Leg in a cast - broken

The leg is broken and has been placed in a cast while the fracture heals.

About your visit

We have examined you and we have ascertained that you have broken your leg. We have put your leg in a plaster splint to stabilise and support the leg while the fracture heals. You have borrowed a set of crutches for support while wearing the cast.

The cast will be removed in _____ weeks.

When you get home

Contact your general practitioner if your condition deteriorates

Call your general practitioner or dial 1813 to reach the medical helpline outside your general practitioner’s opening hours if:

  • your toes become pale, cold and numb
  • your toes begin to feel numb and tingly
  • the cast feels too tight or begins to chafe
  • the cast cracks
  • the cast means that you cannot do your exercises
  • the cast gets wet or becomes loose
  • pain increases.

Take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain

You should take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain. Pain-relieving medicine can be bought over the counter. Take only the amount of pain reliever recommended on the package. Contact your general practitioner if you need help managing the pain.  

Protect the cast

The cast will harden quickly, but will not be completely dry for 24 hours. Therefore, try not to cover it with clothes for the first 24 hours. Also try not to bump into anything to avoid dents in the cast.

We recommend that you cover the cast with a plastic bag when bathing/showering. Make sure the top of the bag is well sealed so the cast does not get wet.

The cast can cause irritation

It is normal to experience the following:

  • Sweating and itching under the cast. 
  • Blood accumulation or bruises that spread to the toes. These symptoms will disappear without treatment.

If the cast has sharp edges that causes irritation, call the medical hotline at 1813. 

Avoid inserting objects to relieve itching

Do not insert objects, such as a knitting needle, into the cast to relieve itching. You risk damaging the skin and causing sores.

Keep your foot elevated and wiggle your toes

Rest your foot as much as possible for the first week. Elevate your foot to a level higher than your heart when sitting down. You can loosen the splint when you sit down. Wiggle your toes to reduce swelling. Make sure you sleep with your leg elevated.

Use a shoe with the same sole thickness as the cast

Wear a snug-fitting shoe on your healthy foot. This will help you move around more safely. Wear a shoe with the same sole thickness as the cast so both your legs have the same length.

Adjust the crutches

The crutches must be adjusted so they fit your height. Crutches have the correct height when you can hold onto the crutches with a straight back, relaxed shoulders, and your arms fall to your side with a slight bend at the elbow.

Remember to adjust the crutches again after the cast is removed. Your back may begin to ache if the crutches are too low. If the crutches are too high, your neck and shoulders may begin to ache.

Check-ups

You will be called in for a check-up to make sure the fracture is healing correctly. At the check-up, we may take an X-ray and discuss what to do next. We will call you about the time and place or notify you digitally or by physical letter. On www.minsundhedsplatform.dk (in Danish only) you can see a summary of your treatment programme. You can also download the MinSP app to your phone. Log on with your NemID.

Return the crutches after use

When you no longer need the crutches, please return them to us or to the hospital where you got them from. See the address under Contact.

Exercises

Move your leg right away

Do the exercises while you are wearing the cast. The exercises will maintain the muscular function in your leg. When you come in for a check-up, a physiotherapist will guide you through the exercises. We will guide you through the exercises before you leave Akutmodtagelsen (Emergency department).

If your leg begins to hurt while doing the exercises, take a 30 minute break and then continue doing the exercises.

How to do the exercises

Complete the exercises every hour and repeat each exercise five to ten times:

  • Exercise the joints you can move. Bend and stretch your hip, toes and your knee if possible. Bend and stretch as much as the cast allows you to.
  • Tighten and relax your calf and thigh muscles.

Worth knowing

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