Jump to content

Should I remove plaster myself (update post#24)
opinions please??

  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 tle

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

Some of you may remember my post last month about my DD's broken arm. Briefly, I took her to hospital A which x-rayed and diagnosed break. They put a half cast on, told me it would need to be on for a minimum of 2 weeks and referred her to a GP in a weeks time. The GP said she didn't treat breaks and hospital A should have referred me to the fracture clinic at Hospital B so she gave me a referral for there (and another x-ray referal to have done before visiting the fracture clinic). I phoned the fracture clinic and they refused to see DD because they only take referrals from hospitals, not GPs. Back to hospital A who can no longer help because she has been discharged and referred to GP.

So, in a nutshell, neither hospital A, hospital B nor our GP will see DD about her broken arm (which has been in a cast and not painful to her).

Now that it is almost 6 weeks I don't know what to do. General consensus seemed to be to take her to a physio who will remove the cast so I called in to see one yesterday and he told me that yes, he can remove the cast but only if I'm sure the fracture is healed.

My question is, how do I find that out? She had the x-ray done this morning and the reposrt says:

"They're are healing greenstick type fractures of the distal radius and ulna with some periosteal reation. Detail is obscured by overlying plaster.
There is mild focal deformity on the dorsal aspect of the radial fracture but no significant displacement of angular is seen.
The alignment of the ulna fracture appears to be essentially anatomical."

Based on that, do you think it is safe to remove the plaster?  I know the standard response is to seek expert medical advice but given that neither of the 2 nearby hospitals, nor our GP or physio will give advice I need to decide myself.

Edited by tle, 23 November 2012 - 03:42 PM.

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:34 PM

Can the physio read the report?

#3 Soontobegran

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

Take the report to the physio and they will confirm it is ready to be removed. original.gif

#4 tle

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

When I spoke to the physio he told me he could remove it at a cost of $10 but I nedded to know myself whether or not it was safe to do so beforehand.

#5 Tenacious C

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:51 PM

Can you see another physio - all the physio's I have seen have been happy to review x-ray reports and determine whether a cast should some off.

#6 tle

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

There is a 2nd physio in town. I might stop in with the xray report tomoprrow and see what she said.

#7 Green Fairy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

Can you see another GP? DD saw the fracture clinic once after her break and then our GP ordered the final xray and removed the cast.

#8 Overtherainbow

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

When I broke my arm, the GP at the hospital (country town) removed my plaster.  My arm was re-xrayed to check all was fine.  Remember I'm old so this was 20 years ago.

When DD broke hers it was removed by an orthopaedic surgeon, x-ray done to check all had healed.  Not a bad break but still referred to an ortho.

I wouldn't remove it without a medical professional telling me it's fine.  Is there a health number you can ring who can tell you where to go?

#9 Chelli

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:02 PM

How awful you've been given the run around so badly by the professionals who are supposed to help you. I would not take the plaster off myself though as I can not read an xray report.

Good idea to see the other physio. Good luck with it.

#10 QueenElsa

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

What an awful situation. Is there another GP?  Otherwise turn up at Hospital B's ED - they will be able to get you into fracture clinic.

6 weeks should be fine for it to heal but the site of the fracture should be examined for tenderness - if it's really sore when pressed its not ready for the cast to come off.

Write complaints to both hospitals - utterly appalling.

#11 Linda6

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:15 PM

I broke my ankle about 15 years ago now. The hospital put on a half cast which was supposed to be there until swelling went down but it fell off after less than 2 days so I had a full cast put on which was supposed to be taken off after 2 weeks and replaced but that never happened.
The cast started cracking at the bottom and cutting my foot so after 6 weeks I decided to remove it myself.
I wouldn't recommend it, while my foot felt fine while in the cast as soon as it was removed it was obvious it was not healed. I just strapped it and didn't bother getting it checked (but I was 20 and knew everything) and I don't think it ever healed properly.
I would definitely not recommend removing the cast unless you know it has healed.
It does seem strange that neither your doctor or the hospitals will help you. Can you phone and speak to someone in charge and explain the situation?

