Cast removal: Step-by-step photos

Once you know how a cast saw works without cutting you, you may want to see what the process actually looks like.

Since we have been there and done that, we have these 11 step-by-step pictures taken while getting a fiberglass cast removed.
Cast away: Step-by-step cast removal

After an injury to the left ankle broke the fibula in two places (a lateral malleolus fracture), a hard cast was required to help the bone heal. Splints were used for the first 2.5 weeks, then the fiberglass cast being removed below was in place for four weeks.

cast removal step 1
Step 1: Beginning to cut with a cast saw, starting on the outer side at the top

cast removal step 2
Step 2: Continuing to cut the cast down the back of the calf

cast removal step 3
Step 3: Moving the cast saw to cut along the outer edge of the foot

cast removal step 4
Step 4: Starting the second cut, on the inside of the leg at the top

cast removal step 5
Step 5: Getting some depth on the saw, and some heat was felt

cast removal step 6
Step 6: Cutting the cast along the inside of the ankle

cast removal step 7
Step 7: Beginning the final cut, starting on the inside of the foot at the toes

cast removal step 8
Step 8: Using a cast spreader tool to separate the cast shell for removal

cast removal step 9
Step 9: Cutting the cast padding and stockinette with bandage scissors

cast removal step 10
Step 10: Cast shell is open, with the last piece of stockinette to be cut

Also see: How does a cast saw work without cutting you?

leg after cast removal
Step 11: 6.5 weeks after injury, and after 2.5 weeks in splints, and 4 weeks in a fiberglass cast, the leg with the broken ankle (on the left/bottom) has lost a lot of muscle tone, is more swollen, and there’s a lot of dry skin.

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