Cast on left arm

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Help.  I had a bike mishap on Sunday, July 16 and injured my wrist.  The ER reset my bone, splinted it and said see a specialist.  The next day my doc gave me the bad news that my injury required surgery.  Luckily he had an opening the next morning.  I had a plate and screws and carpal tunnel performed on my left wrist.  I went home with a splint and some Percocet.  I did really well for three days and night.  I kept my arm elevated and iced as prescribed.  I took my pain meds.  Pain was tolerable. I stated to wean myself off the Percocet and use Aleve.  On the 4th day I took one Percocet in the morning and that night I took an  Aleve. When going to bed, I piled up all the pillows like I had done in previous nights.  I tried to get comfortable.  My mind wandered and I started to nut up.  I WANTED the freakin splint off, I wanted to bend my elbow, I wanted my skin to breath!  😩 I finally got up and went downstairs to the easy chair.  I propped up a few pillows and had a fitful sleep.  What tips do you have for me?  I'm only on day 6 and my doc said I'd wear the splint for about two weeks and then a cast for about four.  Oh my, I have a LONG way to go.  Please, I need some tips from you veteran cast wearers out there.  What suggestions do you have for me?  I am typically a very positive person and I know I'll get through this but I'm for all and any suggestions.  Thank you in advance. 

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    I really feel for you, cast claustrophobia is awful...I would suggest some relaxation or mindfulness type exercises, especially before you go to sleep. I have heard that using a vacuum cleaner attachment to draw air through your cast can help. I never got the hang of it myself but there are some videos online. Good luck!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Amanda. The past few days have been a tiny bit better. I will try the vacuum cleaner trick. 😊  It's worth a try. 

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  • Posted

    can so relate to how you're feeling, 10 days out of a toe to hip cast having a double break in my leg.  Cast was on for just over 6 weeks, and am usually a very active 64 year old who really doesn't tolerate illness etc.  Had several meltdowns and can remember feeling l just had to get out of this cast now!!   n

    ow a week or so out of my torture I'm getting on with the physio and hydrotherapy and starting to feel almost human again, hang on in there, its not a pleasant experience but it is short term, try to focus on the positives (not easy) and guarantee that in a couple of months when you're all back to normal you will look back on these weeks and realise it could have been a lot worse.........think that was my motto!!!  good luck, speedy recovery

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response.  Wow, toe to hip cast...okay that's got to be worse! I'm trying to take one day at a time.  I'm an active person too and I hate that I can't exercise. And I live in GA where it's freakin hot so I don't even want to go for a walk because the sweat will get into my cast.  😩 Ok, this too shall pass.  I'm looking forward to next month.  Glad you are back to feeling human again!

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea412

    You have my sympathy. I managed to fracture my wrist in July 2015 and again in August last year. Different fractures and both simple breaks with no displacement so I didn't need surgery. However I did have to have the plaster on for 6 weeks in the first case. I got frustrated because I read other cases on this forum who had more complex fractures needing surgery but were allowed to have the plaster off after 4 weeks and then use a removable splint for support. in the 2nd case, i only had plaster for 3 days and then got a removable splint. That was much better.

    What sort of splint do you have? Is it part plaster, part bandage? Mine stopped below the elbow so I didn't have a bending problem.

    Overall i felt I had come off lightly because i didn't have the pain and lack of movement post plaster which  others on this forum had. I found exercises online (just google exercises for wrist fracture). Even when I had the plaster on, I could stretch my hand and fingers and clench my fist without any problems. I didn't need painkillers at all. It was more discomfort with having plaster on in the summer. I have no solution for that. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response.  Oh wow, you've broken you ur wrist twice.  I currently have a splint and that will remain on for two weeks post surgery.  I have another week to go.  Then it's my understanding I'll be in a cast for four weeks. Because of my complex break my cast is from just below fingertips to 3 inches past my elbow. I am able to flex my fingers so I do that several times a day.  Luckily my pain has been tolerable. It's been just over a week since my injury and I'm not taking any pain meds.  I get an occasional twinge or weird pain but it doesn't last long.  I'm certainly happy with that.  I know some people have chronic pain.  I don't like taking medicines. 

      I will I'll try to occupy my mind at night.  The evenings and nighttimes are the worst for me.  And I get hot flashes too at night so that is an issue.  I just have to charge forward.  Thank you for sharing your experience. I really appreciate hearing from others who have made it through and knowing you didn't totally nut up! 

