A child is a work in progress with unique orthopaedic needs. Because their bodies are still developing, children have different injury patterns and may be more susceptible to musculoskeletal infection. Congenital conditions continue to evolve as the child grows.
A dedicated pediatric specialist is the best trained and most experienced physician to properly evaluate and treat bone, joint or muscle problems in a growing child. Special considerations for this population include:
- Growing bones and psyches. Trauma and sports injuries present distinct challenges in young patients. These problems can affect a child's growth plates, so correct treatment and follow-up care are important to avoid future problems such as limb-length or angular abnormalities. The developing body is accompanied by an emerging personality. The approach to each patient must take into account differences in the various stages of life.
- Complex conditions. Pediatric orthopaedic issues range beyond the simple bumps, bruises and broken bones of an active childhood. They include complex disorders such as congenital hip dysplasia, uneven limb lengths, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and scoliosis, as well as foot and ankle conditions such as flat feet and clubfeet.
- Transitional care. Many children born with complex congenital problems that historically caused early death are now surviving into adulthood. As adults, they often have difficulty finding a physician who can meet their needs. A number of pediatric orthopaedic specialists, including those at OrthoVirginia, have advanced training and expertise to care for this growing patient population.
- Family-centered care. Caring for children with orthopaedic problems means treating the entire family. Young children cannot always articulate what is bothering them, and parents are naturally anxious about their child’s condition. Pediatric specialists pay close attention to the family dynamic. They are trained to stay calm, alleviate fears and find innovative ways to successfully engage children to meet their physical, mental and social needs.
By: Amy Henning, DO
and Candice Holden, MD
Pediatric Orthopaedic Specialists