Plaster Cast Advice

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This advice sheet is a guide to anyone in a full or half cast applied to the leg

What to expect

  • The cast will take up to 24hrs to fully set. 
  • It should feel a little heavy but secure
  • It should be snug but not feel tight or constrictive at rest
    • During the first few days regular elevation on pillows will be needed to keep any associated swelling down.
  • You should be able to see all your toes
  • It may itch for the 1st few days


What to do:-

  • Elevate the limb regularly “Toes above Nose”
  • Wiggle your toes as often as possible and move any joints outside the cast regularly.
  • Weightbear only as instructed, using crutches appropriately for safety
  • Adhere to any anti-thrombosis (Blod Clot) advice given -
    • Blood thinning injections or tablets
    • Thrombosis stockings
  • Elevate the limb if it starts to feel tight
    • If despite elevation the tightness persist and / or becomes painful please contact the hospital. 
  • Bath / Shower – If you must then cover cast completely with a water tight plastic bag, sealed with tape or  ideally use a proprietary device from the chemist. (Google search- “Plaster Cast Bag”)

What not to do:-

  • Do not get the cast wet
    • If it does and becomes soft, soggy or loose – Contact the Hospital
    • Only a qualified Nurse, Doctor or Techinician should adjust a cast
  • Do not poke anything down or up the cast.
    • A scratch or loose item under the cast can lead to infections, sores or ulcers
    • If something does become lodged in the cast – Contact the Hospital

When to seek hospital help

  • Should your plaster cast become and remain tight or your calf feel painful and swollen despite elevation for 1 hour.
  • Should your cast beome loose, wet, soggy, smelly or start to fall apart
  • Should your toes become painful, swollen, red, blue, white or numb
  • Thrombosis – If you notice uncontrollable Calf pain, Calf swelling, Chest pain or Sudden shortness of breath


  • With a cast on your Right leg you should not drive
  • With a cast on your Left leg
    • Manual Car = You should not drive
    • Automatic Car = You should not drive until you’ve discussed it with a doctor AND you’re car insurance company


  • It is best avoided if at all possible
  • Always check with your airline or tour operator.
  • A minimum of 24hrs after fitting a full cast is required by most airlines.
  • If you must fly within 24-48hrs then arrangements  at the hospital can be made to have your cast split in to 2 halves to allow for any swelling.  Upon arrival at your destination arrangements should be made to have the cast completed again.
    • This process may have to be redone for any return journey.

Relax, ‘Just Put Your Feet Up’  - ‘Toes Above Your Nose’

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Next Steps...

If you would like to arrange a consultation to discuss your foot or ankle problems with Mr Williams, then please contact us.