb is supported and rested.
• The pain will settle even further over the next few weeks.
• Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol, are often needed. Check the packet for instructions.
• The plaster causes itchiness for a few days, but this should ease.
The plaster is important, as it keeps the fracture in an acceptable position. Suggestions from us include:
• Rest for a couple of days once the plaster is applied to allow it to set completely.
• Keep the plaster dry. Put a plastic bag over the plaster and seal with a rubber band when having a shower or bath.
• Try to keep the plaster out of the rain.
• Don’t stick objects down the plaster, as this will damage the skin.
• Don’t cut or interfere with the cast.
• Don’t walk on the plaster. It is better to use crutches instead.
• Don’t lift anything or drive until the fracture is healed.
• Follow all plaster care instructions given to you by medical staff.
Our aim is to provide our patients with best practice, high quality care and treatment that is comparable to the best in the world. We want to care for our patients in a safe environment and ensure that everyone has an outstanding experience.