Humeral brace

Humerus plaster cast

Doctor's advice

Your doctor’s advice

A doctor has assessed you and decided you need to go into a humeral brace.

The humerus (not so funny) bone is a bone in your upper arm and when broken is very painful. It needs very specialised care so that you can cope with the problems it brings.

The best way to manage your fracture is let your arm hang!

✓ 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

Making a fist and stretching fingers out will also help relieve swelling. It is very important to keep the joints not in cast moving. If struggling to make a fist, opposite hand can be used to help fingers flex and extend

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 position your arm incorrectly

  • No pillows under the elbow
  • No resting your arm on a chair or table
  • No lying flat in bed
  • No putting your injured arm in the sleeves of your clothes

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


Just let your arm hang!

Your arm will be very swollen and bruised for the first couple of weeks.

Be aware that your balance may be affected. Take extra care when walking and especially when coming down the stairs.

Symptoms can include

  • A fractured humerus can be very mobile and you may feel and hear the bone moving within the plaster.  This is not unusual but allowing your arm to hang loosely from the shoulder can minimise this from happening.
  • Throbbing, numbness, tingling sensation
  • Change of skin colour to exposed areas of skin not in cast
  • Cast feeling tight

What to do

  • To help reduce the swelling and stiffness in your wrist and hand you must keep moving by rotating your wrist and clenching your hand into a fist and then stretching your fingers out.
  • This is a very painful injury so take your prescribed painkillers regularly and remember to let the arm hang.
  • To wash the injured side lean forward and just let your arm swing forward from the shoulder. Do not lift your arm up. Use baby wipes or a well wrung out face cloth. (see video)
  • When you go to bed sleep well supported but sat up using pillows to support you.

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

Better understand the pressure points

Click/tap the photos below to understand where they are and how to avoid causing problems.

Underneath arm
Get someone to help daily to lean gently forward and check under the armpit are and elbow area for red/ sore areas
Cast from the elbow to the shoulder
Edge of the armpit
Check around the cast edges daily especially in the elbow area- if the cast has slipped off the shoulder contact plaster room
Humerus plaster cast

See our self-help videos

Care of humeral brace

Emergency situation

Warning sign

If you lose the feeling in your hand or are unable to lift your hand backwards then contact plaster room straight away.

Contact us

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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