#12 Rosiebird

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

Go to ED, ask for a plaster removal and x-ray. ED can refer to fracture clinic or remove the cast that day.

#13 mumto3princesses

Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:37 AM

I would try to see an orthopedic surgeon or see if another physio can read the report. Or find another GP to read it as they should have some understanding of an x-ray report.

My DD1 broke those bones a few years ago. But she had surgery to put her bones back in place and a full plaster.  When the plaster was removed 6 weeks later the surgeon actually thought about replastering it again. In the end he decided it would be ok but she was very restricted in what she was allowed to do and he told he a number of times that 1 fall will most certainly result in it braking again. So I wouldn't be doing anything until I found someone who could actually read the x-ray.

#14 regandrog

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:04 AM

I've broken my arm 3 times, it all started with a break when i was 8 that didn't heal properly, so I would never remove a plaster from one of my kids myself.

Who referred the recent xray? And given the 6 weeks have passed and you need to follow up I'd go back to Hospital A or B. Don't just let them pass you off.

#15 Therese

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

I would go to the ED or see another physio before getting the cast removed. It must be so frustrating to not be given specific instructions.

#16 Soontobegran

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:55 AM

OP in your post you said it was a half cast, did they eventually put on a permanent one?
If it is a half cast I can't see how a physio can charge you to remove it as it only involves unwinding a bandage? huh.gif

#17 aprilrain

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:59 AM

I would ring 'A' back and ask to speak to somebody higher up. They have her records. How can it be possible to not be able to refer her to 'B'.

It is often amazing what somebody else can do when you have been told it is 'impossible', even though it should be simple and logical.

#18 tle

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

Yes, it's only a half cast. She never got to have a full one put on because we've been going around in circles trying to get someone to see her. That's why I was tempted to remove it myself. I know it will be easy to get off but I need to know if its healed or not first. I was hoping the wording on the x-ray report would make the decision easy but because it says "healing" and not "healed" I'm still no clearer to making a decision.

#19 samemnik

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:21 AM

What a crock!

So some bean counters at hospital A and B can refuse to let her be seen and thus have inadequate follow up because of some stupid protocols.  Did they stop to think who was going to see her if they said no?  Like the fracture would miraculously go away?

She was seen at Hospital A so I would be ringing them and demanding that they organise something.  She is lucky that it sounds like it is healing ok and won't have long term problems, but that follow up is appalling.

And please, go through their complaints procedures and do it in writing.  Its a total disgrace.

#20 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

What a nightmare.   I would go back to the ED of one or other hospital and not leave until it's sorted.

I broke my arm at age 6 and it healed twisted and had to be rebroken and reset.

#21 Mumsyto2

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

If there is a fracture clinic at Hospital B I would rock up to the ED and tell them you are there as you want someone to take it off (and provide X ray report). They will refer you to the fracture clinic there if there is a problem.

I am not a fan of people rocking up to ED for things such as this but I feel you have been placed in a ridiculous position due to some weird beurocracy and in this case I see it as the simplest way forward.  Alternatively pay a physio to read the report and remove if they are happy.

#22 tle

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

I've made an appt for the physio this afternoon so hopefully he will read the xray report and know what to do.

I'm reluctant to make a formal complaint to the hospital because I know that it's the individual Drs and nurses that will cop the blame not the system that is at fault.  I used to work in recruitment for both the hospitals involved and I know that the vast majority of medical staff within them do a great job in very difficult circumstances.

I let you know what the physio says. Hoefully it will all be over by this afternoon.

#23 ComradeBob

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

Crossing my fingers for you tle  original.gif

#24 tle

Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

Back from the physio and still no closer to getting an answer.  Turns out that yes, he can remove a plaster but not without prior approval of a "medical professional".  Something to do with medical insurance. To his credit, he did ring 2 orthopeadic surgeons, my GP and a 2nd GP in an attempt to read the xray report to them and get their OK. Sadly, none of them would give the OK without a personal consultation and none could get me an appt within a reasonable time frame.

