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When your child's joint is unable to extend or flex, one of the connected muscles may be too tight or too short. To assist in turning the joint in the correct direction, our orthopedic specialists may recommend serial casting.

The term "serial" is used because each cast is one in a series that will progressively stretch the muscle or joint a bit further each time.

The technique is primarily used on knees, ankles and wrists, and can help children with an array of conditions, including:

The average serial casting round is approximately four to six weeks, and depends on how much the muscle needs to expand.

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

About Your Cast

Removal and care of a cast in this series is similar to a cast your child would receive for any other reason.

Caring for Your Cast

  • Do not get the cast wet
  • Do not put foreign objects inside the cast. For example, avoid using a hanger or ruler to reach an itch. Instead, tap on the outside of the cast or use the cool setting of a hair dryer to blow soothing air down the cast.
  • Follow your care provider's instructions regarding use of the casted arm or leg

Cast Removal

  • A cast saw will be used to remove the cast each time
  • Your child’s leg or arm will be measured to see how much motion has been gained
  • A new cast will be applied, gently increasing the stretch further
  • The process will repeat until the best results are achieved
Serial stretch casting can be a great method to bridge the gap between regular conservative treatments and surgical intervention. It can be highly effective, especially in younger children, and may help delay or avoid surgery.
Lauren Hyer, M.D., Shriners Children's Greenville

Conditions We treat

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Cerebral Palsy

At Shriners Children's, our team of specialists provides individualized care for your child with cerebral palsy.

Muscular Dystrophy

At Shriners Children's, our unique team of specialists provides the highest quality neuromuscular care for your child with muscular dystrophy.

Toe-Walking

Toe-walking is when a child walks on the balls of his or her feet. It is common in toddlers, and typically children outgrow it. Shriners Children’s is here to help evaluate your toe-walker, and decide if it is time to take a closer look.

Spasticity

Spasticity is abnormal muscle stiffness, making it difficult for a child to perform coordinated movements. Doctors and therapists at Shriners Children’s provide prompt, family-centered care tailored to your child’s needs.

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.