Pediatric orthopedics

Pediatric orthopedics is a specialty that focuses on the orthopedic issues of children. Pediatric orthopedic surgeon are those experienced professionals in treating the musculoskeletal (bone, joint or muscle) issues in a child. Usually, children’s musculoskeletal issues are different from those of the adults. It is because a child’s growing body’s response to injuries, infections and deformities will be different from those of the adults. A slight change in the growth can become a problem. The common pediatric problems are

  • Fractures
  • Clubfoot (CTEV)
  • Congenital hip dislocation (CDH)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Scoliosis
  • Joint or bone infections and tumors

Paediatric fractures are different from adult fractures. The treatment of these fractures is also different as the bones in children are more flexible than adults and they have the capacity to heal faster too. Hence many fractures in children can be managed conservatively with casting alone. But some fractures which cannot be aligned in acceptable position by casting alone may require surgical correction.

Commonly done procedures in paediatric fractures are

  • Plaster
  • Manipulation under anaesthesia and plaster
  • K wire fixation (Pinhole surgery)
  • Nail fixation (TENS)
  • Plating

The treatment varies according to the fracture and the age of the patient.

Club foot is the abnormal position of the foot which appears at birth or during childhood. A child with club foot will have misshaped foot. It will cause him/her to turn the ankle inward and also affects proper way of walking. Both feet are affected in most of the cases. But, in such cases, one foot is more affected than the other.

When you notice any of these signs, it is necessary to consult with the pediatric orthopedic surgeon immediately. Because, if it not corrected at the beginning, it can worsen by day by day and your baby will find it difficult to walk in the normal way.

Club foot can be treated and the child will be able to recover from all the problems related to that. The first stage of treatment is casting or tapping of the foot which can be done from 2nd week of birth. Frequent check ups and plaster change are needed for the child. Casting can be completed by two or three months. After that, the baby may need special shoes with or without a bar.

Normally, surgery is indicated in

  • children who do not respond to casting
  • delayed treatment

It is necessary to have regular follow-ups after the treatments. Regular check-ups can make sure that the club foot does not come back.