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A pilot study of delayed versus immediate serial casting after botulinum toxin injection for partially reducible spastic equinus.

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1097/bpo.0b013e31815b4d7d
  • Botulinum Toxin Type A/Therapeutic Use
  • Casts
  • Surgical
  • Cerebral Palsy/Drug Therapy
  • Child
  • Child
  • Preschool
  • Equinus Deformity/Drug Therapy
  • Equinus Deformity/Etiology
  • Hemiplegia/Drug Therapy
  • Humans
  • Muscle Spasticity/Drug Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Agents/Therapeutic Use
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Medicine


BACKGROUND: Serial casting is often prescribed after botulinum toxin injections to improve joint ranges of motion and to potentiate the decrease in hypertonia. The aim of this study was to compare delayed versus immediate serial casting as an adjunct to botulinum toxin therapy for partially reducible spastic equinus. METHODS: Twelve children who presented spastic equinus associated with mild gastrosoleus contracture took part. Five of them had a diagnosis of spastic diplegia, whereas 7 had a diagnosis of congenital hemiplegia. Children were randomized to immediate serial casting (same day) or delayed serial casting (4 weeks later) after botulinum toxin injection to their gastrosolei. Casts were replaced weekly for 3 weeks. RESULTS: Three children complained of pain that required recasting in the immediate casting group versus none in the delayed casting group (P = 0.08). At 3 months, there was a 27-degree improvement in the fast dorsiflexion angle (Tardieu R1) in the delayed casting group versus 17 degrees in the immediate casting group (P = 0.029). At 6 months, a 19-degree improvement persisted in the delayed group compared with 11 degrees in the immediate group (P = 0.010). CONCLUSIONS: There is a clear benefit in delaying serial casting after the injection of botulinum toxin in the recurrence of spasticity at the gastrosoleus that may also offer an advantage regarding the incidence of painful episodes associated with casting. Most importantly, reducing the recurrence of spasticity by delayed serial casting may offer the possibility of decreasing the frequency of botulinum toxin reinjections.

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