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Old 02-15-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Cast questions

Sooo, I had my surgery a week ago. I have the splint with the ace banage on. On Monday, I have my first post op visit...sutures are supposedly dissolvable type...I have 4 or 5 incisions. (see my signature at bottom to see what procedures were done) Then I am getting the cast put on.

I have never had cast before. So please excuse the my ignorance. Can someone who has been thru this before please tell me exactly what is done at this first visit after surgery when the cast is put on? How does the fibercast glass accommodate for swelling? Right now, with the splint, I have been watching my foot, ankle and leg go up and down with the swelling. Right now, the swelling is down so much that my ace bandage is all loose and I have to keep tightening it. Which I know must be a good thing for when I get the cast on.

Also, will I feel more secure with the cast on? Is it less bulky than this Frankenstein temp. splint I'm in now? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Cast questions

Hey there,
I too had only ever had one cast before in my life--and I was 5 and it was for my wrist--so for my foot it was a big switch.

I didn't notice a lot of swelling in my foot (I know it was there, for sure, but I couldn't see any marked difference as the day went on), so I can't speak to that. If you tell the cast tech, they can make sure to make it fit right. The worst part for me, getting the cast on, was when they had to bend my foot into the right position to cast it. It hurt like the dickens! Once the cast was on and starting to harden it was better, but that inital bend hurt. I had a different surgery, so I don't know what position they will want to put your foot into.

For me, they put this soft white thin sock over my leg, and then put the some fluffy interior, and then the fiberglass roll (looked like a wet ace bandage that hardened). Maybe they could put extra fluffy stuff (I'm certain that is the technical term) in to help you with the swelling?

The cast is much less bulky than the initial splint, and will be the least bulky thing they put on you. That isn't to say it is very comfortable. But it is lighter, so that helps. Something my cast tech told me was to get a pillowcase and wear it over the cast at night and that helps the cast from catching on stuff. That also works well if you have to sleep in your boot, keeps the velcro from sticking.

Hope that helps! My other advice: Pick a fun color!!! Even if it's something you might not normally "get" or "wear". My first cast was orange (my favorite color), second was white (they didn't give me a choice) and third was blue (for a variety of reasons). I wanted tye-dye but they said that was only for little kids with arm casts. But pick something fun!

Good luck with it all!

Liz

 
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Cast questions

Hi Laura,
My cast was loose enough to allow for swelling and was fiberglass. Not much was done at that appt. dr only checked the i incision to ensure no infection, checked stitches etc. before cast was applied, I asked tech for soap, washcloth, towel, and washed, scrubbed, foot, ankle leg really well to removed all the dead skin. This reduces the itching when the cast is applied. Do this whenever cast is changed, as well You'll be glad you did!!

The cast will feel lighter and more comfortable, good luck to you!!

 
Old 02-15-2013, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: Cast questions

I totally second wiping your leg down before the cast goes on! It feels so good and I made sure to get my toes too. I never seemed to have a problem with swelling and the cast. One thing they did tell me was it could feel a bit tight once it reached its cured state in 24 hours. I could kind of feel it, but it wasn't bad.

Also the girls in the cast room cut me a couple extra of the cotton stocking things they put on your foot before they cast it. They told me to use those ovet my cast so I wouldnt rip up my sheets. Good call, I wouldn't have wanted to ruin my expensive sheets with my cast. After a couple days the roughness wears down, but i still covered it every night (afraid I'd cut up my other leg!)

I preferred the cast over the splint. The splint was so heavy and bulky. With the cast I felt like I had more freedom and it's 100 times lighter!

Good luck on Monday!
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10/2001 Left kneecap tightened and LR
06/2003 Modified Brostrom on right ankle
10/2012 Biopsies under general
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:34 AM   #5
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Re: Cast questions

I agree with everyone else. It might hurt when they have to push your ankle into 90 degrees to cast you. I would advise taking a pain pill or 2 about 30-45 min before your appt. That helped me both times! The cast will be MUCH lighter than the splint and a boot! At 3 wks post op, I could've gone into the boot and I chose another cast if that tells you anything (because I still had to remain NWB). Definitely have them clean your leg and foot off or let you do it (mine was great about doing it!). There's a little cast stand that's metal and you rest your foot on it in 90 degrees and then they slip a tube type toeless sock on it and then they put on plenty of soft cast padding. Then they get the fiberglass (comes rolled up like an ace bandage like someone else said). They dip it in water and wring it out and wrap that on. My docto did some regular white underneath so they have to use as much color and then did color on the outside. In between the white and color, they pull the tube sock back over your foot to expose your toes. Then wrap the color part on top of that (which is how you get the white lining of the cast at the knee and toes of the cast). Definitely get a color! I've had 5 casts on my ankle from surgeries. The first time I got boring white. Not this time! I got navy and then I got purple with pink cuffs at the knee and toes! Also, they make fleece covers for your cast so it doesn't pick your sheets or scratch yourself with it and makes a great sock to cover your toes and keep your foot warm especially during winter. Can get them in cute colors and patterns too! Just look it up online! Oh and I know you didn't ask, but getting the cast off is nothing too! They just buzz it on each side and then pull it apart and take if off you! Hang in there and let us know how it goes!
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:39 AM   #6
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Re: Cast questions

