Single-leg cast effective in treatment of pediatric femoral fractures

Use of a single-leg cast in the treatment of pediatric femoral fractures is just as effective and safe as using a double-leg cast. Postfracture patient care is also facilitated, according to a recent study.

Researchers randomly assigned 24 patients with a diaphyseal femoral fracture to a single-leg spica cast and 28 patients to a double-leg spica cast. With respect to limb length, varus/valgus angulation and procurvatum/recurvatum angulation, serial radiography evaluated maintenance of fracture reduction. Parents received a performance version of the Activities Scale for Kids questionnaire and a custom-written survey after cast removal so researchers could evaluate the ease of care and function of the children during treatment.

In both groups, study results showed there were no major complications and all limbs healed in satisfactory alignment. Overall, children were more likely to fit into car seats and fit more comfortably into chairs with a single-leg cast vs. a double-leg cast. Caregivers were also able to take less time off work among patients treated with a single-leg cast.

“The single-leg approach not only appears to be just as effective and safe as double-leg casting in terms of healing, but also it makes the child’s life much easier and requires less complicated daily care,” Paul Sponseller, MD, MBA, director of pediatric orthopedics at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, said in a press release.

For more information:

Leu D. J Bone Joint Surg. 2012;doi:10.2106/JBJS.K.00966.

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