Hip Spica Cast Care

How Long Will It Take For The Cast To Dry?

The cast will dry in 12 to 24 hours. To promote cast drying:
  • Turn child every 2 hours
  • Leave cast uncovered
  • Handle cast with the palms of hands to prevent indentation of cast causing a pressure area
  • Use pillows to position child comfortably on abdomen or back.

How Can I Keep The Cast Clean?

Keep buttocks lower than shoulders during toileting to prevent urine and stool from going up the cast. You also may try using Saran Wrap, disposable diapers, or sanitary napkins between the skin and the cast to prevent soiling of the cast. Keeping the cast clean will also help prevent it from smelling badly.

How Will I Know If The Cast Is Too Tight?

Check feet and toes for:
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Bluish tinge to toes or nail beds
  • Very cold toes
  • Decreased or lack of movement of toes or feet
Notify your doctor if you notice any of the above signs, especially during the first 24 to 48 hours after the cast is applied.

Do

Encourage your child to drink lots of fluids and eat food with fiber, fruits, and vegetables to prevent constipation.

Don't

  • Heated fans or dryers can burn the child and dry the cast unevenly.
  • Using the stabilizing bar between the child's legs to turn or move the patient can break the cast or the bar and require a new one to be applied.
  • Small toys or crumbs that fall between the cast and the skin can cause sores to develop.
  • Excessive use of powder or lotion under the cast can also cause skin irritation and breakdown.
  • Allowing the cast to get wet is not only uncomfortable for the child, but will weaken the cast and increase the odor of the cast.
  • Using coat hangers or other objects to reach down into the cast can cause a cut or abrasion on the skin that can become infected.