Plaster Cast Instructions

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY1014/2018
  • Departments: Emergency Department
  • Last Updated: 31 August 2018


This advice sheet has been produced to give you information about instructions for plaster casts.  It is not meant to replace discussion between you and your doctor.  If after reading it, you require further explanation please discuss this with the relevant person who has been caring for you.

Following an examination and assessment of your injury we have applied a “Plaster of Paris” backslab to the affected area.  This is a partial plaster to allow for swelling which often occurs following a bone fracture (break) injury of this nature.

The backslab will remain in place until you attend the Fracture Clinic were you will be re-assessed by the Specialist Team who will decide any further treatment you may require.


  • Plaster of Paris takes 48 hours to dry
  • Do not get the plaster wet
  • Keep the affected limb (arm or leg) raised to prevent swelling
  • Do not attempt to put anything inside the cast as this can cause sores to develop underneath the cast

Upper Limb Casts

  • Keep your arm in the sling provided as this will provide support, assist to relieve pain and prevent swelling
  • Do not put your rings back onto your fingers until advised to do so
  • Exercise your fingers, elbow and shoulder not encased in plaster

Lower Limb Casts

  • Keep your affected leg raised on a pillow
  • Do not walk on the cast, unless advised to do so by the fracture clinic
  • Exercise your toes, knee and hip not encased in plaster


It is your responsibility to discuss your injury with your insurance company to confirm insurance liability / validity, as you must be able to control your car safely.

Contact the Emergency Department immediately if any of the following occur:

  • Swelling of the fingers or toes
  • A lot of pain in the affected limb
  • Blue fingers or toes unrelated to bruising
  • Pins and needles or coldness in the fingers or toes
  • Inability to move fingers or toes

 Pain relief medication

To manage your pain, we advise that you regularly take simple pain relief which can be bought over the counter. If you have allergies or conditions which prevent the use of pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory medication, please seek advice from your GP or a pharmacist

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this advice sheet, please do not hesitate to contact the Emergency Department on the following numbers:

Contact numbers for the Emergency Department

Major Injuries Area:                 Telephone (01482) 482250

Emergency Care Area:          Telephone (01482) 482101

Children’s Injuries Area:          Telephone (01482) 482108

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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