The effects of serial casting on lower limb function for children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Nikki Milne, Michelle Miao, Emma Beattie

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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Aim: To determine the effects of serial casting for the management of lower limb dysfunction in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Design: Systematic review.

Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in February 2019 across eight databases (PUBMED, EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro, OTSeeker, Cochrane, Scopus and Proquest) using key terms 'Cerebral Palsy' and 'serial casting'. Meta-synthesis and meta-analyses were undertaken showing the effect of serial casting on lower limb outcomes: Ankle range of motion; functional gait measures, hypertonicity, spasticity and; gross motor function.

Results: Twenty-five articles from 3219 possible citations were included. Serial casting was found to be effective for: Improving ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion (PROM), functional gait measures and; decreasing hypertonicity. Serial casting post pharmacological intervention was effective for reducing spasticity. Serial casting (with and without the addition of pharmacological intervention) did not significantly improve gross motor function (GMFM) in the short-to-mid-term. Serial casting with pharmacological intervention was significantly more effective for improving ankle dorsiflexion PROM than serial casting alone (MD -3.19 degrees; 95% CI -5.76 to -0.62; p=0.01; I2=0%).
Conclusion: Lower limb serial casting without pharmacological intervention, improves several outcomes relevant to lower limb function supporting its clinical use for improving functional outcomes in children with CP. The effects may be slightly enhanced when coupled with pharmacological interventions.

Key Practice Point: Further research is indicated to explore long-term effects of serial casting on functional lower limb outcomes. Clinicians can use this information when developing individualised treatment plans for children with CP during shared decision-making consultations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019
EventTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201919 Oct 2019 (Book of Abstracts)


ConferenceTRANSFORM 2019 Physiotherapy Conference
Abbreviated titleAPA
Internet address


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