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Spica Cast Care

There are different kinds of spica casts, but they serve the same purpose; to prevent the hip/leg from moving. Most start from the chest of the child and go all the way down to the ankles on one or both legs. The child will not be able to walk in this cast.

Why does my child need a spica cast?

By preventing movement at the hip and thigh, thiscast allows for the bones to heal after an injury or surgery. Without the cast movement of the affected leg/hip may not allow the site to heal properly.

Helpful tips for:

Bathing

  • Do not allow the spica cast to get wet. A wet cast can cause skin irritation, breakdown, and odor.
  • Do not shower or place your child in a tub, SPONGE BATHE only.
  • If the cast does get slightly wet, use a hair dryer on COOL setting to dry.

Comfort

  • Allow your child’s head and upper part of his/her body to be slightly raised, pillows can help toprop them.
  • Turn your child several times throughout the day and night to prevent skin breakdown.
  • Use comfortable clothing for the child, such as large t-shirts, baggy shorts/pants. For infants, use loose clothes that have button snaps that slide off easily. 

Cast Care

  • Do not use lotions or powders in and around the cast.
  • Do not allow your child to place anything in the cast.
  • Do not trim off edges of the cast or take out any padding from the cast. If there are concerns about the cast, please contact your doctor.

Skin Care

  • Check the skin around the edges of the cast every day. A flashlight may help to see under the cast for any skin irritation.
  • If the child is diapered, check and change the diaper often. A second, smaller diaper can be used underneath the regular diaper and tucked into the cast to catch any excess urine or stool that may not be caught with only one diaper. 

Circulation Care

  • Check your child’s toes every day to make sure they are warm and pink.
  • Check the sensation of your child’s feet everyday by making sure he/she feels when you touch them.
  • If there is any swelling, make sure the swelling is gone after a few days once the spica cast is placed on. Swelling may be normal for the first few days after the surgery or injury. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor.
  • Make sure your child can wiggle his/her toes as he/she did before the spica cast was placed on. 

Safety

  • Carry your child close to your body.
  • If there is a crossbar connecting the two legs of the cast, do not use this to move or lift your child.
  • When lifting your child, keep your back straight and knees bent. 
  • Do not leave your child alone at home in the spica cast. 
  • For transportation, if your child still uses a car seat, a special car seat or seat belt will be provided by the clinic.