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Thread: Serial Casting - infantile scoliosis

  1. #1
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    Mar 2004
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    Serial Casting - infantile scoliosis

    I would like to introduce myself and my daughter, Deirdre. She is now three years and five months. At 18 months, I discovered during one of her baths that her ribs were not where they should have been. I remember looking at myself in the mirror at the time and I was white as a sheet. I didn't know what she had, I thought it was cancer or something. I didn't know what scoliosis was or what to look for. I always thought her back looked a little funny, but I never thought that it was possible for a spine to curve and rotate like that. I do recall her pediatrician looking at her back during the three month check-up but he never said anything to me !!!

    Later, when an x-ray was done I discovered that she had a sixty
    degree curve. Within two weeks, just before she was placed in her first cast, her curve had already progressed to 68 degrees. The medical objective was to delay surgery for as long as possible. Filled with fear about the possibility of spinal fusion, I read about different treatment options. I came across the following websites:

    http://www.sauk.org.uk/infant_treatment.htm

    http://www.scoliosis.org/resources/m...earlyonset.php

    The only option that held out any hope for Deirdre seemed to be
    serial casting. At the next visit with her orthopedist, I insisted
    that he keep her in the cast and have it replaced within three months time (to allow for growth). Everytime we went for a visit with the doctor, I kept insisting that he continue to change her cast. By the third cast( six months later ) her curve had decreased to 14 degrees !!! (lying down) A stand-up x-ray later revealed that her curve was at 19 degrees.

    The last time she had an x-ray done was in November of 2003, and her curve was 13 degrees (standing-up). She has been in and out of casts for the past 21 months. She has had five cast changes. Sure it hasn't been a cup of tea, but who ever said scoliosis was going to be easy. I am hoping that her next cast change will be her last and that she will be straight once and for all !!!

    Thanks for listening and I hope this story will inspire someone out
    there.




    Celia

  2. #2
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    There is misinformation circulating on other websites about the requirement for parents to travel sometimes thousands of miles to see a particular doctor that has "experience" using serial casts. There are also claims that the cast MUST be completely made of plaster of paris.

    It was my doctor's idea to cast my daughter immediately. I went along with it because I trusted his judgement. Once I came across the SAUK website and the National Scoliosis Foundation information on early onset scoliosis, I knew it was the way to go. My doctor is twenty minutes away. Her cast has a thin sheet of plaster in the molding - perhaps about 1/ 4 of an inch thick and the molding is wrapped in fibreglass. It looks like a regular boston brace however, it cannot be removed. We have had EXCELLENT correction with these casts and I can tell you, that today she is almost straight.

    I don't advocate that parents sever all ties with their current pediatric othopaedic doctors in favour of travelling in some cases, thousands of miles to get their children casted every three or four months. Work with your doctor - it's not rocket science - I am sure he/she can be convinced. If not, phone around local children's hospitals to find out who does casting. Granted, casting is not standard procedure, BUT it is NOT such a remote unused procedure as some will lead you to believe. There are numerous children's hospitals who routinely treat infants with serial casts There are many GOOD, CARING doctors out there ! Have faith in yourself and your doctor.








    Celia
    Last edited by Celia; 08-26-2004 at 06:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    serial plaster casting

    Cecilia - I am interested in hearing more. Where do you live? - where was your daughter treated? Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Hi Maria,

    Telling you who was/is treating her, sort of goes against my message to NOT travel too far to see a doctor - but anyway....she was treated with serial casts by Dr. Douglas Hedden who is now Chief of Surgery at Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. Post casting, she is being treated by Dr. Rivard in Montreal, Quebec with the Spinecor brace.
    Last edited by Celia; 03-10-2006 at 08:20 PM.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2004
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    casting

    Hi Maria

    My dd is being treated very successfully with a plaster cast.

    A great place to go for information and support is
    www.infantilescoliosis.org
    At the bottom of the page is a link to a very active and supportive on-line support group.

    Hope that helps.

    Jaz

  6. #6
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    Mar 2004
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    Hi All,

    I've been trying to upload a picture of my little cutie in her cast, but it has not been an easy task. The picture will probably be ENORMOUS. I have been trying to reduce it with no luck !

  7. #7
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    Here is another picture of my little princess

  8. #8
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    May 2004
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Hi Celia,
    Just wanted to say that I love the pictures of your little angel, she is beautiful! Take care, and keep up the good work!!
    Cathy (Nicky's Mom)

  9. #9
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    Thanks Cathy

    I hope things are going well for you and your family. How's little Nicky ? He's quite a cutie himself







    Celia

  10. #10
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    May 2004
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    Celia,
    Everything is great with us! The TRP/VEPTR has been a huge success for Nicky! He has sailed through the surgeries so far, and has gotten really good correction!
    We will keep you, and your family in our prayers!
    See you "around"!
    Cathy

  11. #11
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    Cathy,

    It feels like I'm bumping into an old friend - we just pick up on conversations that were left off months before. I was thinking, why don't you write up a little story about Nicky's positive experience with the TRP ? I'm sure there are a lot of parents who are new to this that would benefit.






    Celia

  12. #12
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    Mar 2004
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    Hey Gang,

    Here are current photos of my little cutie without her cast - she got it off yesterday !!!!! Beware, picture texture is not that good since I had to reduce the size of the photos and for some reason it didn't turn out



    Celia
    Last edited by Celia; 10-26-2005 at 02:21 PM.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    NJ across from NYC
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    Congratulations! Remembering way back when, that was the best day of my life, removing my cast. Your daughter is beautiful and her back looks great! I wish you all the best. LYNN
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

  14. #14
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    Thanks Lynn !

    It's been 4 months since Deirdre had her cast removed and as some of you know, she has been wearing the Spinecor brace full time. I've taken a few pictures recently to show you how GREAT she looks ! Anyway.... I hope they come through. I've also included her initial x-ray taken in May 2002 and the most recent one I have, April 2005 ( of course the straight one is the most recent )
    Last edited by Celia; 02-28-2006 at 03:11 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    776
    for what reasons do doctors not use serial casting, there must be some reason, some reasonable sounding arguments???

    (nice pictures by the way)

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