Cast Off Your Cast

So you're probably sitting there with a nasty, sweaty cast you want to remove. Well, you can! But first, a word of caution.

Warning! Danger!

I don't recommend doing this. Seriously, if there is any other way, do it. Talk to your doctor. Go to the hospital. Or better yet, grow a pair and just deal with it - there was a time when people weren't so lucky to get a cast for a broken bone.

That being said, there may be a time when you absolutely need to take off a cast yourself. In this case, I can show you how - the safest way I know. Keep in mind, though, I don't offer any guarantee - if you manage to hurt yourself or some such, don't come crying to me. I'm putting this here because it's what I did - and I found it to be a simple, painless experience. But you're doing this at your own risk!

So you want to take off your fiberglass cast...

Alright, so you've read my warning and you're still determined. Well. You can start by getting all the tools you'll need:

So you're ready to rock, then? Lay the cast down so it's flat and secure - the positioning will depend on where the cast is. If it's on your leg, you'll be best laying down on the ground. If it's on your arm, a table will probably be fine.

Now you should come up with a plan. Find a straight path to cut that will allow you to pull the cast off when you're done. Keep in mind, the tin snips aren't dextrous, so plan accordingly.

Now start cutting, you crazy sonofabitch! What you'll want to do is cut out a thin strip (1/2 inch or so) as you go, alternating between the left- and right-handed snips (five snips with one, five snips with the other) then pull up that portion of the strip. This way, you'll always have room to get the snips in no matter how much you have to cut.

Once you get a few inches in, you can separate the fiberglass part from the padded part underneath and just cut through the fiberglass part - this will leave an extra layer of padding between the snips and your skin, and give you less to cut through. You can cut through the padding and such with a regular pair of scissors after the fiberglass stuff is done.

Still confused? Here's how I did mine:

I started cutting down one side of the cast (the "inseam"), down around the heel of my foot, then back up the other side (the outside of my leg). On that side, we used a small chair to prop my leg on.

If you're still confused, you probably shouldn't be attempting this.


How long did you wear your cast before you cut it off and what did you break
- Tina

I wore my cast for the full doctor-recommended six weeks before removing it (a silly timing issue would have kept my doctor from removing it for several more weeks and the other doctors refused to remove it, so I went ahead and took the initiative). I had a simple hairline fracture in my lower leg (can't remember whether it was the tibia or the fibula).

Have a comment? Email me ( and I'll put it up.

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