Adventures in Serial Casting . . . Week One

I don’t know if we made the right decision or not but it is the one we have made. I am not sure if Jon really had a say in the decision, but he is going along with it. Of course there was a bribe and what 17 year old boy would say no to new video games. A small price to pay for what we hope will help him walk longer, and with less risk than heel cord release surgery. We also reminded our dear son that if he had done his stretching and wore his night splints we wouldn’t have to do this. Hopefully this will be uncomfortable enough to get him to see the benefit of those boring stretching exercises and wearing the night splints. I really believe that he wants to keep walking as long as possible, but like all of us doing the right thing on a regular basis is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment and discipline.

On Thursday, June 12th we went to the Pediatric Rehab dept of the hospital and had the first series of casts put on. It is a good thing that Dad was able to come along as one foot was really tight and it took both him and the therapist to get a good position for casting. We weren’t sure what to expect, so we had his pediatrician order a Hoyer lift after trying several other avenues to try and rent or borrow one. It is not here yet, but we are functioning better that we thought we would. He broke his leg about 3 ½ years ago, so we did have some things around the house to help with transferring and showering. He has been able to walk with help in the cast boots they gave him to wear over the casts. His balance is different and we are noticing we have to pick him up differently and he is not as confident when he walks. Having an engineer for a father also has its advantages. Dad was able to make some shims for the bottom of the casts to help with his balance. He says he isn’t sleeping well, more just uncomfortable than in any pain.

That is all for now, we go back on Thursday, June 19th to have these casts removed, check the progress and then recast with a little more stretch.

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Comment by Lisa Jones on June 15, 2008 at 6:37pm
Hi Susan. We are trying to find someone to do Bradley's serial casting. I think we are going to have to go to the Kenny Roger's Children's Center which is a 1.5 hour drive for us. The PT at Cincinnati gave me a protocol sheet for serial casting and she told us to make sure we only allow them to leave each cast on for 3-4 days and it should be a total of 11 days. She said serial casting is different for DMD. I have this sheet entitled Serial Casting the SMA or DMD Patient to Increase Ankle PROM. Maybe I could scan it and email it to you. I'm concerned about the differences in protocol only because I am about to go through this with my son.

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