The Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) at Riley Hospital for Children and IU Health Methodist Hospital are putting visitor restrictions in place starting Monday, Nov. 18th. Only visits by parents plus four designated adults identified by the parents will be allowed on the NICU floor.
Siblings and children under 18 will not be permitted. These restrictions minimize risk of infection to patients already at risk and will be in place through spring 2020.
When a very young child develops scoliosis, a cast is an effective technique for correcting the spinal curvature and preventing it from worsening as they grows. Casting is commonly used for infants and toddlers who develop scoliosis due to congenital, neurological or unknown (idiopathic) causes.
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If you are born with scoliosis or your doctor thinks your spinal curvature might get worse, you will have a plaster cast made for your body. Similar to when you make a plaster sculpture in art class, this cast is made to wrap around your body and be worn all the time.Pediatric Orthopedic doctor
Children ages one to four years who have a flexible spinal curvature measuring more than 35 degrees are good candidates for scoliosis casting. Due to their age and size, most children are not candidates for spinal fusion surgery because they will continue to grow and need time for their bones and organs to mature. Casting allows an orthopedic surgeon to slow the rate at which a spinal curvature progresses and, in some cases, correct or even cure a child of scoliosis.
Scoliosis casting involves a series of plaster casts applied to your child at regular intervals, typically every eight to 16 weeks, depending on your child’s age and growth until the spinal curvature halts or improves. Casting is continued until the curve progression stabilizes, improves or, in some cases, until the child is old enough for surgery. Scoliosis casting can be a gentle and effective method to align a young child’s spine and help it grow as straight as possible.
When left untreated, infantile scoliosis can become so severe that it limits important body systems, such as heart and lung function. Interventions such as casting – and later, bracing – help realign a curvature or manage scoliosis until a child is ready for other corrective treatment, such as surgery.
Scoliosis casting is performed in an operating room with your child placed under anesthesia. While no incisions are made during the procedure, the child needs to be asleep so the orthopedic surgeon can correctly position the spine and apply the cast.
Once your child is asleep, he or she will be transferred to a special traction table made specifically for this procedure. The traction gently cradles your child in a head halter and secures the pelvis with hip straps. Traction placed through the spine allows the doctor to elongate, de-rotate and flex your child’s spine into improved alignment. This position is held while the cast hardens to your child’s body shape. Often, an x-ray is taken during the procedure to take measurements and document the corrected alignment of the scoliosis curvature.
After this procedure:
Scoliosis casts are worn 24/7 and cannot get wet. The cast is removed by your child’s doctor to assess progress and place the next cast or brace. It's important to remember that:
After your child’s final cast is removed, he or she may be placed into a removable back brace. Depending on the severity of your child’s scoliosis, bracing can be used to maintain the correction obtained with casting, continue to control curvature progression or keep it from worsening until your child is old enough to undergo corrective spinal surgery.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.