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Shriners Children's specializes in putting children at ease while casting, a common treatment for fractures and breaks.

Casts immobilize injured bones, promote healing, and reduce pain and swelling while the bone heals. Casts are sometimes put on an arm, leg or other body part after surgery to protect the bone and ensure it remains in proper alignment.

Getting a cast put on is not painful and our care team aims to make the process fun. Your child may choose from colorful designs to help make the experience less scary. Cast application will vary depending upon what type of cast your child will be receiving. A member of the care team will go over the specific details with you.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Easing Worries Prior to Casting

With their knowledge, training and understanding of child development, our child life specialists work with your child – often through play – to help them feel more comfortable, calm and confident.

Cast Care

Proper cast care can make a big difference for your child.

Steps to care for your child's cast:

  • Keep the cast clean and dry. The best way to keep a cast dry when bathing is to put two bags over the cast. Place a bag on the cast, then apply a towel around the top of the cast with tape, followed by the second bag. This does not make the cast waterproof, but it will help protect it from splashing. If the cast does get splashed on, you can use a hairdryer on cool or low to dry it. If the cast gets very wet you will need to have the cast changed within 24 hours, as the moisture can damage the skin underneath the cast.
  • Check the cast often for cracks or breaks. If you find one, contact your child’s doctor.
  • Cover the cast while your child is eating to prevent food spills and crumbs from entering the cast.

Cast Tips and Guidelines

Once your child has been fitted with a cast, there are important guidelines to follow. Our cast technicians will go over these instructions with you and your child to ensure safety and comfort.

  • Do not scratch the skin under the cast by inserting objects or fingers inside the cast.
  • Do not put small toys or objects inside the cast.
  • Avoid sand, dirt, and mulch. Loose particles may work their way into the cast and irritate your child’s skin.
  • Do not put powder or rub lotion inside the cast.
  • You can use a hair dryer on a cool setting to blow air under the cast and cool down hot, itchy skin, but never blow warm or hot air into the cast.
  • Elevate the cast above heart level to decrease swelling.
  • Encourage your child to move their fingers or toes to promote circulation.

Removing a Cast

Cast removal can be a scary thing for children. The cast technician will use an oscillating saw to remove the cast. An oscillating saw does not spin, it rapidly vibrates back and forth. The cast saw does make a lot of noise and some children are afraid of this at first, but start to laugh when they feel the vibration of the saw cutting through the cast material.

It is very important to tell your cast technician if your child has picked out some of the padding or placed anything inside the cast.
Children are not small adults. Their bones heal faster than adults. This means that a child with an injury should see an experienced pediatric orthopedic specialist as soon as possible.
Michael Aiona, M.D., Shriners Children's Portland
radiologist and patient in EOS imaging machine

Pediatric Orthopedics: Specialized Care for Growing Bones

We're home to a renowned team of board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons, specialists and support teams devoted to providing progressive orthopedic treatments. Anchored in research based on real evidence, these teams take advantage of a number of minimally invasive approaches, like the EOS imaging system to reduce radiation exposure.

Conditions We Treat

View All Related Conditions

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Commonly referred to as brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a rare, permanent genetic disorder that prevents the building of strong bones.

Sports Medicine

Shriners Children's provides pro-level care for injured young athletes in our sports medicine clinics. Seeing a doctor right away can stop an injury from getting worse and help avoid long-lasting damage.

Clubfoot / Club feet

Talipes equinovarus (TEV) is the medical term for "clubfoot," and Shriners Children's physicians are specialists in this common and treatable pediatric orthopedic condition.

Limb Deficiencies

Shriners Children's specializes in treating limb deficiencies, which occur when part or all of a child's limb does not completely form during pregnancy or as a result of a major injury.

Athletic Training

Athletic training is provided by certified and licensed health care professionals, athletic trainers, who practice sports medicine.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine is curved sideways. With advanced treatments and world-class expertise, Shriners Children's cares for more than 10,000 children with scoliosis each year

Stress Fractures

Shriners Children's provides care for all types of fractures, including stress fractures, a common sports injury.

Fractures

Shriners Children's provides care for broken bones, including open or compound fractures.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.