Managing your lower limb cast

You might have some pain after your fracture or surgery, especially in the first couple of days.

It is important to take pain relief medicine as advised. This is so you can move other the joints which are not covered by the cast.

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you are taking pain relief medicine and you are still in too much pain to move.


  • Do keep your cast dry. Some people find it useful to buy a cast protector.
  • Do keep your leg elevated when you are sitting down for the next few days.


  • Do not push anything into your cast.
  • Do not remove the cast.
  • Do not drive unless you have been informed by your doctor that you can (you are unlikely to be insured).


It is important to keep the joints which are not covered by the cast moving. This will stop them getting stiff. Your physiotherapist will give you an exercise sheet to guide you. 


There are no restrictions on how much you can move the leg but you might have been asked to not put any weight on it.

This is known as weight-bear. It means when you stand up, or are standing, or walking, you cannot touch that foot on the floor, or rest it on the other leg.

If you are not sure whether or not you are allowed to weight-bear, ask your physiotherapist or doctor. Do not weight-bear until you have been told you can. This is usually reviewed after 6 weeks.

If you do weight-bear you risk the bones moving out of the correct position, and you may need more surgery, or the injury may take longer to heal.

Follow-up appointment

You will have a follow up appointment at the fracture clinic.  At this appointment the doctors will check that your bones are healing well.

Seek medical advice or go to your nearest emergency department (A&E) if:

  • you have increasing pain in your leg
  • you have a fever (temperature higher than 38C)
  • you have ‘pins and needles’ or numbness in the limb with the cast
  • you have pus, discharge, wetness or a smell under the cast
  • you drop objects inside your cast
  • your toes become blue or swollen or you are unable to move your leg

Resource number 4867/VER3
Published date: March 2024
Review date: March 2027

Trusted Information Creator. Patient Information Forum

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about lower limb casts, please contact:

George Perkins Ward
Phone: 020 7188 8748, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and ask to speak to the nurse in charge.

Outside of these hours if you have any concerns, please speak to your GP or go to your nearest emergency department (A&E).

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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