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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 April; 91(3): 267.
PMCID: PMC2765022
Technical Notes and Tips
Bruce Campbell, Section Editor

Avoiding the Unsanitary Hip Spica

Treatment of infants with hip dysplasia commonly involves application of a hip spica for several months. During this period, the spica invariably becomes heavily soiled around the perineal opening. Gore-tex® (WL Gore and Associates, Inc., Flagstaff, AZ, USA) cast liners have previously been shown to avoid skin excoriation from soiled casts.1 These cast liners are, however, expensive. We describe a simple, cheap, and replaceable alternative. Disposable adhesive sanitary towels are folded over the cast edges, with absorbent surfaces facing the perineum (Fig. 1). Towels can be changed by the infant's parents once soiled. We recommend a wingless ultra-thin towel for ease of application.

Figure 1Figure 1
Hip spica (A) before and (B) after application of sanitary towels.


1. Wolff CR, James P. The prevention of skin excoriation under children's hip spica casts using the Gore-Tex pantaloon. J Pediatr Orthop. 1995;5:386–8. [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England are provided here courtesy of The Royal College of Surgeons of England