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Hip Spica Cast for Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is a hip spica cast?

A hip spica cast is also called a body cast. It is used to prevent hip and leg movement after surgery or broken a bone. Most spica casts will not allow your child to stand, walk, or bear any weight.

Which type of hip spica cast does my child need?

Hip spica casts may be placed from your child's chest to one or both thighs or knees. The cast may go all the way to your child's toes. A rod may be placed between your child's legs to keep his or her hips and legs from moving. The cast will have an opening so your child can urinate and have bowel movements.

Hip Spica Cast

How do I care for my child's cast while it hardens?

Your child's cast may need up to 48 hours to dry and harden completely.

How do I care for my child's cast after it hardens?

How do I keep my child comfortable?

Keep your child's head and upper body in a semi-sitting position at all times. Do this by propping his or her head, shoulders, and back up on pillows.

How do I help my child urinate and have bowel movements?

Your child's provider will show you how to change your young child's diaper or help your older child use the toilet. The provider will also show you how to help your child use a bedpan, if needed. You will be shown how to clean your child's skin to prevent a rash or pressure injury. Your child's provider will teach you how to keep urine and bowel movement away from the spica cast.

How do I move my child safely?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor or orthopedist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.