Exactly what Hollywood said!! Will add that my cast is increasingly loose as my calf shrinks.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:50 AM   #7
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Re: Cast questions

Hi
I found that the day I went to have splint taken off, and cast put on, just the fact that it was not up, it swelled a little, by the time they had pulled out a couple of dissolvable stitches that were sticking out, and checked it all, and then wheeled round to plaster room, it was swollen. So by the the time they have put new cast on, and you get home and put it back up, it is really comfortable.
I have bright blue! And yes they gave me extra stocking to put on over the cast for the first few days too. I had extra "fluffy stuff" inside as I had a little rub site from the splint.
This has been my first cast ever, and although I cannot wait to have it taken off, it has been ok.
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Jan 13 - PTT repair, Calcaneal osteotomy, Gastrocnemius recession, Achilles lengthening
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:55 AM   #8
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Re: Cast questions

I've had a few casts on my foot and agree with everyone else's comments. As far as removal is concerned, the saw vibrates and I was laughing (loudly) at the tickling each time.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Cast questions

Oh, thank you ALL for the wonderful tips. I have a much better picture in my mind now about what will happen on Monday at my appointment.

I think I'm going to try my hand at making myself a cast cover. I bought some flannel fabric, white with black paw prints, for it before my surgery. I am by no means crafty or a sewer, but I have lots of time to try it. lol I work at a veterinarian practice, so I thought my co-workers would get a kick out of a paw print cast cover when I go back.

Too bad that we can't take a shaver to that leg when they take the splint off and put the cast on! That would be really awesome.

I'll let you know how the Monday appt goes. I sure hope my doctor's office offers cool colors.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #10
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Re: Cast questions

To be totally honest, I took one of those little electric razors with me (I found one for 10 bucks), but then forgot to use it. If you really want to/remember, they will probably give you time to shave! You just need to be careful around any incision sites if they are on your legs.

They also make some razors that have the shave gel around the blade so all you need is water. I used those when I was bedridden for 8 weeks. Worked pretty well also!

Good luck getting a fun color! And good luck making the cast cover.

 
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: Cast questions

I wouldn't shave your leg until after the cast comes completely off and even then you need to wait a few days. The last thing you want to do is nick yourself and put it at risk for infection. Also, your skin is super sensitive and delicate since it has not been exposed to the air. I just got my cast off and into a boot on Wednesday and my skin is still sensitive. I looked up what to do about all the loose flaky skin and they said to keep using warm wash cloths and put lotion on it and to NOT shave for at least 3 days. I still have spots that are flaky and I was super careful in the shower. I have been putting baby lotion (because it is mild and won't irritate the sensitive skin) on it it several times a day.

Remember, no one can see your leg in the cast.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:51 PM   #12
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Re: Cast questions

Great tips -- I think the worry about shaving is a little over-the-top when you are just going into yet another cast. I SERIOUSLY doubt our surgeons or cast techs care. :-).

I did, however, in the name of vanity, just order an item for scars: silicone strips. Hope they work!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #13
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Re: Cast questions

Well, fortunately, my hair on my legs doesn't grow as fast during our Wisconsin winters, and I am by no means worried about my leg being furry. lol After everything else that was done, I could care less. But I did think it would make it less itchy in the cast if they started with a clean shaven leg....I'm probaby wrong about that.
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2/6/13: Cuneiform neck lengthening, Calcaneus Osteotomy, Brostrum procedure, Peroneal tendon repair, accessory Navicular bone excision, Gastrocnemius Recession

 
Old 02-17-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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Re: Cast questions

I was just throwing out suggestions if it really bothered you. I had the razor, but never ended up using it, the leg hair didn't really bother me. Between the back brace, wheelchair and cast, leg hair or scar is the last thing on my mind. I'm not even bothering using vit e oil or anything to try to make my scar go away. The incident happened, why cover it up? That's just me though.

Good luck getting your cast tomorrow!

 
Old 02-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #15
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Re: Cast questions

I never worried about my furry legs. But I thought that I was itchy more the first few weeks ( new hair growth) and that I was less itchy the longer the time went on.
That's my few cents worth :-)
Good luck tomorrow! I hope you can get a fun cast color!
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