Twenty-three consecutive children younger than 6 years with a closed femoral shaft fracture stemming from low-energy trauma were treated with an early spica cast. With the patient under general anesthesia, a fiberglass cast was applied in sections. A short-leg cast was applied first, and then the patient was placed on the spica table. The hip and knee were flexed to 90°, and traction was applied to the injured limb via the short-leg cast while the cast was completed. The popliteal fossa was well padded, and a valgus mold was placed at the fracture site. The average number of days in the spica cast was 42 (range, 18-57 days). Average shortening of the fracture at the time of cast removal was 1.0 cm (range, 0.1-2.1 cm). Final patient examinations were performed 18-24 months after the fracture. Overgrowth averaged 1.1 cm in the femur (range, 0.5-1.9 cm) and 0.4 cm (0-0.7 cm) in the tibia. Limb lengths in each patient were within 1 cm o f the contralateral limb when measured by scanogram and by blocks. The success of early spica cast treatment in this series can be attributed to strict patient selection and meticulous cast application.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine