How To Shower With A Cast And Crutches
If you have an injured leg and have a cast and have to use crutches, you likely have some idea of how difficult it is to be mobile. Besides making food, doing laundry, and moving from one room to the next, your biggest challenge is likely to be taking a shower.
If you don’t know how to shower with a cast and crutches, you’re likely to become frustrated and potentially injure yourself. That’s why we’ll tell you how to shower with a cast and crutches. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know.
How Often Should You Shower When You Have A Cast And Are Using Crutches?
Showering with a cast and crutches can be difficult because you’re not allowed to get your cast wet. If your cast gets wet, you can lengthen your recovery time and risk getting an infection or irritating the skin inside the cast.
Since this is the case, most people are stressed about how often they should be bathing if they have a cast and use crutches. Luckily, if you’re using a waterproof cover to protect your cast, there is no reason for you to restrict how often you shower.
With a waterproof cover, you can shower as often as you need to as long as frequently standing in the shower won’t worsen your injury. If you aren’t going to use a protective covering that is waterproof on your cast, you will need to avoid showering. Instead, try to ‘bucket bath” with a bucket of water and a cloth.
Additionally, using a cover will ensure you don’t need to try and maneuver your body while trying to wash. This will prevent you from falling or your crutches from slipping.
Consider Getting Someone To Help You
When you use crutches, your balance is impaired. You’re far less mobile, especially if you have many injuries besides the one that requires wearing a leg cast and using crutches.
That’s why it’s highly recommended that if you cannot maneuver easily (so as not to get hurt or reinjure yourself), you allow someone to help you. If you don’t want a friend or family member to see you shower while you recover, you can hire a carer to help you with shower needs.
If you choose to shower without help, you need to note that you will be doing so for four to twelve weeks. This is usually how long a plaster leg cast needs to stay on. If you get your cast wet, you could face serious consequences like the ones we mentioned above.
Additionally, getting it wet weakens its integrity. When it is weakened, it won’t be able to support your injury, which could cause your injury to heal wrong. Having someone help you take a shower will ensure it doesn’t get wet, saving you a trip to your doctor or the emergency room.
Change Your Shower Habits To A Daily Bath
One of the easiest ways to bathe if you have a leg cast and don’t want to get wet is to switch from showering to bathing. However, you should note that if you have bad mobility, taking a bath will not be possible. You will need to maneuver to ensure your cast stays dry, and being in a bath makes this problematic.
To bath, you will have to ensure you have a bath chair with a sturdy floor grip. This will allow you to sit in the bath and keep your leg out of the water while you bathe. You will likely need other accessories to make the process easier.
Use Handy Shower Accessories
If you don’t have a bath or don’t want to sit in a bath, you should consider using a few shower accessories. The below accessories will help you get clean without risking wetting your leg cast or injury.
- Handheld showerhead and diverter: Do you want to shower but want to do it sitting down where you can easily control the spray? If so, you need a showerhead and diverter.
This attachment and shower device will let you shower while sitting in a shower chair. You will easily be able to hold the showerhead away from your cast to ensure it doesn’t get wet.
Ensure You Have A Convenient Bathroom Environment
Showering with a cast and crutches can be easier if you make sure to have a convenient bathroom environment.
This means that you need to make sure there is no clutter in your bathroom that your crutches can get hooked on when you make your way to and from the shower. You also need to ensure that your bathroom has ample lighting so that you don’t misstep and hurt yourself while using crutches.
You should also keep your crutches nearby while you’re showering, as you never know when you could need them to maneuver. We also recommend using a shower mat to stop you from slipping as you juggle showering while handling crutches.
Pro Tip: Make Sure You Move Slower To Keep Your Balance
The worst thing you can do while showering with a cast and crutches is move too quickly because you can lose balance. Whether moving around your bathroom or bathing yourself in a shower or tub, you need to move slowly. This will ensure your cast stays dry, but it will also stop you from getting further injuries.
Can You Shower With A Cast?
