Serial casting is a specialized technique used at UCP in conjunction with therapy to provide increased range of joint motion. The process involves a joint or joints that are tight which are immobilized with a semi-rigid, well-padded cast. Serial casting involves repeated applications of casts, typically every one to two weeks as range of motion is restored.
Frequently asked questions about serial casting at UCP:
Who can benefit from serial casting?
Any child with joint or muscle tightness may see benefits from serial casting although children in the casting program are commonly diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spasticity and idiopathic toe-walking. The most common joints casted are the ankle and wrist.
How long will my child need to wear the casts?
Length of casting is dependent on the severity of the motion restriction. The average length of time is four to six weeks.
Will casting be painful for my child?
The joint is casted in a comfortable, well padded position and does not force increased range of motion. This typically results in good tolerance with little or no affect on sleep.
Can my child walk while their leg is casted?
Yes! The goal of serial casting is to facilitate improved walking in an ambulatory child with the cast(s) in place.
Will the cast(s) be removed with a cast saw?
No. At UCP, we use special casting materials that can be quickly and easily removed without a cast saw. Parents usually remove the casts at home on the day before new casts are applied.
What happens when my child has finished the casting program?
The post-casting program is just as important as the serial casting. Therapists will make recommendations for orthotics, splints and home programming to help your child continue to improve. Therapy is often needed to help gain strength in the new range of motion.
A physical or occupational therapy evaluation is required to determine if your child is an appropriate candidate for the casting program. Benefits and risks will be thoroughly reviewed prior to casting, and therapists will assist in obtaining a prescription from your physician.
Casting can be a conservative, safe and cost effective alternative to surgery. For more information about UCP’s serial casting program, please contact please contact Children and Family Services Manager Celia Chesnick at (216) 791-8363, ext. 1260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.