Hip Spica Cast Care
This information is meant to be a guide. A hip spica cast is used for many reasons. The amount of bend at the hips, whether both legs are included in the cast, and how wide the legs are spread vary depending on what your doctor is treating. Not all of these tips will work for every child. It is important to keep trying different positions and diapering and cleaning techniques until you find one that works best for you and your family. Taking care of this cast is not easy. Be creative. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns.
Always keep the head and upper body elevated at least 25 degrees. This will help to decrease the chance stool or urine will leak into the cast. Your child may lie flat for diaper changes if needed.
Most often, children may be placed in any position that makes them happy as long as the head and upper body are elevated. Some children prefer
- a bean bag chair. They work well because they mold around the child.
- a “Boppie”. These work well for younger children who prefer to be on their stomachs.
- a recliner. You may also use pillows to elevate the head of a bed.
Do not leave your child alone.
He will be unable to catch himself if he falls from a bed or chair.
It is crucial when picking up or carrying your child that you always support the cast from the bottom or with your arm under both legs. Do not pick your child up from under his armpits.
Before you leave the hospital someone will help you decide if your current car seat, booster seat, or harness will work with this cast. If not, a different car seat or harness needs to be ordered. This is done while your child is in the hospital. Most items can be rented. You must buy the harness.
Changing diapers and preventing leaks can be a challenge. We suggest using a three layer method. The first layer is a thick maxi pad. It should be tucked into the diaper area, from front to back, to fill the opening in the bottom of the cast. The second layer is a very small diaper. It is also tucked inside the cast over the maxi pad. You may need to cut the tape tabs off of the diaper. The third layer, or outer layer, is a large diaper. We suggest using one that is 2 sizes larger than what you normally would use. Change the inner pad and diaper every 1-2 hours during the day. You may not have to change the outer diaper each time. Limit fluid intake before bed and during the night. This will help to prevent leaks.
If your child uses the toilet, it may take trial and error to find a position on the toilet that works well. You may find a bedpan useful at home
If you have any questions please call our clinic.
Orthopedic Clinic 608-263-6420 (Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm).
After hours and on weekends, this number will be answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Orthopedic resident on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area please call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/24/2011
Copyright © 06/24/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6622
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