He's given me the names of some peadiatricians to make an appt with but again, they have waiting lists that are several weeks (if not months) long for new patients.

So basically, I'm right back where I started from.

The physio did tell me however, that looking at the xrays and the report everything is as he would expect it to be and there is nothing to indicate any problems. He also said that six weeks is routinely the amount of time a plaster stays on even for more severe breaks so it would be very unusual for a greenstick fracture to need longer than that.

Based on that, and the fact that I've run out of places to try and get an answer, I've decided that I'm going to remove the cast myself tomorrow. I'd do it today but DD has a dance concert rehearsal tomorrow and it would be just her luck to fall and injure it again. SO, as soon as the rehearsal is over, the cast is coming off.

#25 idignantlyright

Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

Does your local hospital have a GP clinic?
They should be able to help you there.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


9 things I need to thank my parents for

You really don't realise everything your parents did for you until you find yourself doing them for your own children ... vomit catching and all.

The adventurous baby who's already putting safety first

When you're a baby, even getting off a bed and onto the floor can be a tricky procedure.

The story behind the love video that went viral

It is a quiet video, less than a half-minute long. It features no flourishes to speak of. It has no kittens doing kitten things. None of the things that often make a video go viral.

Anthony and Elle Watmough's joyous news as baby cleared of fatal condition

Rugby league star Anthony Watmough and his wife Elle have shared their joy at learning their unborn baby, who was thought to have Trisomy 18, was cleared of the fatal condition.

Win a family farmstay with Shaun the Sheep

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, Essential Kids and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering one winner and their family a holiday to a farm.

How I learnt to be a better friend

I may have lost that particular friend years ago, but I have gained so much from that experience.

What goes in the nappy bag?

It's far more than just a bag for nappies - it's the travel companion for your baby that should contain all the things you might need when away from home base.

The nature naming trend

The biggest joy of our daughter's name is that people really light up when they hear it (pun intended).

Win a Justine Clarke Pyjama Jam! prize pack

The Pyjama Jam! tour will see Justine Clarke returning to more intimate venues around Australia, creating the perfect comfy and cozy atmosphere for a PJ party.

Parents of baby born without part of his skull stand up to critics

When Brittany and Brandon Buell's son Jaxon was born missing much of his brain and skull, doctors said he only had days to live.

Baby plans are 'none of your business'

Emily Bingham had been asked about her baby making plans one too many times. 

Diet shakes to lose weight? Think again

Thinking of investing in meal replacement shakes to slim down ahead of summer?

Study offers support for cancer treatment during pregnancy

It is among the most delicate and difficult dilemmas in medicine: Should a pregnant woman who has received a cancer diagnosis begin treatment before her child is born?

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

64 baby names based in nature

Looking for a baby name with a nod to nature, or one with an organic meaning? Check out our list to get inspired.

What coffee does to your body

That cup of Joe is just the boost your body needs.

Mum leaves triplets at hospital because she can't afford them

An illiterate and poverty stricken mother has abandoned her newborn triplets at hospital because she cannot afford to care for them.

I gave my daughter up for adoption - then tried to be her mum

The first time my oldest daughter called me 'Mum', she was 17.

Rainbow Babies lighting up the internet

A recent Facebook photo post is prompting widespread discussion of an emotional topic for many parents: rainbow babies.

The new wave of virgins giving birth

Dozens of young women have had virgin births after undergoing IVF in Britain, it has been reported.

'It sort of became an addiction': parents buying, reselling Bonds Wondersuits

Your baby might be crawling around in hundreds of dollars worth of clothing.

Adjusting your child to daylight savings time

A one-hour difference to the day is pretty big deal when you're little.

Born too soon: life on the margins of existence

The frontiers of life are advancing ever further into uncharted territory.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.