How to Shower with a Broken Leg: A Simple Guide
If you’re recovering from an injury that requires you to wear any form of dressing or bandage that must not get wet, you’ll need to work out how best to clean while wearing it. In this short guide, we share our tips on how to shower with a broken leg.
Having to deal with a broken leg is a very difficult task. Sometimes, it can make it hard to do even the simplest of routine tasks, such as keeping clean.
Along with a leg break, there are a variety of injuries that require an injured person to wear a cast or bandage that must stay dry.
Getting a cast or bandage wet can jeopardise a swift recovery and may require you to have your bandaging re-dressed — an inconvenience at the best of times.
As such, getting yourself clean comfortably can be stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to get it right, and for some people, this might be very difficult — especially if mobility was already an issue prior to the leg break or similar injury.
With the help of a few basic tools and accessories, though, you can shower without worrying about damaging your bandage or cast. In this post, we’ll show you how.
First Things First: Are You Comfortable Washing on Your Own?
With a bit of practice, learning how to shower with a broken leg isn’t actually too hard for people whose other limbs are in tip-top condition. Good balance and a willingness to take it slow are the key factors here.
If you’re less mobile — if your balance isn’t great, you have multiple injuries or you are prone to slips and falls, for example — we’d recommend getting the help of a friend, carer or family member, at least initially.
This is vital because a plaster cast usually has to be left on for between four and twelve weeks, and getting it wet will weaken the cast’s integrity, meaning that it won’t be able to give your broken bone the support it needs to heal correctly.
If you try to take on too much, it can really set you back. The last thing you want on your way to recovery is something that pushes you back a few days or even weeks.
If you do get your cast or dressing significantly wet, you should contact your hospital, GP or minor injuries unit for advice as soon as possible.
Always ask for help if you think you might need it. Don’t feel embarrassed if you need that help. It’s just the way it is!
How to Waterproof Your Cast
Unlike with a broken wrist or arm, it’s going to be near impossible to just keep your leg out of the water when you get into the shower. You won’t be able to just hold your leg outside — at least, not without a few yoga lessons…
You’ll probably be struggling to balance while recovering from your injury — and balancing can be difficult at the best of times — so standing in a precarious or unstable manner is far from recommended!
You have two options when it comes to waterproofing: use a DIY solution or buy a professional product.
Showering with a Broken Leg by DIY Waterproofing
Because it’s tempting to consider, here’s a list of the best ways to waterproof a cast without going out and buying a specialist product.
Use plastic bags — The bigger the plastic bag, the better. The important considerations are to make sure that the bag has no holes in it and that you secure it tightly around the opening.
Use cling film — Cling film or plastic wrap is an even less reliable option but one that nonetheless can be turned to in times of desperate need. We would not recommend using this material though, especially for larger casts.
Use a towel — If you have a small cast and you are able to keep it out of the shower, you may consider holding this part of your body out of the shower using a secondary barrier for protection. A large towel around the cast should keep it dry from any excess splashing.
Remember, every one of these “solutions” will not guarantee a dry cast, and we would always recommend a bandage protector that has been manufactured for this exact purpose.
Showering with a Broken Leg using a Waterproof Cast Protector
The best, most efficient and safest means of protecting the integrity of your cast or bandage is to purchase a product that is specifically made for the job.
At Bayliss Mobility, we stock a high-quality waterproof cast protector that can be used on different parts of the body.
Purchasing a cast cover will mean you won’t have to worry about taping up a plastic bag — the product slips over any sized cast or dressing and stays airtight, thanks to its specially designed opening.
Waterproof bandage protectors are also much more comfortable and can be re-used time and time again, unlike their DIY counterparts.
This is especially useful for people who require the use of permanent dressings. A single, reusable dressing cover like this will save the user a lot of money, hassle and effort.
A cast cover is usually made of a softer plastic that will move with ease. Sizes vary, but the best ones are adjustable so that they can be used just as easily for a broken arm as they can for a broken ankle or leg.
Cast covers are also much sturdier and will not wear out quickly.
Always Take Care
Some casts are made to withstand a bit of water, but this does not mean that they are fully waterproof. They also take a long time to dry out, regardless of whether or not they are allowed to be exposed to moisture.
In any case, it is far better to err on the side of caution, so using a cast cover specifically designed for the job of waterproofing your leg dressing is always the best solution to this problem.
Always take things slowly at first and make sure you follow the instructions carefully, ensuring you have properly fitted the cover before exposing it to water.
Have a look at our complete range of daily living aids today and find out how small tools can have a big impact on your daily routine.