What to Expect When Your Cast Comes Off
What Is The Process of Having a Cast Removed?
One of the most frequent questions that a child has when a cast is applied is, “When can this come off?”. Cast removal day can bring much anticipation, excitement, and often, a sense of nervousness. Every child’s expectations are different. Here are some key points to review with your child about the process of having a cast removed, before the big day.
- The timing of cast removal will depend on the location of the fracture, the age of the patient, and the X-ray findings. Your pediatric orthopedist will give you an estimate of how long a cast will need to be worn at the time of the cast’s application.
- Cast removal is done using a small electrical saw. The saw works by vibration, and sometimes it can cause a tickling sensation. Because the saw is loud, children occasionally wear noise-canceling headphones if they are sensitive to noise.
- When the cast is removed, the skin beneath it may appear dry, flaky, and pale compared to “normal” skin. The hair over the skin may be darker and/or thicker, while the muscles may be smaller and weaker. Also, the area that was covered by the cast may have an odor to it. Fortunately, these are temporary changes and the skin will return to normal within a few days to a week.
- After cast removal, your child may experience slight stiffness as he/she begins to move the affected body part.
What Should You Do After Removing A Cast?
Congratulations! Cast removal services are complete, and you’re back home. We recommend you follow these steps after removing a cast to ensure the best healing of both the injury and the skin that was covered by it.
- Wash the skin with mild soap and water; avoid scrubbing as the skin may be sensitive.
- If the skin is itchy or if there is a scab, avoid scratching or picking at it. The skin will be fragile and easily injured.
- Use a hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free lotion on the area.
- Follow your pediatric orthopedist’s recommendations with regard to exercising, stretching and/or therapy.
Contact The Pediatric Orthopedic Center About What to Expect
Following a cast removal, you may have questions about the appearance of the skin or injury site, any discomfort your child may experience, or about resuming general activities. Please contact our office so that we can address your specific concerns. As a local pediatric orthopedist practice with four offices in North Jersey, our team is here to help you and your child understand what to expect when we treat any pediatric orthopedic injury . . . and what to expect when the cast goes on and when the cast comes off.< Back to Blogs