Plaster around your leg

You received a plaster cast on your leg at the emergency department.


You received a plaster cast on your leg at the emergency department. You can go home from the doctor.

The information includes:

  • what plaster is, what it does, how it is applied,
  • on advice of lime plaster,
  • advice to prevent or reduce swelling, advice for better blood circulation,
  • when to contact the hospital.

Wat is gips en waar zorgt het voor?

The plaster cast used in the emergency room is made of lime. It ensures that the bone remains in the correct position and offers protection to damaged joints or tendons.

How is the plaster applied?

First a stocking is put on your leg, followed by a cotton wool bandage and then the plaster is applied. The plaster is wet and becomes warm. The plaster is first applied as a kind of splint, with the plaster remaining open on one side of the leg. This is necessary to allow sufficient space for the swelling, so that the blood circulation in the leg is not impeded. Once the swelling has subsided, the cast can be applied around the leg if necessary. This is done in the outpatient clinic.

Lime plaster recommendations

Lime plaster is only completely dry and hard after 24 to 48 hours.
You are not allowed to walk on the lime plaster (the plaster will break). You can walk using crutches without resting your foot on the floor.
Do not let your plaster rest on a hard surface the first day, but on a pillow, for example.
The plaster should not get wet. When taking a shower you can use a shower cover/plastic bag for protection.
You may experience itching. This is due to moisture between your skin and the plaster. You can reduce the itching by blow-drying between the skin and the plaster. Do this with cold air to avoid possible skin burns. Do not use objects such as a knitting needle to scratch. This can cause serious skin damage.


Advice to prevent or reduce swelling

Keep your cast leg elevated as much as possible to prevent your leg from swelling (further). Rest your leg on a pillow during the day. At night you can raise the foot of your bed. This can be done by placing a pillow under the foot of your mattress.

It is important that:

  • Your foot is higher than your knee and your knee is higher than your hip again, it is important that your heel is free.
  • You do not walk too much in the first period (week) (with crutches) because the leg hangs down too much

Advice for better blood circulation

To keep your joints flexible and to stimulate blood circulation, it is important that you do exercises a number of times a day (2 to 3 times).

1. Move your toes towards you and then away from you again,
2. Sitting: lift your leg straight for 3 counts,
3. If your knee is not cast, bend and straighten the knee.

When to contact the hospital

  • If your toes become blue, white or very thick
  • If your toes tingle and this does not go away
  • If you can barely move your toes
  • You feel pain or pinching that does not go away
  • The plaster is broken or torn,
  • The plaster has become wet.

More information?

If you have any questions, you can always contact the plaster room or the emergency department.


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