What is serial casting?
Serial casting involves the use of plaster and/or fiberglass casts to restore or improve range of motion, reduce muscle contracture and improve movement and alignment of joints in the arms and legs. A physician writes a prescription indicating that this procedure will be appropriate for your child based on their assessment or the suggestion of your child's therapist.
How does serial casting work?
Muscles of the involved joint are placed in a lengthened position and a cast is applied. The cast is removed after one week and the joint is moved into its improved range of motion and position; a new cast is then applied. In most cases, the cast is soaked off at home the night prior to returning to therapy.
How long does serial casting take?
This process continues until the desired range of motion is obtained. The entire procedure may take from three to 12 weeks. The child is able to perform most of his or her usual activities while undergoing serial casting, including walking.
Because the child must sit still for an extended period of time during this procedure, Beaumont serial casting patients are able to watch a movie while the cast is applied. We also offer a choice of colors for the outside of the cast whenever possible.
What conditions can be treated by serial casting?
Children with a number of different conditions may benefit from serial casting, including:
- cerebral palsy
- closed-head injury
- muscular dystrophy
- spina bifida/myelomeningocele
- brachial plexus injury
- idiopathic toe walking
- other neurological disorders
What are the benefits of serial casting?
Benefits of serial casting include:
- non-painful/conservative method for improving range of motion
- reduced muscle contractures
- temporarily reduced spasticity
- normalized biochemical joint alignment
- improved overall postural alignment
- improved gait pattern