Fracture reduction - closed; Cast care
Closed reduction is a procedure to set (reduce) a broken bone without surgery. It allows the bone to grow back together. It can be done by an orthopedic surgeon (bone doctor) or a primary care provider who has experience doing this procedure.
After the procedure, your broken limb will be placed in a cast.
Healing can take anywhere from 3 - 8 weeks. How quickly you heal will depend on:
Rest your limb (arm or leg) as much as possible. When you are resting, raise your limb above the level of your heart. You can prop it up on pillows, a chair, footstool, or something else.
Do not place rings on your fingers or toes until your provider tells you it is safe to do so.
You will likely have some pain the first few days after getting a cast. Using an ice pack can help.
For pain, you can use ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). You can buy these pain medicines at the store.
You may also take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) for pain relief. If you have liver disease,talk with your health care provider before using it.
Do not take more than the amount recommended on the bottle or by your health care provider.
Your physician may prescribe a stronger medication if needed.
Until your health care provider tells you it is okay:
If you have been given crutches to help you walk, use them each time you move about. Do not hop on one leg. You can easily lose your balance and fall, causing more serious injury.
Some general care guidelines for your cast are:
You can use a special sleeve to cover your cast while you shower. Do not take baths, soak in a hot tub, or go swimming until your health care provider tells you it is okay.
You will likely have a follow-up visit with your health care provider 5 days to 2 weeks after your closed reduction.
Your health care provider may want you to start physical therapy or do other gentle movements while you heal. This will help keep your injured limb and other limbs from getting too weak or stiff.
Call your health care provider if your cast:
Also call your health care provider if you have any signs of infection. Some of these are:
See your health care provider right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms:
Also get care right away if you have:
Fractures: general management In: Mercier LR, ed. Practical Orthopedics. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 2.
General principles of fracture care. In: Eiff MP, Hatch R, eds. Fracture Management for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 2.