Serial Casting at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
Mikaela's elbows only bend so far due to
the fused joints. Her left arm
can bend 110 degrees,
but as much as we try and stretch her right elbow it's just not budging.
So serial casting was recommended by her Dr. and if it works, it will help with her range of motion.
Starting 3.29.10 Mikaela had her right arm
casted, which bends to 70 degrees. Her left arm bends to 110 degrees so
they suggest we keep stretching her on that side. Every week
they will bend her arm 5 more degrees each time. As long as they see
progress, she'll continue this for the next 5 weeks, minimum.
4.05.10 Mikaela was recasted and gained 10 degrees! She is now at 80 degrees.
4.12.10 Mikaela was recasted and gained another 10 degrees! They
said about 2 more weeks of casting and she'll be able to bend her arm to
her mouth! We're so excited for her!
4.19.10 Mikaela was recasted and gained 20 degrees! She is now at 110 degrees! They said this is probably the last casting for her right arm. So next week when we go back, if she has gained at least 10 more degrees, we will start casting her left arm to get the most we can out of this.
4.23.10 I removed her cast and the outcome was great! Mikaela can now bend her arm up to her mouth. Her right arm never really had a curve to it, nor a bend. Now it has a natural curve like the left arm and we can bend her arm up to her mouth. On Monday I'll take her back down to Childrens and get her left arm casted to see how far we can get with that one.
4.26.10 We went back to CHLA to get Mikaela's left arm casted. Reason for this is to get a good stretch out of it, but also have her start using her left arm to do things. We'll be going back to Childrens in 2 weeks to see Dr. Lightdale to update her on Mikaela's progress.
5.3.10 Mikaela's left arm cast was removed. As you can see below
Mikaela is wearing something called Kinesio tape, which I'm in the
process of making a page explaining kinesio taping and all of it's
benefits. In Mikaela's case, the tape keeps her hands in the neutral position. Here
are some pictures of Mikaela doing tummy time, with bent elbows!