Serial Casting

Serial casting is a non-invasive conservative therapeutic technique.  A cast provides a long-term passive stretch to increase muscle length and improve alignment and function.

Did You Know?

Serial casting can also be used for constraint-induced therapy regimens.  What is this? If a child does not use one arm or one leg as much as the other, the more functional arm or leg could be casted for short periods of time to require the child to increase the use of the other arm/leg.

Serial Casting FAQs

What improvements can be seen with Serial Casting?

  • Correcting shortened muscles, tendons, or ligaments
  • Increasing functional range of motion
  • Increasing muscle length to better align bones for movement
  • Improving overall function
  • Improving the results of Botox injections
  • Preventing the need for surgery
  • Enhancing orthotic outcomes

Who performs serial casting?

Serial casting is performed by a specialty trained Physical or Occupational Therapist.

How does the process of serial casting work?

  • Casts are applied in series for long term passive stretching.
  • Clients are scheduled once per week for a total of 4-6 weeks, unless otherwise noted on the physician referral or if the casting therapist determines an alternate schedule would be optimal.
  • At the initial session, we will take range of motion measurements and apply the first cast(s).
  • Each cast is usually worn for 1 week.
  • At each subsequent visit, we will remove the previous cast, assess new range of motion, check for skin integrity, and apply the next cast if applicable.
  • We have the ability to offer flexible casting protocols with weekly or bi-weekly cast changes, casting trials, and coordination with botox and surgical interventions to meet the needs of the physicians and families.

Interesting fact: Serial casting is the only research-proven intervention to improve dorsiflexion contractures in patients with cerebral palsy

What diagnoses are appropriate for serial casting intervention?

  • Cerebral palsy                                                                
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Idiopathic toe walking (no known reason for toe walking)
  • Foot deformity
  • Clubfoot repair
  • Neurological impairment that causes muscular contracture

Interesting fact: In one study, 66% of children stopped toe-walking after serial casting.

Our therapists will utilize their knowledge of normal and abnormal developmental and movement to assess children for appropriate casting regimens. 

We offer application of fiberglass casts, fabrication of bivalved casts, and application of soft casts. 

How do you get the most success from Serial Casting?

  • Your baby will probably enjoy bath time - Snuggle in a towel when bath time is over!
  • Able to calm with rocking, touching, and gentle sounds
  • Enjoys a variety of movements
  • Cries when startled
  • Sleeps throughout most of the day about 1-2 hours at a time
  • Will sleep a total of 14-17 hours

Interesting Fact:  Did you know an infant this age has a fully developed sense of smell unless there are concerns?

Types of Casts

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Idiopathic toe walking (no known reason for toe walking)
  • Foot deformity
  • Clubfoot repair
  • Neurological impairment that causes muscular contracture

Interesting fact: In one study, 66% of children stopped toe-walking after serial casting.

Our therapists will utilize their knowledge of normal and abnormal developmental and movement to assess children for appropriate casting regimens.

We offer application of fiberglass casts, fabrication of bivalved casts, and application of soft casts.

Developmental Checklist

Is your child meeting their developmental milestones? 

Resources

  • http://www.kamloopschildrenstherapy.org/understanding-thinking-infant-milestones
  • www.pathways.org
  • Nationwidechildrens.org
  • Sleepfoundation.org
  • https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html