Anything to be done for a smelly cast?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    We've hopefully got 1 week 1 day to go with- this darn thing. Diva has been simply *amazing* with it. A real trooper and really no complaints from her, which is just shocking! It's started itching the last couple days, but so far, she's only at minimal griping level about it. She has said that her knee doesn't hurt, where it used to hurt/ache 24/7, so hopefully that means the surgery was successful.

    Anyhoo... we've devised a decent bathing ritual for her and that's going well. Cast has stayed dry as a bone - absolutely, positively, no doubt whatsoever. But... we're getting her cleaned up tonight and ... there's this smell again. I've only noticed it the last couple of days, thought maybe she wasn't cleaning thoroughly. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I finally asked her tonight, and right as the words came out of my mouth, the light bulb went off. It's her cast. And It stinks.

    Anything to be done for it? I'm mostly afraid the kids at school will start noticing it (it's kinda hard *not* to notice). I know we can't spray perfume down the thing, LOL, tempting as it is. Duct tape? Plastic bags? Febreze (ok, not really, but again very tempting)? Baking soda?

    I know we're in the final stretch, but I'm afraid we're going to need clothes pins on our noses by next Thursday. I've already got bubble bath for her to soak in the second we get home from getting the thing taken off. ;)
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Fabric softener sheets? Maybe tape them around the exterior overnight? April fresh by morning? Just guessing! Poor dear!

    Otherwise, can you sprinkle some odor eater powder down there? The kind meant for smelly feet may work...
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, when we've gotten to that point, I just called up and changed the appointment to have a new cast put on. If your insurance covers it, you may want to try that.
    But the fabric softener sheets idea is a good one. Maybe stuff one in there if she's not allergic to perfume?
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have not ever had a cast, but I know that smell from when friends had them.

    The smell can be a sign of serious skin problems or fungal infections. It is usually a result of moisture, which most likely is from sweat. I did a quick online search and came up with this link that could be helpful:

    While you can try the baking soda to absorb/neutralize the odor, I woudl call the doctor. Chances are that they can do an xray now and it may be that it could come off a week early. Some people heal faster than others, esp if they are not using or around tobacco. Tobacco keeps your bones from healing as fast and MANY of the estimates for how long it takes to heal a break are based on experience. We are a country that has drastically reduced tobacco use and so those estimates may be longer than what a non-user actually needs. Some people also just heal faster for no reason other than that their bodies heal faster. So an xray a week early may mean the cast can come off now, or it may not. But it may be that if you leave the cast on as is another week, the skin will continue to break down and can lead to infections that can be difficult to get rid of.

    So call the doctor, and have it looked and and if needed, changed. Better to take that precaution for a week than to have her face terrible sores and potential scarring from them. My skin now breaks down if it gets wet for very long at all, and the scars on my body are horrible. Ducky is a beautiful young lady in more ways than her appearance, but this is a health issue, not just an appearance issue.

    I am so glad her knee isn't hurting any more. That is WONDERFUL and I hope it is this way for decades to come!
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Thank you guys, and especially you, Susie!!! I didn't google this last night, didn't even occur to me that it might be something that needs to be looked at. She does have some bumps under the cast at the top of the thigh - can't see them but I have felt them after she complained of itching.

    Feeling really stupid this morning, but also very thankful that you guys are here. Will be calling ortho first thing.
  6. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    The doctor will give you a new one. Call him today, they'll do it right away.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes - Susie is right....I'd be concerned about skin infection / fungal issues...

    Glad you will be talking to the doctor - keep us posted!

    Meanwhile (because I absolutely mis-read the title of thread when I first saw it....and something COMPLETELY different came to mind)....a little something to cheer Diva up:

    Smelly cast, Sme-lly cast...
    What are they feeding you?
    Smelly cast, sme-lly cast...
    It's not your fa-a-ault!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There have been more than a few times when I was in the middle of something and came here and someone else was able to do what later 'seemed' like an obvious thing to find the answers I needed. It is when you are actually dealing wtih the issue that you just don't have time or the spare brain cells to look this stuff up. That is what your female friends are for! Glad that the info I found helped. I hope they change her cast if she still needs it. I deal with constant skin problems and they are ugly and painful and sometimes can take weeks to clear up if they are not treated fairly soon.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Actually, it's fairly normalish for the cast to begin to smell at this point if it's not been changed at all.

    With Travis they checked him fairly frequently to see how his arm was healing......about every two weeks and actually changed the cast when they did it. He started with one clear up to his shoulder. That one was removed and it went to his elbow. Two weeks later he was checked again and it turned out it was fully healed so they removed it completely. We didn't have too bad an odor due to the frequent cast changes.

    Nichole's was a different story......They didn't change hers at all (different hospital/doctor) the whole time and it got rather whiff by the 5th week. Hers also was able to be removed a bit early because it was healed. (think of wearing the same outfit for 5 weeks)

    There is temptation to scrub the skin once that cast is off, but be careful because the skin will be tender. Have her scrub gently to remove dead skin only.....which is what is causing the itching. It doesn't take long for the skin to return to normal usually.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My borderline Learning Disability (LD) reading.... I read this as smelly cats. Remember the Friends episode with Phoebe singing smelly cat smelly cat, what are they feeding you???? smelly cat smelly cat, its not your fault.....

    Anyway, thanks for getting THAT stuck in my head! LOL

    (I know nothing about casts, sorry, just felt like being a pest)