Above knee cast

picture of cast from thigh till mid of the foot

Doctor's advice

Your doctor’s advice

A doctor has assessed you and decided you need to go into an above knee cast.

These casts go from your thigh to the toes. This cast is used to immobilise the knee and ankle – usually for knee injuries or proximal lower limb injuries.

✓ Do

Keep your cast clean and dry

Getting it wet could irritate your skin. Either wrap a towel around it and keep away from water or purchase a waterproof cover (these are available online).

Do some exercises

Its important to keep your toes and knee moving. Clench your toes and open for 10 minutes every hour – this will help keep the muscles active and help the circulation. Do straight leg raises several times an hour and this will help reduce muscle weakness.

Keep the casted leg elevated

When you are either laying down or sitting, rest your leg on a cushion or pillow with your heel higher than your hip and your knee.

Get help if you need it

Contact plaster room if your cast becomes broken.

Be vigilant of cast rubbing/burning sensation inside cast. Contact plaster room ASAP.

If you have pain that cannot be controlled with pain relief you must attend A&E immediately.

Don't ✘

Don't remove your cast

Never attempt to remove a cast yourself.

Don't put plastic bags around the cast

Do not put plastic bags around the cast, these are not waterproof and can cause skin issues under the cast.

Don't stick objects in your cast if itching

This can cause additional skin problems under the cast that may require further medical treatment.

Never attempt to trim your cast

If there are rough edges or your skin is irritated around the ends, contact plaster room.

Warning sign


Swelling or the symptoms of swelling of the lower limbs is common post injury/surgery swelling will go up and down depending on the activity the patient is doing at the time.

Symptoms can include

  • Throbbing, numbness, tingling sensation
  • Change of skin colour to exposed areas of skin not in cast
  • Cast feeling tight

What to do

In order to alleviate swelling/symptoms of swelling, leg must be elevated with the foot higher than the hip joint – ideally toes in line with nose this should be done as much as possible – swelling is very common if you have had the leg elevated then you bring your leg down- it will swell but just need to elevate as soon as possible.

It is very important to keep the joints not in cast moving. See exercise video.

Better understand the pressure points

It is important to be vigilant of lower  limb casts rubbing/causing pain. Prolonged pressure on a certain area has the potential to cause skin damage Common areas this could occur in are

  • Around the heel and ankle areas
  • Around the edge of the casts especially near the little toe
  • Around the knee area
  • Around top of cast
Ankle and heel area
Need to check around edges of cast at toes and top of cast if red or rubbing then contact plaster room
picture of cast from thigh till mid of the foot
Around the knee
Keep heel floating like this
picture of cast from thigh till mid of the foot

See our self-help videos

Care of an above knee cast

Contact us

Phone icon

We are open

Before you ring us…

It is really important that you use this Plaster Room site to access all the advice and information that we think essential for your successful recovery.

Get help if you need it

Please only ring us for one of these specified reasons:

  • if your cast becomes broken
  • if you have a cast that is rubbing or burning
  • if the cast is causing red area around the edge of the cast
  • if you have pain that cannot be controlled with pain relief

Tel: 01274 364174