When your arm is in a plaster cast

  • Do not push objects inside your cast
  • Do not get your cast wet. This may cause skin problems and irritation
  • Do not let your arm hang down as this could cause the hand to swell
  • When you are either laying down or sitting, remove the sling (if one has been provided for you) and rest your arm up on a cushion or pillow

Contact the plaster room immediately if any of the following occur:

  • The cast becomes too tight, too loose, or cracked
  • The swelling increases, causing you problems
  • Your fingers become blue or pale
  • You begin to experience tingling or numbness
  • You have a burning sensation or are sore under the cast

Call the plaster room Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 01935 384226 or the Emergency Department outside of these hours.

Exercising your injured arm

Exercising your arm and hand while you are in a cast is essential and, so long as it is done correctly, it will help to reduce any swelling you may have.  If the exercises are done regularly and correctly, it could also help to speed up your recovery once the cast is removed.

These exercises should be done every hour:

  1. Raise your arm above your head (five times)
  2. Bend and straighten your elbow fully (five times) (Unless you have a cast above your elbow)
  3. Close your fingers, trying to touch the cast across your palm, then straighten your fingers out fully (ten times)
  4. Rotate your thumb in a circular motion, bend and straighten your thumb (so long as the thumb is not in the cast)

Try to use your hand for light activities eg. dressing and eating, but do not try to lift heavy objects.

If you are worried

It is sometimes difficult to know whether the pain is due to a tight cast or your injury. However, if you have any concerns always contact the plaster room between 9am and 5pm weekdays. If the plaster room staff are not available you must report to your nearest emergency department.

Plaster room

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
01935 384 226

Orthopaedic outpatients

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
01935 384 319

Emergency department

01935 384 355

Ref: 09-16-108
Review: 01/18