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Post Cast Odema

Orthopedic injuries of the leg very often lead to oedema after the plaster cast is removed. It should be treated with a regular usage of NORMA Compression Stockings because left untreated it can lead to various other complications.

Post Cast Odema

What is Post Cast Oedema ?

  • Swelling often appears, especially in the legs, after removal of Plaster Cast. This is known as Post Cast Oedema.
  • Orthopaedic Injuries (fractures) of the lower extremities (legs) are very common. Various techniques like Nailing, Plating, Fixator Plaster Cast etc. are used to take care of them.
  • The orthopaedic injury is very conveniently taken care of with the above mentioned. But when the cast or fixator is removed and the patient starts walking swelling starts appearing.

What causes Posts Cast Oedema?

  • The lymphatic channels are part of the circulatory system and their function is to carry the lymphatic fluid to and from the limbs. These are not well defined vessels (like arteries or veins) but small passages in between the muscles and tissues of the body.
  • Fixators, Surgeries, Plaster Casts, Nails and Plates etc. take care of the orthopaedic injury but disturb these channels.

What are the symptoms?

  • Till the time the patient is bed ridden or the leg is in the plaster cast this problem does not appear or get noticed but once the injury has healed up and the plaster cast or fixater is gone and the patient is trying to be back on his feet the Oedema (swelling)starts appearing.
  • It often increases from morning to evening and hampers the movement of the joints involved especially the ankle and the knee.

What is the treatment?

  • Prevention is certainly better. Graduated Compression Stockings should be used for every patient immediately after the removal of Plaster Cast, Nails, Plates or Fixators etc.
  • If the patient has already got swelling then the stockings should be first made as per the morning measurements (when the swelling is minimum) and should be progressively corrected.
  • Physiotherapy forms an imprtant part of the treatment in such cases but joints don't become totally mobile till the oedema is taken care of.

If left untreated?

  • Left untreated Post Cast Oedema causes a lot of pain and discomfort to the patient.
  • The mobility of the joints especially ankle and knee gets affected.
  • Can lead to permanent changes in the texture of the skin and cause changes in the musculature and tissues. Can lead to cellulitis also.
  • Can lead to Non Healing Venous Ulcers



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