- Patient Education
- Educational Materials
- Waterproof Cast Care and Management
Waterproof Cast Care and Management
Waterproof cast liners allow you to bathe, shower, and even swim while wearing a fiberglass cast. The liner is an innovative cast padding that contains billions of tiny pores that stop the passage of water, but allows water vapor to pass through. Water does not wet the liner, only your skin. With your physician's approval, you can bathe and swim without covering the cast.
- With the waterproof cast liner we provide, you may swim. However, you should take precautions about how long you are in the water. You may need to limit swimming times.
- When the cast gets wet in the shower or the pool, the most important thing to remember is to flush the cast area with a solution of mild soap and water, followed by a thorough rinsing with a forceful stream of clean water.
- It is recommended to get the cast wet at least once every day to reduce odor and irritation.
Your cast will dry completely after getting wet:
- The liner allows the skin to dry by evaporation.
- With proper draining, no special drying procedures are necessary after wetting.
- Drying times vary based on the type of cast and other climatic conditions. Factors that affect drying time include the air temperature, humidity levels, and body temperature.
- Dry skin can occur in the cast. If this happens do not stick anything in the cast. Put some ice on the area or simply rinse your cast.
- It is recommended that you bathe and rinse your cast thoroughly with a steady stream of water before going to bed at night.
- If your cast has an odor the best thing you can do is to rinse it with a steady stream of clean water. Putting any perfumes, powders, Febreeze, etc. can irritate the skin and make the odor worse.
Some pain around the fracture site is to be expected. To help decrease the pain and swelling after injury:
- Remember to keep your arm/leg elevated above the heart when sitting or lying down.
- Apply ice packs over the fracture site. This will help minimize the pain.
- Wiggle the fingers/toes ten times per hour. This will help to decrease swelling and prevent stiffness.
- Use prescription (if applicable) or over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or Naprosyn
Call the physician/exchange if:
- The fingers/toes on the immobilized arm/leg have a different color from those on the other arm/leg (i.e. pale or white, purple or bluish, or the pink color does not return quickly after pressing the toes or finger tips).
- There is enough swelling to make the cast/splint rub or feel too tight. Some swelling is expected. Please elevate the extremity.
- The immobilized arm/leg is colder than the other ones.
- There is numbness, tingling, or a pins and needles sensation that is not alleviated by elevation.
- The cast/splint becomes too loose and the arm/leg moves around inside of it.
- There is a strong odor from the immobilized limb.
- Drainage or discoloration is seen on the cast/splint.
- The cast/splint has broken or any objects become lodged inside the cast/splint.
- Temperature of 101.0 degrees or higher.
- There is severe pain even after medication is taken; especially with movement of fingers/toes.
Traditional cast and splint care (not waterproof)