Can you fly with plaster?

Before my daughter Irene broke her elbow 24 hours after our flight to Berlin, the question “can you fly with plaster” had never come close to me. What to do now? Cancel everything or try your luck and leave anyway?

Travel contingencies

One day before our flight, Irene got injured and we ended up in the emergency room. Broken elbow! Can you fly with plaster? At that point what to do? Was it crazy to embark with a two-year-old girl with one arm in plaster? The answer was given to us by the pediatric orthopedist: “Go, it will do the little one good! In this moment of fear she needs to be distracted.

Having a simple compound fracture, the medical team gave Irene a plaster shower. particular cast is much lighter and easier to handle than traditional plaster, especially suitable for young patients!

But in the end can you fly with plaster?

I have to answer this question with a “it depends. The possibility or not of being able to fly is linked to various factors. For example, if you have had a full cast in the past 48 hours, most airlines will prohibit you from taking a flight. The pressurization of the cabin at high altitude can generate swelling of the limbs and, if these are closed in a plaster, there is the risk of circulatory problems and embolisms.

If you don’t want to miss the chance to leave for the long-dreamed holiday, you could get around the obstacle by cutting the plaster along its entire length. I am not kidding, this crack will prevent the veins from swelling due to high altitude and will allow you to fly, but at the same time the fracture will no longer be immobilized!


Naturally this procedure will be carried out in a hospital medical setting after a careful examination by the orthopedist. my suggestion is to have a medical certificate issued to certify your state of health and the need, or not, to take special anti-coagulant medicines during the flight.

The Enac allows the use of fluidifying medical syringes, but it is good to have a certification from your doctor that proves this need.

You can fly with the plaster shower, and its presence does not involve any serious health risk. Being open, like a half shell, the plaster shower does not prevent the correct blood circulation as a classic plaster can do, and for this reason it is also suitable for air flights.

Much easier to manage, given its low weight compared to full plaster, the plaster shower is a valid alternative. Usually performed for small fractures that do not require complete immobilization, the cast shower is especially suitable for small children given its “light weight”.

Airline reservations and plaster, how to behave.

Almost all airlines have policies and strategies for the management of patients and / or people who have suffered an injury regulated by ENAC. It is a good idea to contact the airline you will be traveling with as soon as the accident has occurred, so that you can protect yourself and know how to behave.


Often the policy for the management of airline reservations varies according to the type of limb involved. In the case of upper limbs in plaster, you will have to specify the type of plaster, according to the rules of the airline you can book a standard seat.

The case is different for the cast of the legs. If you need to keep your leg straight, you will be book 3 seats. As for the transport of crutches on board, do not worry they will be able to get on with you placing them horizontally under the seats in front. At the airport it is possible to request, often with at least 24 hours notice, a wheelchair (wheelchair) or the transport service with microcar carried out by the airport staff!

Each company has its own vademecum so before “bind your head” contact it!

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