What is a cast?

Casts made up of bandage and a hard covering made of Fiberglass or plaster of Paris.

Why are casts placed?

They are placed to immobilize the injured area. Immobilization helps with healing.

How should I care for my cast?

Plaster casts are made up of a bandage and a hard covering. They allow broken bones in the arm or leg to heal by holding them in place, and usually need to stay on for between 4 and 12 weeks.

Taking good care of your cast will help ensure a better recovery.

Cast care advice

Keep your arm or leg raised on a soft surface, such as a pillow, for as long as possible in the first few days. This will help any swelling to go down.

Don't get your plaster cast wet.

Fiberglass cast does not fall apart, but the soft padding underneath will get wet. It will make the skin itch, smell.

It's possible to buy special covers for casts to keep them dry when washing or bathing. Ask your local pharmacist for more information. Don't try to use plastic bags, bin liners, cling film or similar to keep the cast dry, as these are not reliable methods. 

Always remove any covering as soon as you can to avoid causing sweating.

Even if the plaster cast makes your skin feel very itchy, don't poke anything underneath it. This could cause a nasty sore and lead to infection.

Do not walk on a cast unless you have been told it is safe to do so and have been given a plaster shoe.

The itchiness should settle down after a few days.

More plaster cast tips:

Exercise other joints which are not covered by the cast. It will improve your circulation.

Avoid getting smaller objects underneath your cast, it will irritate your skin.

Don't alter, cut, trim or change the position of your cast.

Please talk to your healthcare provider about the activities that you can perform.

Use crutches, sling as advised by your healthcare provider.

Use medicines as prescribed for pain relief.

See your healthcare provider right away if:

Your cast feels too tight even after keeping it elevated for 24 hours.

You experience persistent itching, burning underneath the cast.

Your fingers or toes on the affected limb become swollen, tingly, painful or numb.

The skin on your fingers or toes turned blue or white.

The cast feels too loose.

Your cast is broken or cracked.

Skin underneath are around the cast feels sore, or the cast feels sore.

There is unpleasant smell, discharge coming from your cast.

 

Fiberglass cast

Image result for cast

 

 

What is gout?

Gout is a medical condition where the uric acid levels in the joints increase and cause sudden, severe joint pain.

What are the symptoms of gout.

Sudden severe pain in any joint. Common joints affected are big toes, fingers, wrists, elbows or knees.

Redness, heat, swelling over the affected joint.

Triggers for gout?

Trauma to the joint, genetic, stress, serious illness, alcohol use, women after menopause, overweight, Food habits, some medications

What should I do if I have symptoms of gout ?

You should consult your healthcare provider.

How can my healthcare provider help me?

Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your symptoms, your lifestyle.

You might be sent for a blood test, ultrasound, or x-ray.

Sometimes a needle is inserted into the joint to extract fluid and sent for testing.

What is the treatment for gout?

Your healthcare provider will prescribed medicines to relieve pain.

If symptoms do not get better in the next couple of days, medicines like steroids are prescribed.

Over long-term, medicines are prescribed to lower uric acid levels.

Self-help?

Self-help are for mild symptoms. If you symptoms persist, please consult your doctor immediately.

Take medicines as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Rest and raise the limb.

Keep an ice pack for about 20 minutes at a time every 2-3 hours.

Stay hydrated, unless you are on fluid restriction.

Avoid bedclothes off the affected joint at night. Do not put pressure on the joint.

Long-term recommendations for gout:

Start a healthy diet.

Plenty of vegetables, low-fat dairy

At least 2 alcohol free days a week.

Exercise regularly, but avoid intense exercise or trauma to the joints.

Stay hydrated.

Avoid smoking.

Don't eat a lot of red meat, kidneys, liver or seafood.

Don't eat a lot of sugary Beverages, snacks.

Don't eat a lot of fatty food.

Do not drink more than 112 grams of pure alcohol a week. [A standard drink contains about 14 grams of alcohol. This corresponds to a 12-US-fluid-ounce (350 ml) glass of beer, a 5-US-fluid-ounce (150 ml) glass of 12% ABV (alcohol by volume) wine, or a 1.5-US-fluid-ounce (44 ml) so-called "shot" of spirit.]

Do not drink the recommended amount of alcohol for a week all at once in 1-2 days.

Chronic gout:

When gout is not addressed for a long period of time, it leads to chronic gout.

Chronic gout can also cause tiny white lumps (tophi) to appear under your skin, especially on your ears, fingers or elbows. They can be painful.

You can get kidney stones if your uric acid levels are very high.

 

Gout on left foot

Image result for gout

What is osteoarthritis?

it is a type of arthritis which affect the joints. Arthritis is a general term which means inflammation of the joints.

Osteoarthritis is the common type. It often occurs with advanced age. Common locations are joints in the fingers, knee joints and hip joints.

