Follow your doctor's instructions for when you can first put weight on the cast. Fiberglass casts dry quickly and are soon ready to bear weight. But plaster casts may take several days before they are hard enough to use.
When it's okay to put weight on your cast, do not stand or walk on it unless it is designed for walking.
Your cast may feel snug for a few days after your surgery or injury. This is usually because of swelling. Swelling can slow healing and cause pain. Too much swelling inside the cast can cause pressure that can harm you.
To help reduce swelling:
Prop up the injured arm or leg on a pillow as much as you can when you sit or lie down. Try to keep it above the level of your heart.
If the fingers or toes on the limb with the cast were not injured, wiggle them every now and then. This helps move the blood and fluids in the injured limb.
Tape a sheet of plastic to cover your cast when you take a shower or bath or when you have any other contact with water. Moisture can collect under the cast and cause skin irritation and itching. It can make infection more likely if you have had surgery or have a wound under the cast.
Cast and skin care
Try blowing cool air from a hair dryer or fan into the cast to help relieve itching. Never stick items under your cast to scratch the skin.
Don't use oils or lotions near your cast. If the skin gets red or irritated around the edge of the cast, you may pad the edges with a soft material or use tape to cover the edges. Call your doctor if you think you have a skin infection.
Keep up your muscle strength and tone as much as you can while protecting your injured limb or joint. Your doctor may want you to tense and relax the muscles protected by the cast. Check with your doctor or physical therapist for instructions.