The answer is yes. Below we have explained the two ways you can make showering easy while keeping your leg cast dry. So continue reading to learn more about the DIY and store-bought methods.
How To Shower With A Cast
It’s now time to discuss exactly how you can shower without getting your casted leg wet. We will discuss the two methods you can use that involve accessories to keep your cast dry. Let’s dive into how you can waterproof your cast to make what we discussed above significantly easier to achieve.
Use A Store Bought Waterproof Leg Cast Accessory
Many companies make and sell reusable waterproof leg cast covers. These covers are specifically designed to cover the entirety of your cast and are made from durable materials like vinyl.
Some will also come with a pump to suck out the air so that a tight seal is formed against your leg. Most cast covers will last 6 to 8 weeks, are easily movable, and can be fully submerged in water and still keep your cast dry.
You should note that these cast covers come in different sizes and are comfortable to wear. Yet, you need to test the cover before using it in the shower as some are moisture-resistant and can withstand only some water. It’s usually best to use a store-bought cast cover because they have been designed to keep a cast dry in the shower.
Create Your Own DIY Waterproof Leg Cast Accessory
If you don’t want to buy a waterproof leg cast cover, you can create your own DIY version. But before we tell you how to do this, you need to know that a DIY version might not work as well, and you could end up with a wet cast.
To may your own DIY waterproof cast cover, all you need is a garbage bag and clear duct tape. You will need to get a large plastic garbage bag that can entirely cover your cast without leaving any of it exposed. You also need to ensure there are no holes in it.
With these materials, you will have to make a new cover each time you shower, which is why many prefer buying a waterproof leg cast cover.
When wrapping the plastic bag, make sure you tightly secure it around the opening of your cast. Once this is done, you need to duct tape it and check if it is properly waterproof.
Make Sure You Clean Your Cast
Despite what you might believe, you need to clean your cast. Cleaning your cast can end in disaster if you don’t know how to clean it properly. Fortunately, it’s a simple process. Have a look below to learn more.
- Begin by wiping the outside of your cast with a damp cloth. Yet, make sure that the damp cloth is not too wet as this could damage your cast. To test if it’s too wet, try wiping a small section to see if it leaves pools of wetness. If no pools occur, it’s fine to use.
- After doing an initial wipe, you need to use a 10% bleach solution to do a second wipe-over. The 10% bleach solution won’t damage your cast and will get the first or markings off of it. Yet, don’t be too vigorous. You need to gently wipe the damp cloth with the bleach over your cast to get it clean.
That’s all you need to do to get your leg cast clean! How often you do this process will depend on how dirty your cast gets.
How To Get In And Out Of Your Bathtub With One Leg
Getting in and out of your bath can be difficult if you have a leg cast and need to use crutches. Luckily if you use a bath stool and a grip bar, you can easily achieve this feat. Using a bath stool will ensure you don’t need to pull yourself up from a low height, putting less pressure on your leg when you need to get out.
Having the grip located near your bath stool will let you easily pull yourself up. After you do that, you can use the bath itself to get in and out. To do this, you should hold onto this grip while you get in and out with the leg that doesn’t have the cast on it while using the edge of a bathtub as a seat. This will allow you to grab your crutches easier.
Yet, you need to know that most grips are not designed to support your entire weight but rather as a balance. So be careful not to rely solely on it when getting out of the bath.
How Do You Go To The Bathroom With Crutches?
Another significant challenge you will face when you have a leg cast is going to the bathroom. Using the toilet with a cast and crutches can be time-consuming because most toilets are low. Thus maneuvering on and off a toilet seat is difficult.
Are Crutches Waterproof?
Many companies manufacture waterproof crutches. You can buy traditional waterproof crutches, and you can get a knee crutch that is waterproof.
Before using your crutches in the shower, you need to ensure they are allowed to go in the water. Some will deteriorate after you expose them to water, potentially causing you injury.
Now you know everything you need to know about how you can take a shower with a cast and crutches. As you can see, it isn’t as difficult as you might think. As long as you follow the tips we provided and use one of the waterproof cover methods, you should encounter no problems.