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Cast Care: When Your Cast Comes Off

The day to remove your cast has come. But your recovery isn’t over yet. Your bone is still growing stronger. Keep caring for your injury. And follow your health care provider’s instructions until you’re fully healed.

Woman lying on side on exam table. Health care provider is using saw to remove cast from woman's leg.Removing Your Cast

Your cast will be removed with a special saw that moves back and forth (oscillates). Your skin may tingle or feel warm while the cast is being sawed. Don’t worry! The saw is designed to cut your cast without cutting your skin. To make removal easier, try to hold still while your cast is being sawed.

 

After Your Cast Comes Off

Don’t be surprised if your injured body part looks a little different than it used to. It will return to normal over time. You may have:

Weak muscles: The muscles around your injury will likely have shrunk. This is because they weren’t being used while in a cast. As you start using them again, the muscles will get stronger. Your health care provider may suggest exercises to help.

Dry skin: Skin that has been covered by a cast will likely be dry and flaky. Using lotion can help make your skin soft again. Your skin will also be tender. So scratching with your nails can cut the skin. Instead, use your open palm to rub itchy skin. The hair on your skin may look darker as well. 

Swelling: Since your injury is still healing, it may swell even after the cast is removed. (This is especially true of leg injuries.) To help reduce swelling, elevate the injury higher than your heart. If swelling continues, call your health care provider.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 3/14/2012
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.