Tips for Taking Care of a Casted Hand
If you’ve never broken a bone before, it can take time to get used to your cast. Whether you’ve experienced a minor or major hand injury, you’ll have to keep your cast on until the bones have properly healed. Since swelling can be expected within the first few days following the injury, you may feel like your cast is too snug around your hand. While moderate swelling is normal, you should contact your doctor if swelling persists for over a week. There are measures you can take to both reduce swelling and keep your cast in tip-top shape. Depending on the type of cast you have for your fracture of the hand, you’ll likely be taught proper maintenance techniques for taking care of your particular cast. It’s important to heed the advice of your doctor when it comes to your cast, as jeopardizing its integrity could impede the healing process. If you’re wondering how to best look after your casted hand, follow these tips to ensure your bones heal quickly and properly.
Don’t Get the Cast Wet
When your cast gets wet, it can cause a skin rash or in a worst case scenario lead to infection. It also can make the cast less effective, as moisture will cause the cast to deteriorate and unravel. If you think it can get wet or you find yourself being outside on a rainy day, wrap your cast in a plastic bag to keep moisture from getting in. Even when rinsing off, you should keep your casted hand outside of the shower.
Keep Dirt and Sand Out
When dirt, sand, or any other fine material enters your cast, it can make your hand feel incredibly itchy and irritated. Once a material has entered your cast, you likely won’t be able to get it out until the cast is removed. As you go about your daily business, be mindful of your surroundings. You may need to avoid certain activities, such as relaxing on the beach or playing in the park, until your cast has been removed. If itching occurs avoid sticking objects under the cast in an effort to scratch. This is a common way for injuries to occur to the skin.
Refrain from Picking at It
No one wants to have a casted hand, but it’s important you keep it in mint condition. Tasked with protecting your healing bones, your cast can become less effective when you regularly pick at it. Refrain from making adjustments to your cast yourself, as doing so could not only damage the cast, but also potentially reinjure your damaged hand. While it may be difficult, do your best to leave your cast alone so that it’s able to do its job.
Monitor Your Skin
If your cast has rough edges causing your skin to feel irritated, you should speak with your hand doctor in Atlanta right away. Though it may feel uncomfortable for the first few days, your cast shouldn’t cause serious discomfort for an extended period of time. If your skin is irritated around the edges of your cast, your doctor can adjust it using the proper tools. Since you are already dealing with an injured hand, the last thing you want is a skin infection, as well. Keep an eye on the skin surrounding your cast and don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you think there may be an issue.
For more guidance on how to properly take care of your casted hand, contact OrthoAtlanta! Working with one of our hand and wrist specialists in Atlanta, we’ll help you look after your injury with the utmost care.