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Fractures and Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Cast Care for Fractures

Casts are usually made out of plaster or fiberglass. Some physicians prefer plaster because it is easier to mold to the limb. Fiberglass dries more quickly and is not as easy to mold, but is lighter in weight and less susceptible to crumbling from moisture. Some general precautions include the following:
 
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully regarding physical activities.
     
  • Move fingers or toes frequently to reduce swelling and prevent joint stiffness.
     
  • Never get the cast wet.
     
  • Keep dirt, sand, powders, and lotions away from inside of the cast, and do not pull out the cast padding.
     
  • Don't use objects to scratch underneath the cast. You can cause serious skin damage, and objects lost beneath the cast can lead to pressure sores, abrasions, and even infections.
     
  • Do not break off rough edges or trim the cast. Contact the doctor to have rough edges repaired.
     
  • Don't ever attempt to remove the cast yourself. Your physician has special equipment for cast removal.
     
The most difficult problem faced by parents of young children with leg casts is urine seeping into the cast. Not only does the moisture cause the cast to crumble, but the odor can be very difficult to endure. No matter how hard you try, preventing the cast from retaining an odor is very difficult, and your whole family will be anxious to have it removed when the time comes! The following is a list of ideas that other parents have found helpful:
 
  • Disposable diapers can be folded down at the front and back edges approximately one inch and tucked under the inside edge of the cast
     
  • Plastic wrap can be tucked in around the edges of the cast in the pubic area
     
  • Be sure to change the diaper more often than you would otherwise
     
  • If the child is sleeping on his or her stomach and cannot turn over because of the cast, leaving the buttocks exposed for short periods of time gives the back of the cast a chance to dry.
     
Remember that as your baby grows, bladder and bowel management will become a much simpler routine.
 
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