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The patient should be warned that the leg in the plaster will feel cool and moist. This is due to the evaporation of water from the plaster. Once the cast is dry, the moist, cold feeling will disappear.

During the evaporation period, the casted limb should remain exposed and not fully covered by blankets.

Tip

Remember that the plaster requires over 24 hours to reach full strength.


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Compartment syndrome

Any plaster, especially one without adequate padding, carries a risk of causing obstruction of circulation and compartment syndrome.

In case of inappropriate pain, especially on passive dorsiflexion or plantarflexion of the toes, the plaster and padding should be split immediately down to skin, over its whole length, and the leg watched carefully for rapid recovery. It is better to lose the reduction than to risk muscle necrosis.

If the slightest suspicion of compartment syndrome remains, the plaster needs to be removed and urgent dermatofasciotomy considered.