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Old 07-13-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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First cast experience - what is normal?

Hi, I had my surgery on Thursday (lateral ligament reconstruction, Achilles repair, clean up of ankle joint and screws out from calcaneus osteotomy). I was in a splint for two days and now I have a fibre glass cast today. I am so uncomfortable. The weight feels like its pulling at my foot. And it is SO itchy. If i could rip it off i would! It's my third ankle surgery but my first cast. Please tell me this is going to get better? I think the itching might be from the incisions healing?

Last edited by Amethy5t; 07-14-2013 at 01:52 PM.

 
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:11 AM   #2
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

I've just had a cast removed for a different operation. It could be the stitches itching or it could be your leg hairs growing back (if you're a woman)! It does settle down and the cast won't feel so heavy after a while as you get used to it and your muscles strengthen.

 
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

I had my surgical splint on for 10 days, but the time I got the cast on, it felt so light! The splint was SOOO heavy!! Yes it itches and sometimes feels like the stitches are pulling, all very normal. There were days where I felt like I was going to go crazy in the cast. I had a cast change every 2 weeks, so by day 10 I was ready for my 5 minutes of freedom between casts. I thought the boot was heavier! Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

Thank you both i am panicking a bit less now. The itching does seem to be around the incision sites (and yes, I can feel the hair growing back as well, ugh!). The cast is a little bit lighter than the splint but not much. My thigh and knee were really aching at first from hoisting the cast around but they are a bit better now. The itching is actually bothering me more than the pain right now. It feels like it is impossible to escape! I am having my stitches out and cast change next week and already can't wait for my 5 minutes of freedom. I am really bummed though that I will have to spend an extra week in the second cast (five weeks instead of four) because my surgeon on holiday the whole of August!

 
Old 07-16-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

If you are on any meds, check with a pharmacist first, but taking benadryl can help with the itch. Also, although they dont always like it, I have used things to scratch in the cast. Make sure it is something smooth that wont scratch your skin (that can bring problems later) I have used with great success-the wire handle of a fly-swatter-no sharpe edges and nice and long. Other options can be knitting needles. But keep away from the incision site.

 
Old 07-16-2013, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

I second what wants to walk said. I was cleared to take Benadryl. Most of my itching and panic came at night so I would take a Benadryl with my pain pill. I ended up getting decent sleep and I was less itchy!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

Thank you, wants to walk and Erie. I am taking an antihistamine and it helps a bit. It is worse at night. I have been trying to resist putting things down my cast as i know you're not supposed to, but i gave in and tried a chopstick from both ends which got some of the itches! I have a lot of incisions though from the different proceedures so didn't dare go too far!

I only have to wear this cast until Tuesday, which is a good job as it is already disintegrating. There is a dent at the top where I bashed it on my walker and the inner sock is loosing its elastic at the top and keeps sliding off. My next cast I will have for five weeks, I don't know how I will manage to keep it in good condition!

 
Old 07-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

I have also heard that sliding a Freezer Pop under the cast feels good. They won't scratch, just cool the skin a bit. Have not had surgery yet but stowed this piece of advice away!

Last edited by mery628; 07-18-2013 at 12:27 PM.

 
Old 07-18-2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

Totally agree. My cast technician gave me that tip. I was in 4 casts from mid-July through mid-September when I had my surgery. It certainly helped. I also used a hair dryer on the cool setting to try and shoot some cool air down the cast.

 
Old 07-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Re: First cast experience - what is normal?

For some reason I have never used a hair dryer on a cool setting. I have tried three now and the air only comes out warm, not cool. Directing a fan on it helps though, and I will get my husband to pick up some freezer pops tomorrow.

 
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