Display Patient Information Leafelts

Looking after your arm plaster

Date issued: December 2021 

Review date: December 2023

Ref: A-487 

PDF: Looking after your arm in plaster final December 2021.pdf [pdf] 698KB  

Your plaster:

Your plaster is made of plaster of paris and will take 2-3 days to dry.

Do not try to dry it with a heater or hair dryer; it must dry naturally.

You must not push anything down inside the plaster no matter how itchy your arm may get.

Try to keep your arm up high as much as possible for the first two days. You could use a sling, pillows or cushions.

You can take paracetamol to help with any pain or ibuprofen if there is swelling. These types of painkillers can make you constipated (find it hard to poo).

Daily exercises at least 3 times a day:

1. Take your arm out of the sling.

2. Lift your arm out sideways and then high above your head 10 times.

3. Lift your arm out in front of your face and then above your head 10 times.

4. If your plaster stops before your elbow: bend your elbow as far as you can and then straighten it. Do this 20 times.

5. Curl up your fingers to make a fist and then straighten them 10 times.

6. Stretch your fingers out side-ways so there is a gap in between each one and then press them together. Do this 10 times.

Return to ED (A&E):

You must come back to ED straight away if:

• Your fingers become cold, swollen, numb or blue

• Your plaster seems too tight or starts to rub

• Your pain gets worse even though you have taken pain killers

• There is a foul smell coming from the plaster

• If your plaster becomes wet or damaged then you need to make an appointment to come in. 

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