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Soft cast casting tape advice

Patient information A-Z

This leaflet has been written to help your understanding of soft cast casting tape and answers many commonly asked questions.

If you have any other questions that the leaflet does not answer or would like more information please contact the plaster room using the contact details at the end of this leaflet.

Soft cast

Soft cast is a semi-rigid material. It offers support in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, minor injuries in adults and greenstick fractures in children.

It can be applied alone or in combination with other synthetic rigid materials, such as fibreglass, allowing it versatility, ease of use and simple removal.

Soft cast is touch dry in three to four minutes and reaches full strength in 30 minutes.

Soft cast removal

Soft cast can either be removed with a pair of scissors or by being unwound. Unwrapping requires two people.

One person to hold the limb still, the other person unpicks the end of the bandage and can begin to unwind the bandage down to the gauze.

Once the bandage has been removed, cut the gauze with scissors and remove.

To remove the cast with bandage scissors, cut where you have been instructed by the clinician.

Squeeze the cast to lift it away from the limb and cut along the bandage.

If you are unsure in any way about the removal of the cast, please contact the plaster room (details at the end of this leaflet).

Non-urgent advice: Please do not:

  • push anything down inside the cast
  • cut, heat or remove your cast unless specifically advised to by your clinician
  • let the cast get wet, as this could cause the cast to disintegrate or cause problems with the skin underneath

Non-urgent advice: Please do:

  • keep the limb elevated when not in use
  • encourage the use of joints not in the cast, ie fingers, elbow, toes, knee
  • contact the plaster room at Addenbrooke’s with any of the following problems:
    • if an object becomes accidentally stuck inside your cast
    • your fingers or toes become blue or swollen, or if you are unable to move the limb
    • pain, numbness or pins and needles in your fingers/toes
    • any pain from inside the cast such as pressure or rubbing
    • if you have any wetness, discharge or smell from under the cast

Please phone the plaster room if you experience any of these problems or for advice.

Monday to Friday 08:00 to 17:30 telephone: 01223 217772

All other times phone Accident and Emergency, telephone: 01223 217118.

For useful information visit the Fracture Clinic website (opens in a new tab).

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151