Serial casting involves the application of padded fiberglass casts to an arm or leg with the goal of positioning the extremity; this allows tight muscle tissue to be stretched to allow for an increased range of motion. The cast is affixed to the involved extremity for anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks depending on the type of treatment and the individual needs of the client.
Serial casting is an ideal procedure as it is a non-surgical approach and can help to eliminate the need for surgery. Serial casting promotes an increased range of motion.
Serial casting for cerebral palsy treatment
Serial casting is most commonly used for clients who have cerebral palsy with resulting tightness or contracture of the achilles tendon. This is also seen in clients with a diagnosis of idiopathic toe walking.
A cast is put on the affected lower leg and it remains on the leg for a set period (10 days to 2 weeks). At that time, the cast is removed and range of motion is assessed. A second (or third cast if required) may be applied to the leg to continue this stretching regime – hence the name serial casting.
Serial casting is a non-invasive mechanism to achieve more range of motion in the ankle joint complex. Post casting involves therapy to help strength the muscles and the use of AFOs.