Serial Casting and the Turtlebrace

We have been using a relatively new technology called the Turtlebrace to help provide serial casting or splinting to our patients. But what is serial casting and how does the Turtlebrace compare to traditional casting? Serial casting is often used for conditions such as tip toe walking, calf muscle contractions, and foot abnormalities (such as club foot or abnormal curvature of the foot).  It is most often used to place the ankle in a stretched position and is worn for a week 24/7.  After a week, the ankle is then casted in an even more stretched position than the week before.  This is a way of regaining muscle length in tight muscles and helping to restore normal movement and gait.  Some children who tip toe walk can develop tightness or contractures in their calf muscles which means they are restricted and find it difficult (or sometimes impossible) to place their heels on the ground.  They are unable to achieve a heel strike, even if they wanted to.  Serial casting is extremely effective in regaining this muscle length and restore a normal gait pattern. Traditional casting requires plaster, the removal of the cast with a plaster saw and is unable to be removed (or if it is removed, it cannot be put back on without being re-cast).  The Turtlebrace is a mouldable and remoudable brace which is placed in the oven, heated up and then applied to the limb which is fastened with a zip.  It is positioned and then hardens as the brace cools.  The Turtlebrace provides a low risk, high reward situation.  The pros of the Turtlebrace include:
  • It is waterproof
  • Can fit inside most joggers and can be worn for running, jumping, etc
  • It has a zip which means it is easy and stress-free to remove (no plaster saw!)
  • It can be removed if there is a problem (e.g. a pressure area, child is struggling and needs a break) without compromising the cast or the joint (it can simply be put back on)
  • It is light weight, comfortable and looks good!
  • It is remoudable – which means when we are ready to the next cast, we pop it in the oven and it resets to the initial shape
If you are wondering if your child needs serial casting – then the Turtlebrace provides an amazing alternative to traditional plaster.  Below are some before and after pictures of some patients who have had calf muscle contractures and how they have responded to a course of serial casting using the Turtlebrace.