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Donald D. Berg, M.D. P.C.
Orthopedic and Reconstructive Surgery
 Sports Medicine
The Practice of Orthopedics

Serving Southeast Iowa Since 1975

Fracture Care

Bone is actually living tissue containing blood vessels that bleed when your bone fractures.  The tissue surrounding the injury also bleeds, and eventually a blood clot forms (not the kind of clot that will go to the patient's heart or lungs).  New cells enter the blood clot and produce a network of fibers that begin to bind the tissues together.  Finally, special bone forming cells replace the fibers and produce new bone.  At first the bone is spongy and weak and your doctor may refer to it as a FRACTURE CALLUS.  With proper exercise and in time the bone will mature and become heavy and strong.  In most cases, the mended bone will be just as good as new.

Cast Care

Casts are placed on fractured bones to immobilize them during the healing process.  There are a few things that should be understood about casts.

1)  KEEP YOUR CAST CLEAN & DRY.  Moisture will break down a plaster cast and cause it to lose its rigid nature.  Although moisture will not break down a synthetic cast, the material applied underneath will get wet, stay wet and cause break down of the skin.  This can become quite uncomfortable, and produce an odor.  If your synthetic cast becomes damp from water or perspiration, blow it dry on a medium to cool setting.  Can be done daily if you perspire a lot.  You should take care to get it completely dry.

2)  DO NOT STICK ANYTHING DOWN YOUR CAST.  It will cause the padding underneath to bunch up and become uncomfortable.  You may also cause an abrasion on the skin which can then become infected.

3)  DO NOT WALK ON YOUR CAST WITHOUT YOUR CAST SHOE.  It protects your cast from breaking down.

4)  SWELLING.  If you experience swelling, elevate the affected limb ABOVE your heart and apply ice to the area.  If swelling does not decrease or pain increases, contact your physician.

5)  PRESSURE AREAS.  If you develop any skin irritation such as blisters, pressure sores or areas that are rubbing, contact your physician.  

 

                                Last Updated June 21, 2010

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