What to do if after removing the cast from the hand there is swelling and severe pain

If after removing the cast, the hand swells and hurts a lot, this is not a reason to sound the alarm. Why? Gypsum application prevents normal blood flow in the injured limb. After its elimination, blood flow is gradually restored. This is painful in itself. But the unpleasant sensations are enhanced by the fact that the limb was damaged and the consequences of this still make themselves felt.

While blood flow is limited, nerve endings send pain signals to the brain not so actively. Over time, pain and swelling go away. But there are situations in which their appearance is an alarming symptom.

What happens to the vessels after removing the cast

The vessels begin to quickly fill up with blood. During the time that the hand was in a horizontal position and was slightly transmitted, they “lost the habit” of performing their direct function.

In the first hours or even days of restoration of a normal state (vertical, without pulling), the vessels learn to cope with a large flow of blood. Since they have successfully done this all their previous lives, adaptation is quick.


So that the hand does not hurt and does not swell after removing the cast, you need to increase the load gradually. You should not immediately take up the usual things, especially requiring weight lifting. You can do light exercises. Push-ups, pull-ups are strictly contraindicated. If the pain becomes too strong, you can take painkillers or apply local remedies.

Also, to help the limb adapt, you need to lift it up and hold it vertically. Attention! This can not be done for a long time, since normal blood flow is necessary for quick tissue repair.

You can also fix your hand horizontally with a bandage or just lie down. If significant swelling and pain persists for more than a week, consult a doctor.

If the swelling is very strong

If the edema is very strong even after a few hours after removing the sponge, you need to contact a specialist. The cause of this condition is usually vascular constriction (neurodystrophic syndrome). Unfortunately, this symptom still develops while the gypsum is applied, and this indicates its improper application. But under the blindfold it’s hard to understand what is happening with the hand.

If the doctor has incorrectly applied the bandage, most likely he will not be able to determine the presence of problems. If, after removal of the cast and long-term maintenance of the edema, he denies the problem, it is better to look for another doctor. VAT often occurs in fractures with an offset.

A more rare case is the formation of blood clots ins />

How to relieve swelling?

If edema and pain after removal of the gypsum are not pathological, physical education, physiotherapy, and drug therapy will help against them. As already mentioned, a serious load is contraindicated, but any patient can perform flexion and extension of the arm. Since this improves blood flow, pain can also intensify due to better supply of nerve endings. This is normal.

  • Physiotherapy. It is important to go through the prescribed number of procedures. For example, there are 10 of them for mangitotherapy;
  • Magnetotherapy significantly reduces edema;
  • Electrophoresis It is used in combination with drugs. They quickly penetrate into blood vessels and blood; pain decreases in a short time;
  • Massage. Only a special therapeutic massage suitable for trained specialists is suitable. Relaxing massage professionals can only hurt. Also, simple massage movements can be done independently. They should be shown by the doctor. The number of sessions is 10-15. If the procedure is carried out at home, you need to perform it every day, this will shorten the recovery period.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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If the hand hurts and swells after removing the cast, the doctor usually prescribes an ointment. Tablets – only with a severe pain symptom. Ointment is applied to the hand 2-3 times a day. In order not to encounter allergies, any external agent is first tried on a small (healthy) area of ​​the skin, and then used on the affected area (but not on an open wound, unless the instructions show otherwise).

Prescribing injections is a painful way to relieve pain and swelling from the arm. In most cases, injections can be successfully replaced with ointments or physiotherapy using drugs. In extreme cases – in pills.

After a fracture of the radius

If the plaster was removed after a fracture of the radius, it is permissible to apply a bandage from a sterile bandage. The dressing is either simply wound (not too tight) or an ointment is placed under it, and then covered with a bandage. This will prevent excessive blood flow into the damaged organ, which means that the hand will gradually adapt to normal blood supply. As a massage after such a fracture, you can simply stroke your hand. It will also relieve pain.

As a result of a fracture of the radial bone, not only the bone itself is directly affected, but also muscles, ligaments, and vessels. To restore them, special techniques are used.

Pain after fracture of the radius with displacement

In fractures with displacement, as a rule, pain and swelling are more pronounced than after a fracture without it. This is due to significant deformation of tissues (both hard and soft). The healing process is longer, but the same rules apply for it as for a fracture without displacement: rest, light massage, the use of dressings with medications, physiotherapy, going to the doctor with symptoms for more than a week.

Treatment of pain and swelling of the arm at home after plaster removal

Many are interested in whether it is possible to cope with this problem at home. Yes, but the doctor can prescribe physiotherapy and modern drugs that are more effective than folk remedies. Massages and essential oils have already been mentioned.

Effective oils after fracture:

  • Fir;
  • Cedar;
  • Cypress;
  • Ginger;
  • Spruce;
  • Peppermint

The coniferous extract, which can be bought at a pharmacy or made by yourself, boils it in water for 0.5-1 hours, relieves swelling. You can add a little sea salt or a weak iodine solution to the needles extract and hold your hand in this mixture for 15-20 minutes.

When using essential oils, it is important not to “burn” your hand. To avoid this, they are mixed with base oils – apricot, wheat germ, sesame.

Situations in which pain and swelling of the arm after removal of the cast are alarming

If the doctor initially improperly applied the cast, and the fracture was displaced, the bone remains fixed in the wrong position. In this case, pain and swelling remain for a longer time than in normal situations.

To find out if this is your case, an x-ray will help. Also, a good doctor is able to determine by eye and touch that the bone has not grown together correctly. The more time has passed since the removal of the gypsum, the stronger the fracture will overgrow with bone tissue, and the more difficult it will be to correct it later. Therefore, it is important to do x-rays in a timely manner.

An infection is also a problem, due to which purulent cavities can form in the bone. Bone tissue cannot fully recover; a second fracture may even occur. The doctor should prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs.

With prolonged hemarthrosis (when blood is concentrated inside the joint), a person cannot fully bend and unbend his arm. To determine all these dangerous cases, you will need to consult a doctor, MRI, X-ray. Suspicion of them occurs when severe pain and swelling after removal of the cast lasts 7-10 days. With minor fractures, this period is even shorter.

Additional steps to relieve pain and swelling after removing the cast from the arm

In addition to the already mentioned flexions and extensions, you need to apply fine motor exercises. They promote blood flow throughout the arm, and healing is faster. You need to write, sort through the grits, print with your injured hand on the phone or computer.

Warming is also effective, for example, with a bottle of warm water. But its temperature should not exceed 40 degrees. And if there is a suspicion of infection, heating is contraindicated in principle.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues