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Leaflet: Care of Plaster Casts

Please help us by looking after your plaster. It is an essential part of your treatment. We hope that the following will help you:


• Exercise joints not held in the plaster as much as possible
• Do not let your limb hang down unless it is being used. Elevate the limb, especially during the first 2 weeks
• Use sticks, crutches or frame as instructed. Please return equipment when it is no longer needed
• Keep your plaster completely dry
• Take advice before driving
• Take advice before flying or travelling

Do not

• Interfere with your plaster in any way
• Poke anything down your plaster
• Write on your plaster of Paris for 48 hours after it has been applied
• Leave your limb unsupported or stand for long periods
• Stand or put weight on your plastered limb unless instructed by the doctor, nurse or physiotherapist
• Knock, cut or bump your plaster
• Sit too close to a fire, as your plaster may become hot and burn you
• Get the plaster wet. It may disintegrate or cause skin problems
• Do not smoke as smoking slows down bone healing

Please ring the Minor Injuries Unit if your plaster:

• Rubs
• Cracks
• Itches excessively
• Softens
• Becomes loose or uncomfortable

Please seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occur:

• Your toes or fingers become blue, pale or discoloured
• You have swelling which is causing discomfort
• Your limb becomes more painful
• You feel “pins and needles” or numbness
• You have a blisterlike pain or rubbing under the plaster
• You have discharge, wetness or smell under your cast
• You drop any object down inside your cast

Pain relief medication

Pain relief medication can help you to reduce the pain allowing you to undertake any suggested exercises and movements of the injury. Moving will
help ease the pain and speed up your recovery significantly. Simple pain relief medications such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are often all that is required.

Please read the medication instructions before taking anything. Call 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life threatening situation. For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

Contact us
Our minor injury and urgent treatment centres support the local community with urgent minor injuries and/or illnesses. They are led by our specialist emergency nurse practitioners, who are fully trained in both adult and paediatric care.

They are walk-in centres so you don’t need an appointment or a referral – you can just arrive at the centre during opening hours. These centres are not appropriate for life-threatening injuries or serious illnesses.

Bristol Urgent Treatment Centre
Minor injuries and illnesses
Open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
South Bristol NHS Community Hospital
Hengrove Promenade
Hengrove, Bristol BS14 0DE
T: 0300 124 6260

Yate Minor Injury Unit
Minor injuries only
Open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
Yate West Gate Centre
21 West Walk, Yate BS37 4AX
T: 0300 125 6800

Clevedon Minor Injury Unit
Minor injuries only
Open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
North Somerset Community Hospital
Old Street, Clevedon BS21 6BS
T: 01275 546852

Visit the Minor Injuries Unit webpage for more information about this service.

Date of creation: July 2020
Date of review: July 2022
URN: 0056