They’ve got through the trickiest part, putting up with the discomfort and irritation of having the cast on whilst their broken bone heals. Here at LimbO, we’ve got plenty of tips and tricks on how to make the weeks of wearing a cast more bearable for both adults and little ones alike. But what about when it’s time for the cast to come off? Broken bones heal pretty quickly for children, so normally, after around 8 weeks, the cast will be ready to come off. Here are some tips on what to expect and how to care for children who have had a cast removed.
- Of course, your doctor will give you instructions on what and what not to do after a cast is removed. It’s worth considering that the area that has been in a cast may be tender for a while after it’s taken off. As a precaution, children should avoid any rough and tumble type activities, running or jumping, or anything that increases the possibility of falling.
- It’s normal for there to be some discomfort when the cast is first removed. The skin under the cast may be drier than usual and joints may be uncomfortable after being immobilised for a long period of time. The skin may also be flaky. Avoid picking or scratching at the dry skin. Bathe the recovering limb in warm water and gently pat the skin dry with a towel a couple of times each day for the first few days out of the cast. Gently applying moisturiser to the affected area can help skin return to normal.
- If there is any swelling, it may be helpful to raise the affected limb whilst lying down. Again, doctors can advise on how best to get moving after a cast is taken off. Some light exercises may be recommended by a physiotherapist to help children regain normal usage of their arm or leg. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is not to rush back to normality – a period of adjustment should be taken after a cast has been removed.