Information provided below is meant to serve as a general guide and might be helpful , especially with children, to prepare for an upcoming surgery. However, always follow the advice of your own doctor.
Other than routine activities of daily living, caring for someone of any age with LS might involve keeping plaster casts clean and dry, maintaining skin integrity (minimizing redness or irritation) in braced limbs, and/or post-operative halo care – if spinal surgery is performed. Of all, the halo seems the most scary.
A link is provided below to a guide by kidshealth.org for understanding all the parts of a halo, caring for the patient in it, and reducing anxiety of friends and family during the recovery process:
The Mayo clinic offers information about the types of casts that may be applied to immobilize parts of the body after an injury, surgery, or to treat club foot:
Perhaps the most challenging cast to care for is a spica cast- especially if the patient is not toilet-trained. A spica cast, sometimes referred to as a body cast, is used to immobilize the hips and/or thighs.
For helpful hints for managing a spica cast, see the guide from Mass General below:
(Note: neck collar shown above is not part of spica cast which goes up to mid -chest and is covered by shirt.)
For or other areas of the body that are supported by orthotics (braces), general care should be taken to keep the skin clean and dry and to wear protective liner if any, provided by the orthotist. Orthotics are custom fitted but initially might require several adjustments to obtain a comfortable fit. Any abnormalities in the skin such as cuts or redness should be reported immediately.
Whether the patient is in a brace, cast, or halo, it is critical to notify the doctor if changes in skin color such as redness, swelling, drainage, or pain occurs. If you are unsure whether to call the doctor, this motto should be observed: when in doubt, check it out!