Risser Cast for Scoliosis: 


Risser CastFor the purpose of treating early-onset scoliosis, a Risser Cast can softly and gradually correct spinal abnormalities. The casting will stop the abnormal spine curves from growing worse. As your child ages, he or she will wear a number of Risser casts, which will be replaced every two to three months. Risser casts use pressure and a mild tugging motion (traction) on the spine to prevent curves from growing larger. Other kinds of casts have not proven to perform as well. Most children with Risser casts don’t have problems.

Risser casts are frequently utilized as the initial line of therapy for young children with early-onset scoliosis under the age of four. Your youngster will wear a Risser cast from the tops of the legs to the shoulders. The front and rear of the cast each have openings. These make space so that your infant may breathe and eat without difficulty.

Getting a Risser Cast Put On

Your child will be put to sleep (anesthetized) to put the cast on. It takes about an hour to put on the cast. He or she will wear a soft T-shirt under the cast. This will protect your child’s skin. The cast is placed over the shirt. Edges are trimmed after the first cast is applied. You can tape rough edges to protect your skin. This can be called “petal formation” because the taped state looks like a petal. After the cast is placed on the child, an x-ray is taken of the position of the child’s spine.

The cast first feels warm, moist, and constricting. As the cast dries, this tight sensation will disappear. Casts made of plaster need two to three days to fully dry. Your child will be able to go home either the day of or the day after the Risser cast is applied.

Living with a Risser Cast

It takes time for both parents and kids to adjust to life with the cast. Children frequently become agitated soon after putting their cast on. This is typical and your youngster will need a few days to become acclimated to the cast. While kids get used to the cast, try to be sympathetic and patient with them. The weight of the cast may probably cause your child’s equilibrium to be off at first. As your youngster adjusts to moving around with the cast, parents should stay near.

Encourage your youngster to use their own mobility, but keep a tight eye on them to prevent accidents. Once in a Risser cast, you’ll need to change the way you diaper your youngster. Place the front and back of the diaper up under the cast’s lowest edge. Once you get home, you and your child may color and embellish the cast. Add some colorful duct tape and stickers to make it more enjoyable for your kid.

Preserving Your Child’s Risser Cast


  • To avoid friction at the cast’s edges, you might require moleskin. This information is available from the orthopedic personnel at the clinic or when the cast is applied. It’s also accessible in a pharmacy.

Drying Off the Cast

Keeping the cast dry is crucial. Skin issues will result from moisture in the cast. Casts made by Risser are not watertight. While wearing a Risser cast, avoid giving your child a standard bath or shower. Use plastic food wrap, an enormous plastic bib, an apron, or lots of plastic wraps to shield the cast from moisture. When your child is eating, taking a sponge bath, or cleaning their hair, do this.

Any travels you have planned where you’d like your child out of a cast, able to swim, and able to visit the beach, please let us know in advance. In order to schedule casting around scheduled vacations, we are pleased to work with families. If the cast accidentally becomes wet (for example, during a diaper change), clean it carefully with a mild detergent. After that, use a hair dryer on only the cold setting to dry it. Due to the possibility of burns, never use a warm or hot setting adjacent to your child’s skin.

Maintaining Skin Health

Sores, drainage, and a change in the cast’s odor can all result from infections of the skin beneath the cast. The recommendations below can assist in avoiding such infections:

  • Skin infections under the cast can cause sores, discharge, and odor changes in the cast. The following steps will help prevent such infections.
  • Keep everything away from your child’s cast. Your youngster should learn not to do this as well. It’s simple for a child to scratch himself or herself and get an infection on the skin behind a cast.
  • If scratching happens, use a hair dryer to blast cold air beneath the cast. Call the doctor for an anti-itching medication if your child’s itching persists.
  • On the skin around or beneath the cast, never use lotions, creams, or powders. The skin and cast will soften as a result. Softened skin is more vulnerable to harm from cast pressure’s edges and scratches.
  • While your child is wearing a cast, avoid taking them to the beach or sandbox. Skin irritation is a possibility when sand gets inside the cast.

Daily Health Checkup

Pressure sores, slow circulation, and nerve compression can all result from a cast that is excessively tight or that keeps pressing on an area of your child’s body.

  • Check your child’s arms and legs many times a day for changes in color, temperature, mobility, numbness, and tingling.

Special Care for Children with a Riser Cast


  • While your child is wearing the Risser cast, you should give them a sponge wash rather than a conventional bath or shower. Before you head home, the nurses will advise you on how to accomplish this.
  • Wash your child’s whole body, excluding the cast-covered areas, every day. Be aware that the cast should not become wet.


  • To conceal the Risser Cast, use oversized, loose clothes. Effective waistbands are elastic.
  • Your child’s balance might not be really good since the cast is hefty. When necessary, assist your youngster. Encourage them to utilize the handrails when climbing and descending steps.
  • When wearing a Risser cast, do not place a pillow beneath your child’s head at night. The pressure it exerts on the chin and jaw will drive the head forward.


  • Give your child wholesome foods and beverages. Your child will stay healthy if they eat a balanced diet. Eat healthy instead of junk.
  • Instead of cooking three major dinners, prepare many smaller ones. This will lessen the chance that your youngster would feel overstuffed while wearing the cast.
  • Add more liquids. Your kid will use the restroom more frequently if you do this.

Follow-Up Orthopedic Care

Your doctor will let you know where and when you need to return for a checkup. Call your doctor or nurse with any queries.

Call the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute if your child has trouble breathing or:

  • After becoming wet, the cast develops moisture that is impossible to remove.
  • The cast and your child’s body become impinged with anything.
  • Reddened regions do not disappear after an hour simply by changing positions.
  • The area under the cast feels numb, stinging, or burning.
  • The cast emits a repulsive (bad) stench that is not associated with bodily waste such as excrement or urine.
  • A change in posture or medication cannot relieve your child’s pain, which is either constant or getting worse.
  • The temperature in your kid is 101 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.
  • The cast deteriorates or fractures.
  • Your kid starts to vomit or burp a lot toward the conclusion of the casting time (about six to eight weeks), their stomach protrudes more through the cast, or they are taking in less food and liquids than usual. This can indicate that the cast is no longer fitting your youngster.

The orthopedic doctors of Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute with offices in DallasPlano, and Frisco, Texas use the full range of treatments to treat their spine patients. Our Doctors are experts in the use of Risser casts, a treatment option for infants and children with scoliosis and a curved spine.


Boston Children’s Hospital. Risser Cast.
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. Risser Cast.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Risser Casting


We’re here to help STOP THE PAIN
If your loved one suffers from scoliosis or another complex spine condition, hope exists. We can help. Call Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment today.