Shoulder Spica Cast Care

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What is the purpose of a shoulder spica cast?

A shoulder spica cast is used to stretch a tight shoulder after a botulinum toxin injection or to hold a child’s shoulder in position after tendon transfer surgery while the body heals.If your child is big enough, we will make the belly portion of the cast ahead of time while your child is standing up. After the fiberglass hardens, we will remove the belly band and then reapply it later in the operating room.

Two kids wearing casts sitting at a table

How do I care for my child while in a shoulder spica cast?

Bathing:

  • DO NOT place your child in a bathtub or sink – sponge bathe only!
  • Place plastic bags over the cast and use adhesive tape for the edges to keep it dry while sponge bathing
  • Check your child’s skin at bath time
  • Look for rub spots commonly found between the thumb and index finger and on the back of the belly band – cast padding can compact and move, leaving sharp edges
  • If you find sharp edges, place mole skin or other padding between your child and the cast to protect the skin

Feeding:

Cover the cast with a towel while eating to avoid soiling

Diapers:

Tuck diapers UNDER the belly band

How to dress a child in a cast

Clothing:

  • Wear big T-shirts or tank tops
  • Oversized zip-up sweat shirts work well to keep warm

Car Seat:

  • Bring your car seat on the day of surgery
  • Most children fit in their car seat without any modifications
  • Support your child’s head, neck and back (above the waist band), with a towel or blanket if needed for comfort

Child in a cast in a carseat

If you have any questions or concerns please call:
Cast Technician: (916) 453-3355
Advice Nurse: (916) 453-2182

Printable Shoulder Spica Cast Care instructions and also in Spanish.