The tips of the bones in the joints are covered with soft cartilage. When osteoarthritis sets in, the soft cartilage begins to break down.

The hard bones start to rub each other which cause symptoms of osteoarthritis.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Pain in the joint.

Stiffness in the joint.

Swelling in the joint.

Popping, cracking sounds in the joint.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed and treated?

Please see your healthcare provider if you have joint problems.

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam.

If it is determined necessary, they will order blood tests, imaging tests.

There are many ways of treating osteoarthritis.

Medicines are prescribed to relieve your pain.

Supportive therapy is prescribed to make everyday activities easier.

In a few cases, surgery is recommended.

What can I do to improve my osteoarthritis?

Exercise: Your physical activity should include exercises to strengthen your muscles and general fitness.

With daily exercise, you are able to build up muscle, and strengthen the joints.

Exercise also is good for losing weight, improving the posture, relieving the stress, which make you feel better with the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate exercises for your condition.

Losing weight: Being overweight or obese makes arthritis worse. It puts extra pressure and strain on the joints.

Make a plan with your healthcare provider for weight loss.

Medicines for pain relief: Please talk to your healthcare provider.

Hot or cold packs

Assistive devices.

 

Osteoarthritis affecting the knee.

Image result for osteoarthritis knee

 

What is gastroenteritis?

Common causes are infection with a stomach bug, food poisoning. Common symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

What should I do if I have gastroenteritis?

Please see your healthcare provider.

Self-care?

Self-care is for mild symptoms only. Please see your healthcare provider if your symptoms worsen.

Things you should do.

Stay at home and get plenty of rest,

Drink lots of fluids, water, squash. Take small sips you feels sick.

Continue breast-feeding, bottle feeding the baby. Try frequent small feeds.

Continue formula or solid foods, with small sips of water between feeds.

Start eating when you feel you're able to.

Use as needed Tylenol.

Do NOT do the following:

Do not have fruit juice or fizzy drinks.

Do not make baby formula beaker.

Do not give medicines to stop diarrhea for children under 12 years.

What other things I should do at home?

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.

Wash any clothing, bedding that is contaminated with vomit or diarrhea. Wash it separately with disinfectant detergent on hot wash setting.

Clean toilet seats, flush handles, faucets, doorknobs or any surfaces that are contaminated with bleach.

Do not prepare food for other people.

Do not share towels, cutlery, utensils, washcloth.

Do not use swimming for for 2 weeks after your symptoms have stopped.

When should I go to the emergency room?

A child under five years, with signs of dehydration. Fewer wet diapers or Not urinating as frequently.

When you're extremely sick and unable to keep any fluids down and dehydrated.

If you have blood in the diarrhea, or bleeding from the anus.

Vomiting blood, or if the vomit has coffee grounds appearance (Brown chunks)

Bright green or yellow vomit.

If you have swallowed poison 

High grade fever.

If you have certain headache, stomach ache, stiff neck. 

Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any worrisome symptoms.

What is Lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) – lupus – is a long-term condition causing inflammation to the joints, skin and other organs. There's no cure, but symptoms can improve if treatment starts early.

It is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system decide to attack your own body cells and damage it.

Common symptoms are joint pain and stiffness, extreme tiredness, skin rash over the nose and cheeks, weight loss, swollen glands, sensitivity to light, poor circulation in hands and toes.

What are the symptoms of lupus?

People with lupus can experience the following.

Tired, fatigued, weak

weight fluctuation

Fever.

Headaches

Butterfly shaped rash on the nose and cheeks after exposure to the sun.

Hair loss.

Chest discomfort.

Shortness of breath.

Bruising easily.

Swelling, discomfort in the joints.

Swelling in the hands, feet, belly

Abnormal color of the urine, Foamy appearing urine.

Sores in the mouth.

Change in color of the skin on the fingers and toes

Unable to think clearly, anxiety, feeling sad

How is Lupus diagnosed and treated?

Consult your health care provider.

Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your health, perform physical exam.

They will order blood tests, imaging tests.

There are many treatments available

Medicines to treat joint pain, medicines, which can decrease the symptoms of lupus, medicines like steroids which can suppress the immune system.

What can I do to make my symptoms better?

Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.

Stay active. Exercise daily.

Always inform your healthcare provider about lupus, certain medicines can make the lupus worse 

Please see your healthcare provider if you have joint problems.

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam.

If it is determined necessary, they will order blood tests, imaging tests.

 In a few cases, surgery is recommended.

What can I do to improve my Lupus?

Eat a healthy balanced diet.

Try to stay active, try walking or swimming.

Get plenty of rest.

Try relaxation techniques to manage stress.

Avoid harsh sunlight, use sunscreen with SPF 50.

Wear a wide brim hat

Do not hesitate to ask help from family, friends and healthcare professionals.It's

DO NOT do the following

Do not smoke.

Do not sit in direct sunlight or prolonged exposure to florescent lights.