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6 week x-ray - cast on or off? What questions to ask?

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by Lori, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Lori

    Lori Guest

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    I called to make an appointment with my doctor for my 6 week check for a 5th met break, and hopefully get the cast off. The nurse asked if I was to have the x-ray before or after the cast was removed and I had no idea. She is checking with the doctor and will get back to me, but I'm wondering what normal practice is? I do know the doctor said before they get a better picture with the cast off, of course, so could see him wanting that, but assume they would then put me in a boot or something if it's not healed to the right amount?

    Also, should I expect to be able to put my foot in a shoe of some sort once the cast is taken off? Just want to know what to bring with me and the nurses don't always know.

    A bit concerned as well as my doctor is fully booked up and I have to have another doctor in the practice take the cast off etc. unless I want to wait to the 7 week mark to see my own doctor (NOT!).

    Do you have suggestions about what I should ask re: after the cast is removed? I am going to ask about weight bearing and whether to expect swelling, etc. but what are some other good questions to ask my doctor?
  2. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Just take a slipper or something that you can put on it if needed since you don't know if you will be moved into something else to immoblize your foot. If you're going to a plaster room in a hospital, then I would assume a technician will take off your cast-that's one of their jobs.

    It's pretty basic questions-ask the Doc what is next regarding weightbearing and how to begin weight bearing if you have never done this before, are you being referred to physio or are there ROM that you should do, when do you return if you are to come back....it's your Doc's job to tell you what is next.
  3. Foot Doc

    Foot Doc Guest

    Although the x-ray could be taken through the cast, generally the cast would be taken off before the x-rays were taken unless it was reasonable assumption that the bone had not yet healed. That, however would be your doctor's decision. If the cast is removed and the bone is not sufficiently healed, the doctor will decide the appropriate form of immobilization. It will probably a while before you can place your foot in your normal shoe, but that depends on your doctor's assessment. If the nurse doesn't know what you should bring with you, I would assume that she has speaking privileges with the doctor and can ask him/her and call you back. If your doctor is competent and has done this before, he/she should give you all the details of what you are likely to expect and what you can and cannot do. I would definitely ask him/her about physical therapy, either professional or self-administered, as some form of PT is always required after being cast for several weeks. Do not leave the office until you know what to expect and have been told what to do and not to do.

  4. Lori

    Lori Guest

    Thanks for your reply. I will take a sock and just use the slipper I've been wearing over my cast and see how the shoe thing happens when I get home.

    As for questions: I have found I haven't been told anything in this whole process without asking. Even the day I got my cast, it was me who had to ask if I should put weight on it. (no for the first week), even that I couldn't get it wet or anything. I think sometimes doctors forget that not everyone has dealt with a cast and a broken bone. Then when I got my cast changed, I wasn't told to come back at 6 weeks, whether I had the x-ray before or after the cast was changed, etc. I had to ask about weight bearing. That's why I'm asking about questions, as I don't know what to expect afterwards that I should ask about beforehand. (Getting ahold of a doctor via phone is difficult as it's a very busy practice)
  5. Lori

    Lori Guest

    FootDoc, I hadn't noticed your reply when I replied last, so that was directed to the first person.

    My doctor's nurse phoned back, and they will be doing the x-ray through the cast. If for some reason it doesn't come off as I expect (fingers crossed), they might want to replace it anyway as it's been loose the last 2 weeks (not sloppy loose, but I can move my ankle around quite a bit when I'm sitting). Positive thinking says it won't be an issue as it'll be GONE.

    As far as the doctor telling me what I need to know, I've found so far that if I don't ask, I don't get told very much. It's almost like they forget that not everyone has dealt with casts or broken bones in their lives before. I know I'm in my 50's, but this is my first real broken bone (had small hairline fractures before but never been in a cast and neither have my kids or hubby). I wasn't even told not to get my cast wet or anything like that -- good thing common sense told me I couldn't. At the time, I was so flabbergasted that I'd done this to myself, I couldn't think of any questions other than if I should put any weight on it.

    I had gone to physio because my shoulder was bothering me so much with the crutches, and asked him about my foot and what types of things to do, and he gave me some exercises to do (ankle rotations and writing the alphabet in the air were the best, he said). I will start with that for sure, but will definitely ask if I should have more than that.

    Thanks to both posters for saying not to expect to be in a shoe right off. If I do manage to be able to do that fairly soon after, I'll be (figuratively) jumping for joy, but wouldn't want to expect to and then not be able to.

    I am definitely counting the days until next Tuesday ... My foot was really sore this past week when putting any amount of weight on it, but all of a sudden today it feels much better, not half as sore. I guess it's just like recovering from surgery -- you feel you'll never heal, then suddenly there's a big improvement.

    Thanks again.

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