Casting and splints can be used to manage spasticity (stiffness) and limited motion in the joints of the arms and legs. A series of casts that gradually improves joint motion and stiffness may be helpful to children. New casts are applied every 7-14 days for up to 6-8 weeks, depending on the child’s response. Improvement in joint motion, alignment, and stability should improve movement, play and walking.
Children with the following conditions or diagnoses may be good candidates for serial casting:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spina Bifida
- Toe Walking
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Brachial Plexus Injuries
Who is on the Team?
The Team: Child, family/caregiver, and staff
The child: Those whose functional and movement skills are limited due to limited joint motion caused by tight/stiff muscles.
The family/caregivers: Expected to help the child with a home exercise program during and after serial casting. The exercises help the child to get and maintain as much use as possible from the joint motion gained from the casting.
The staff: Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Orthopedic Technicians with years of experience in working with children and with specialized training in management of contractures and casting techniques.
- Physicians refer children to Children’s PT&OT Department.
- The PT and/or OT evaluates the child to identify limitations and determine goals and best approach/interventions on the first visit.
- Therapist applies a light weight, colorful cast to be worn 7-14 days
- Child returns for cast changes until there is improvement in joint motion (typically 6-8 weeks)
- cast removed
- skin cleaned
- stretching provided and joint motion measured
- cast re-applied until goals have been met
- Therapist trains the child and family in continuing stretching and strengthening exercises after the last cast is removed. Splints may be fitted to be worn day and/or night to maintain the motion gained.
- Ongoing therapy may be provided during and after serial casting is completed based on the child’s and family’s goals.
Insurance or Medicaid is billed directly for this program. Families are responsible for co-payments, deductibles and any portion of the program not covered by their policy.
Questions or more information: 205-638-2484.