Self-care after a bone fracture
Follow your doctor’s advice, but general suggestions include:
Until the cast has set properly, avoid direct heat such as hot water bottles.
Rest the limb as much as possible.
Use the techniques shown to you by nurses to walk or manage day-to-day activities. For example, you risk further injury if you use crutches incorrectly.
Avoid any lifting or driving until the fracture has healed.
If the skin under the cast is itchy, don’t poke anything between the cast and your limb (such as a coat hanger or pencil). Instead, use a hairdryer to blow cool air into the cast.
Don’t get your cast wet, as wet plaster becomes soft and does not provide the necessary support. Wet plaster can also irritate your skin. When showering, wrap the cast in a plastic bag and tape it directly to your skin, to keep the area watertight.
See your doctor immediately if you have swelling, blueness or loss of movement of the fingers or toes, pins and needles, numbness or increased pain.