The hip spica cast – body cast – is often a necessary part of hip dysplasia treatment. Doctors and parents know this can be a difficult challenge at any age. A survey reported in a nursing journal in 2015 documented that the majority of parents experience emotional and care problems at some time when the hip spica cast was used for longer than three months. If you or someone you know is in distress because their child is in a hip spica cast, please seek help that may even include psychological counseling.
Some resources are available on this website to help understand management in a hip spica cast. Also, see our previous post about waterproof cast liners that can help decrease skin problems (See previous post here). There is also a website dedicated to supporting spica cast families (SpicaLife.com).
One new piece of information is that it may be possible to shorten the time in a body cast if a brace is worn after the cast is removed. It’s best to have the brace ready before the cast is removed so the child can be washed carefully and put into the brace without disturbing the hip position. In one study, the time in the cast was decreased to four weeks with this practice. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=emara+k+and+ddh] It’s best to discuss the cast in advance with your doctor to see if there are special circumstances. Also, before surgery is a good time to discuss and options for waterproof cast liners, length of time in the cast, and how you will manage your child.