The nurse is assisting the physician with the application of a cast to a 27-year-old with a fractured ankle. Which of the following instructions takes priority?


• Numbness in the affected leg is a sign of arterial insufficiency and should be reported to the physician immediately.

• The ankle should be elevated to decrease edema and promote venous return. This intervention will help prevent compartment syndrome.

• Weight-bearing status is prescribed by the physician after a follow-up appointment, and the patient should be instructed to avoid scratching under the cast to prevent infection, and all are important teaching points, but the risk of arterial insufficiency takes priority at this time.

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