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  • Posted

    UGH...we've all been here.  Stay calm.  Gather your wits and sort it out.  You have to let it heal.  inhale/exhale.  re - lax.

    Aleve ended up giving me stomach issues after a couple of months.  I switched back to Ibropen.  800 mg every 4-6 hours is Rx strength.  If you switch keep that in mind.

    Ice and elevate. ICE and ELEVATE.  YOU WILL BE OKAY!!!  Watch movies on Netflix or Amazon.  Take you mind off your concerns.  You can do this...it is TEMPORARY.   Make sure to eat and drink water.  Shower and do normal things as best you can.  Call family or friends.  Post online.  Sit outside.  Get some fresh air.  Go to the store for some simple stuff like running errands.  Visit the Post Office just re - lax.  YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY!!  

    Hang in there!!!

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    • Posted

      ps I have had finger tips to elbow and toe tips to knee casts.  YOU WILL BE OKAY.  You did the right things getting up, sitting in the recliner, propping up with pillows  Stay calm you are on your  way!!  Stay focused!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  It's nice to hear from others who've been through a similar situation.  I love being outside and that's a great suggestion but it's so hot where I live.  I sweat just walking up to get the mail! 

      Yes, it's just temporary and I'm going to use that as my motto. I need something to focus on or I'm going to go insane.  Luckily I'm not in much pain now that I'm one week post op.  I'm not taking anything for pain now.  I did elevate an ice for the first 3-4 days.  Now I'm just keeping my arm elevated as much as I can. Do I do this from now on as long as I'm in a splint or cast? I have pillows all over the house so I'm able to prop up my arm.  

      Thanks agin for you ur response.

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea!

    Definitely have my sympathy. I am a little further along than you and I still have episodes of fitfulness at night. I never had a cast, but I did have a splint when it was first injured. Ibuprofen 800 mg correct, but you might want to alternate with acetaminophen just to protect your stomach. This is a lono process. I assume you haven't started OT yet, correct? In the meantime, just as the group said...try to relax. It will get better...it will just take some time.

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    • Posted

      hi carol.  I'm just one week post surgery.  My doc said I can expect to wear the splint for another week then a cast for four weeks. After that I will start physical therapy.  I'm trying to take one day at a time.  Luckily the pain has been tolerable.  I only took one Aleve yesterday. I was told not to take ibuprofen as that interferes with rebuilding of the bone.  

      I will ill take your advice and try to relax. I have some essential oils so I will try aromatherapy at night to see if that helps calm my mind. That seems to be the times when I want to cut this damn splint off.  

      Thank you for writing. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea

    I know how you feel, I broke my wrist in june and after reduction of ulna and radius fracture the doctors put my arm in a long plaster waiting for the surgery that I have had three days after. In those 3 days in hospital I have slept 4 hours in total, I had cramp in bicep and deltoid cause of weight of the plaster and too much pain on the wrist. Definitely they have been the worst 3 night in my life. The problems came out only at the night cause my mind wasn't busy. You should try to fall asleep keeping your mind busy watching movies and other stuff for example.

    I am sure that your discomfort will pass soon cause your bones are in correct position and they are already healing, my case was very different.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Wow, so sorry to hear of your awful three nights in the hospital. I agree that the nights are worse for me.  I will try your ideas and see if that helps. I know there are some Netflix series I've been wanting to watch.  I'll be out of work for many weeks so I've got the time to watch. 

      How are you doing now? Are you out of your cast?  I'm guess you are having PT.  I hope you are mending well. Take care.

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    • Posted

      After surgery I had a cast only in the forearm and the discomfort ended fortunately. Now I am out of my removable brace(I have removed it 1)days ago) and now I am having PT, however I am feeling better, no pain at all, I have to be patient and wait that the movement of the wrist come back.

      What type of fracture do you have on the wrist? Usually when the bones are blocked with plate and screws a long cast is not needed

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    • Posted

      All I know is that it was a very complex break. I return to the doc in two days. I was told to expect splint removed, stitches taken out, X-rays to check for healing and then a fiberglass cast would be made,
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I understand, it's a good thing get rid of the cast. Will fiber glass cast be always a long cast? However I think that the worst is over, after you'll take off the cast you will have to focus in rehabilitation and a good physiotherapy is fundamental.

      Good luck for your recovery!

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