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Cast supplies (e.g., plaster)

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Cast Supplies (e.g., Plaster)
Common Name: Cast application
Medical Term: Immobilization using plaster cast supplies


Casting is a procedure used to immobilize a broken bone, a sprain, or other musculoskeletal injuries to allow proper healing. It involves wrapping the injured area with cast supplies, often made of plaster or fiberglass.


Casting addresses musculoskeletal injuries by holding the affected area in place to:

  • Prevent movement of broken bones
  • Support healing
  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Protect the injured area from further damage


  • Fractures
  • Severe sprains or strains
  • Post-surgical immobilization
  • Correction of bone deformities

Patients who have experienced trauma leading to a bone injury or have undergone orthopedic surgery often require casting.


  • Patients should inform their healthcare provider about any allergies or medications they are taking.
  • Depending on the injury, X-rays or other imaging tests may be required beforehand.
  • No special fasting or medication adjustments are typically needed.

Procedure Description

  1. Assessment: The healthcare provider assesses the injury and decides on the type of cast needed.
  2. Padding Application: Soft, protective padding is first applied to the area to be casted.
  3. Plaster/Fiberglass Application: Wet rolls of plaster or fiberglass are wrapped around the padded area, forming a hard shell as they dry.
  4. Molding: The material is molded to ensure proper fit and immobilization.
  5. Drying: The cast is allowed to dry and harden, which may take several minutes to a few hours.

The tools used include rolls of plaster or fiberglass, padding materials, and water. The procedure typically doesn't require anesthesia.


The procedure usually takes about 20-30 minutes.


Casting is performed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctors' offices.


  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Nurse or medical assistant
  • Radiologic technologist (for imaging)

Risks and Complications

  • Skin irritation or sores
  • Tightness and swelling
  • Allergic reactions to casting materials
  • Poor circulation due to a too-tight cast
  • Infection, if the skin under the cast is affected


  • Stabilizes the injured area, facilitating proper healing.
  • Reduces pain and swelling.
  • Protects against further injury.
  • Allows more stable and effective bone healing.

Patients typically start experiencing relief from pain and discomfort almost immediately after the cast hardens.


  • Patients should keep the cast dry and clean.
  • Avoid inserting objects inside the cast to scratch the skin.
  • Follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor the healing process.
  • The cast usually stays on for several weeks, depending on the injury.
  • Physical activity may be limited while the cast is on.


  • Splints: Less restrictive and often temporary.
  • Braces: Adjustable for minor injuries or post-surgery support.
  • Surgery: For severe fractures, pins or plates may be required.

Each alternative comes with its pros and cons. For instance, braces provide more flexibility but may not offer the same level of immobilization as casts.

Patient Experience

Patients may feel some initial discomfort as the cast is molded and set. However, as the cast hardens, discomfort often subsides. Pain management may include over-the-counter pain relievers. Patients should report any unusual pain, swelling, or odors to their healthcare provider immediately.

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