From the moment they exit the womb, your child grows at a dizzying rate, sometimes gaining inches within a year. Behind this growth is a musculoskeletal system that’s constantly changing and adapting, which is a primary consideration when it comes to pediatric orthopaedic care.
At Urgently Ortho, our team of highly trained orthopaedic specialists understands the unique challenges that come with treating any musculoskeletal issue in a child. Repairs or corrections need to be done in a way that fixes the immediate problem while still accommodating future growth.
Here’s a look at some of the most common orthopaedic problems in kids and how we can resolve them.
Once your child discovers mobility, they’re off to the races, testing out their newfound freedom with little thought about the consequences. This also means that accidents can, and do, happen, including pediatric fractures.
As you watch your child tumble and fall, you may marvel at how they’re able to brush it off so easily. This is because their bones are more malleable than adult bones, but they still have their breaking points.
If your child sustains a fracture, our mission is twofold. First, we need to set the bone so that it knits back together properly. Second, we need to ensure that we can accomplish this in a way that doesn’t interfere with their growth. Put simply, we’re, quite literally, repairing a moving target.
Luckily, children do heal far more quickly than adults, and we understand the steps we need to take to ensure that their growth stays on track and that they don’t suffer any long-term problems because of an interruption. After thoroughly evaluating the location and severity of the fracture, and taking into consideration your child’s age, we treat the fracture in a way that encourages both growth and healing.
This is especially important if the fracture occurs in one of the many growth plates in your child. The ends of your child’s longer bones feature areas of active cartilage from which their bones grow. If your child fractures a growth plate, our goal is to treat the fracture so that future bone growth isn’t impaired, which means we’ll use a combination of techniques, including:
In some cases, surgical correction may be the best course of action.
As children become more active, they’re prone to pediatric overuse injuries as they place too much stress on their vulnerable musculoskeletal system. Two of the more common problems are Osgood Schlatter’s and Sever’s disease, which are growth plate injuries. With Sever’s disease, the growth plate in your child’s heel becomes inflamed (and painful), and with Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, stress on their knees can lead to a bump under their kneecap.
In both cases, we take an approach that involves:
Luckily, these conservative measures are often enough to resolve the problem.
If your child tears a tendon or ligament, we often need to approach the problem differently than in adults. For example, if your child tears an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in their knee, a surgical solution is still the best way to repair the connective tissue. But the procedure is different because we can’t interfere with the bones in a way that may arrest growth. Fortunately, we offer highly successful solutions that rely on drilling holes in non-growth areas or wrapping a graft around their bones.
These are just a few examples of why children need specialized care when it comes to orthopaedic issues. For the best pediatric care for your child, contact our Scottsdale, Arizona, office at (480) 531-6007 or request an appointment using our online scheduling tool.