Spica Cast Cut-Off Day

We. Are. Done. With. The. Hip. Spica. Cast! Alleluia!! After 12 Weeks. 5 Days. We ARE DONE! Here’s her story and tips for spica cast cut-off day, if you’re going through this too! What a wonderful day. 

This morning we got up early and hit the road for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Our appointment was at 8:15 am. By 8:22, they were sawing off her cast. What a glorious day it was!!

Tips for Spica Cast cut-off day

If you’re curious how your own spica cast cut off day is going to go down, read on to learn what happened on ours! You’ll need to know, that the saw is LOUD and SCARY. You’ll definitely want to bring things to distract your child from the events – bubbles, books, electronics – whatever might keep your baby preoccupied, if that’s possible at all. You might also want to make sure you ear protection for your baby. Ask ahead of time if the hospital has headphones for your kiddo, or bring your own.

Tips for Spica Cast Cut-Off Day

Sara was not amused at all by the cast saw and it was not a super quick process. In all, it took about 15 minutes to saw the cast and pry it all the way off. She screamed quite a bit (more than she had when they cut the part of the cast off at the halfway point) so I nursed her through part of it. That helped a lot. The hospital staff also tried blowing bubbles, but she really didn’t want anything to do with them.

Finally the nasty cast was off. I think my husband secretly wanted to bring it home…but really?! Not over my dead body. So, here’s proof that the nasty thing was once on our baby girl:



After they got the cast off, they put a pillow between her legs to keep them apart. She’d been spread apart for so long it was uncomfortable initially to bring them together.

We washed her up a bit. Remarkably, her skin looked pretty good. The {good} leg that had only been casted to the knee for the duration was the dirtiest and the skin was quite dry. The {bad} leg was in really good shape except for high up on the thigh – the remainder of the recent diarrhea blow-out that I could not reach to clean properly. We almost made it the 12 weeks with a poop-free cast. Other than that, she looked pretty good. Most kiddos I know who’ve been in spica casts have them completely changed at the half-way point. But that requires general anesthesia and our surgeon said he wouldn’t do it unless absolutely necessary. I’m honestly glad. I think the fewer times under the better.

We went for an x-ray and waited anxiously for another small eternity for the surgeon and his entourage to tell us they were pleased with the films. Sara kept looking at her body and saying “All gone.” She was amazed to find HER belly button again. It was really cute.

Then the orthotics people measured Sara for her new brace (Lorenz brace). She was not very happy about having the brace put on, just when she thought she was getting a little freedom back. She’ll wear the brace full time for 6 weeks (until March 12), and sleep in it for up to a year. Before we even left the hospital at a little after 11 am, Sara was standing in the brace and trying to walk! It’s only a matter of time.

This is her brace if you’re curious:

After we got home, Sara practically ran to the bath. She almost climbed in the tub on her own. It was her first bath since October 31, 2011. She loved baths before and obviously still loves them now. The pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!

You can read the rest of our hip dysplasia story here.

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Comments

  1. What a relief. Glad they are pleased with her progress. I can’t imagine what you went through the last 12 weeks. I am so happy for you all. She is such a beautiful, strong little girl. Love the bath pictures. That had to be such a wonderful feeling.

  2. Oh wow… I remember the relief so well. Hallelujah! 🙂 Her brace looks like it will allow her lots of movement. I know you are SO thankful to be done with that nasty old cast!

    It’s great that she was so eager to take baths again. Bronwyn was scared stiff of the bathtub, so for a while I gave her baths in the kitchen sink. She loved that; I guess it kept her legs feeling more secure than the big tub.

  3. Thank you so much for your posts! My baby is getting a Spica cast next Thursday and she has to keep it on for 12 weeks. I am so daunted and overwhelmed and your blog has just made me feel so much better. My baby also loves the bath and I can’t wait to see her enjoying it post-Spica. It’s so nice to know there is a happy end to all this. Thanks for your tips on diapering too!

    • Good luck to you! I hope everything goes very smoothly and that you get the hang of the spica quickly. It’s hard, but you’ll figure it out!! And before you know it, she’ll be out! I’d love to hear how everything goes!

  4. Hi Michelle. We just got through the 8 weeks of the Lorenz brace after the 12 weeks of the Spica cast on our 2 year old. We are now 2 weeks into the “weaning” process from the Lorenz brace. It’s basically off now except for nights and naps. Our daughter is getting along well. The leg that was operated on is still slightly turned out when she walks. Just wondered how long it took your daughter to get her “normal” walk back?

    Again, great website!
    Thanks
    Chris

    • She’s still not normal, Chris. Glad to hear you are getting to take the brace off. I was pretty concerned initially and called Weinstein twice. I also asked everyone on the DDH boards this question. What I learned is that it can take months and months {and months} to regain the strength. Swimming & pedaling motion is supposed to be very good. Sara’s walk depends a lot on how tired she is. It’s better during the day and worse when she’s tired. Her left leg is not out as far as it was – it has slowly been getting more straight. Hope that helps!!

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