Tag: Plaster Cast

Plaster Casting

The foot is designed to withstand considerable forces. Walking, running and jumping, are all movements that place impact and force on soft tissue and bones. Amazingly, there are 26 bones in the foot, all of which are susceptible to injuries like fractures.

Some injuries are due to acute trauma (e.g. ankle sprains) or may become worse over a period of time and are due to overuse. Injury assessment and diagnosis is based on clinical examination, functional testing and diagnostic imaging such as x-rays and ultrasounds where indicated.

Treatment often depends on the severity of injury and location. Use of a CAM walker, immobilisation via plaster casting or a back slab cast are some treatment options that aim to reduce pain and re-align injured structures. A plaster of Paris back slab consists of a slab of plaster that does not completely surround the limb, it protects the injured area and allows for swelling.

With some injuries plaster casting may be the appropriate management required. Common indications for casting include: metatarsal and ankle fractures, stress fractures, soft-tissue injuries such as ankle sprains, and the more severe and complicated breaks.

Under the plaster cast, a soft cotton sock layer and padding is applied evenly to protect the skin and bony prominences.

It’s important to wear it right! After the affected leg has had the plaster applied:

  • Elevate the leg/foot
  • Exercise the toes to prevent stiffness
  • Use crutches at all times when walking
  • Do not scratch under the cast or place any objects inside the cast
  • Keep the cast dry at all times

Once the cast is removed, activity shouldn’t be rushed. It may take a while for everything to get back to normal. Start with small, easy movements and work your way up to using the limb fully. Your Podiatrist will issue an exercise program and return to activity guideline.

Be patient with healing bones.