Spica Cast Advice

What to expect (and how to cope) when your child with
congenital hip dysplasia is placed in a spica cast.

Home › What is a Spica Cast?

Spica Cast Overview

Hip spica casts are designed to fix, align and immobilize the hip joint so further development of the hip socket can continue. As a result, spica casts generally run from chest to feet on both legs. However, the angle and position of the legs may vary. And in older kids, the doctor may incorporate a bar to keep the leg positions stable.

This illustration shows two very common configurations. In one, the thights are separated by 180 degrees with the lower legs facing straight down. The cast may (or may not) run all the way to the ankle). And in the other, you will see the more straight-legged style.

Spica Cast configurations

While these appear to be the most common configurations, there is a third worth mentioning (esp since our daughter has this configuration). In this case --seen below-- the thighs are separated by approximately 140 degrees with the knees raised and bent slightly. This is roughly the position a child's knees would be in if you were holding them on your hip.

Spica cast with knees spread apart