Cast-Related complications in patients with limb fractures: A cross-sectional study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

3 Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran



Background and Objectives: Casting is the most commonly used method of treating fractures and protecting injured limbs. Nevertheless, inappropriate casting can cause severe complications. This study investigated the frequency of cast-related complications and some of the associated factors. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 289 patients with limb fractures requiring casting. The study was conducted from November 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021. Postcasting complications were assessed using a checklist. Patients were instructed to examine the cast at home and report any complications to the researcher by telephone. Frequency, percentage, Chi-square, Fisher's exact test, and univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to analyze the data. Results: The mean age of the patients was 36.51 ± 1.72 years. Most patients (52.6%) had a short-leg cast. The mean duration of the cast was 2.66 ± 1.23 weeks. Most casts (82%) were applied by nurses. Totally, 85.5% of patients experienced at least one complication. Pain, numbness, movement disorders, swelling, and burning under the cast were the most common complications in the 1st week and occurred in 69.9%, 50.5%, 45%, 43.3%, and 39.4% of patients, respectively. In the regression analysis, patients' marital status, age, place of residence, mobility status, sex, and body mass index of patients as well as the person who applied the cast and his work experience, were associated with some of the complications (P < 0.05). Conclusion: More than two-thirds of the patients who participated in this study experienced at least a cast-related complication, indicating a high frequency of complications and the need to develop an appropriate follow-up program to prevent or timely diagnose and treat cast-related complications.


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