Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Serial Casting


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Topic Overview

Some children who have developed mild to moderate contractures (knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, elbows) may benefit from serial casting.

Serial casting is a temporary straightening and casting of the affected joint (for about 2 days). The cast is then removed, the child goes through some physical therapy, and a new cast is applied with the joint stretched a bit more.

The procedure is repeated with the joint a little straighter each time. This process continues until maximal straightening has occurred. A resting splint may be worn at night for 3 to 6 months afterwards.

Serial casting may be able to restore the ability to straighten a mildly contracted joint, but it is unlikely to improve severe contractures.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics

Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Current as ofOctober 10, 2017