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OKM serial casting treatment for infantile scoliosis

What is OKM casting and why is it necessary?

OKM casting is a treatment that is done over a period of time. The time span will vary depending on how quickly your child grows. A jacket is made of a mouldable plastic with a thin layer of fabric on both sides, and it is moulded to fit your child’s spine. This is to improve the curvature of the child’s spine by changing the position each time it is done. OKM has replaced plaster casts, they are lighter in weight and are stronger and they may be removed for a short period of time each day. After the cast is applied it will be checked and trimmed to give your child room to move and to help prevent skin problems.

Why does my child need a general anaesthetic or sedation for each cast change?

A general anaesthetic or sedation is sometimes necessary to keep your child very still and relaxed and to allow a better fitting jacket to be applied.

fitting jacket









Can I bath my child?

Yes, you can bath your child. The OKM jacket has a zip down either side and across each shoulder so that it can be removed for half an hour each day so that you may bath your child. Please use only soap and water on a face cloth to wash your child. Dry the skin well. You may apply creams to your child’s skin if necessary.

How do I care for my child in the jacket?

You may need to use extra rolled up blankets or towels to support the child’s spine when they are laid on their side or back. Their position when laid in their cot or bed should be changed regularly to relieve any pressure from the jacket against their spine. Try to treat your child as normally as possible. You are likely to be more frustrated by the jacket than your baby. Encourage your child to carry out normal activities. It is possible that your child may regress in their development by up to 3 months but will soon catch up again.

How do I care for the jacket?

Try to keep it as clean and dry as possible and do not put anything inside it. It may have a fleecy material applied around any rough areas to make the edges softer and more comfortable. At the bottom of the jacket near the nappy area, the jacket is sometimes protected with a waterproof tape to help prevent any seepage of urine or faeces damaging it. This padding and protection cannot be applied until the jacket is dry. The ward staff will show you how to put it on before you go home so that you can do it the next day. Once you are home and if you have any problems with the jacket, contact numbers are on the back of this leaflet.

How long will the treatment last?

Usually until your child is big enough to be put into a brace which is managed in the Outpatient clinic, usually around age 5.

Contact us

If you have any questions or problems however trivial they may be – please ask.

Spinal Nursing Team
0114 226 7984

Orthotic Department
0114 271 7271

Mr Breakwell, Mr Cole, Mr Athanassacopoulos, Mr Bayley, Miss Srinivas
Secretary 0114 226 7981

Formetric scan advice
0114 226 0602

Ward 2
0114 271 7392 or 0114 2717394

Switchboard 0114 2717000

Scoliosis Association (SAUK)
Helpline: 020 8964 1166
E-mail: sauk@sauk.org.uk
Website: www.sauk.org.uk

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SPN6

Resource Type: Article

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Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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