Spica Cast

There are different kinds of spica casts, but all of them are used to prevent the hip or leg from moving after an injury or surgery. Most start from just below the armpits and go down to the ankles on one or both legs.

In a typical spica cast, your child will not be able to walk. However, the short-term challenges of this type of cast are worth the benefits. By preventing movement at the hip joint and thigh bone, spica casts allow the bones and/or hip to heal properly.

Spica Cast Care


  • Do not allow the spica cast to get wet. A wet cast can cause skin irritation, breakdown and odor.

  • Do not shower or place your child in a tub. Instead, use a damp cloth and mild soap to sponge bathe your child. Gently dry your child with a towel after the sponge bath.

  • If the cast does gets slightly wet, use a hair dryer on the cool setting to dry.

  • If the cast gets very wet, you will not be able to dry it at home and you will have to come to our Urgent Care Center to have the cast changed.


  • Allow your child’s head and upper part of the body to be slightly raised; pillows can help to prop them up and make them more comfortable.

  • Turn your child from side to side (not on their bellies) several times throughout the day and night to prevent skin breakdown.

  • Some families like to use a bean bag to help prop their child up into a sitting or comfortable lying position during the day.

  • Dress your child in comfortable clothing, such as large t-shirts and baggy shorts or pants. If you have an infant, dress them in loose clothing that is easy to take on and off.

Cast Care

  • Do not use lotions or powders in and around the cast.

  • Do not allow your child to place anything in the cast.

  • Do not trim off edges of the cast or take out any padding from the cast.

Skin Care

  • Check the skin around the edges of the cast every day. Use a flashlight to check under the cast for any skin irritation.

  • If your child is in diapers, make sure to check and change them often. A second, smaller diaper should be used underneath the regular diaper and tucked into the cast to catch any excess urine or stool that may not be caught with only one diaper.

Blood Circulation

  • Check your child’s toes every day to make sure they are warm and pink.

  • Touch your child’s feet every day to make sure they haven’t lost sensation. Make sure your child can feel them when you touch them.

  • While some foot and groin swelling is normal after spica cast placement, make sure any swelling is gone a few days after the spica cast is placed. If it goes on longer or you have any concerns, contact your doctor.

  • Make sure your child can wiggle their toes the way they did before the spica cast was placed.


  • Carry your child close to your body.

  • If there is a crossbar connecting the two legs of the cast, do not use it as a handle to move or lift your child.

  • When lifting your child, keep your back straight and knees bent to avoid injury in your back.

  • Do not leave your child alone at home in the spica cast.

  • If your child uses a car seat, your doctor will either give you a special car seat to use. Alternatively, your doctor may provide you with a special seat belt to use.

See more information

Hip Disorders