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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Serial Casting

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.

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised June 5, 2012

Last Revised: June 5, 2012

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