A pediatric orthopedic surgeon is an expert helping children with musculoskeletal issues including problems with bones, joints, back, or muscles. In addition to medical school and an orthopedic surgery residency, pediatric orthopedic surgeons also undergo additional training specifically for pediatrics. They are able to treat children from newborns to teenagers with issues such as limb deformities, spine curvatures, broken bones, infections in the bone or joins, and limping.
3 Common Pediatric Orthopedic Conditions Every Parent Should Know About
According to a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon
There are several common conditions in children that a pediatric orthopedic surgeon can help correct early on. Your pediatrician may refer you to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon if they detect one of these conditions.
When we’re born, our feet are flat and then they develop arches as we grow. However, for some kids that arch does not fully develop. As they learn to walk, parents may notice that the child’s ankles turn in– a state often characterized as “weak ankles.” Eventually, the lack of arch in the feet can result in foot pain that can make walking uncomfortable.
While arch supports can help reduce pain in the feet, special shoes and inserts can’t affect the development of the arch. Reconstruction surgery can relieve pain and restore function if orthotics do not effectively reduce pain caused by flat feet.
Also called genu varum, bowlegs are when the legs bend outwards from the knees down in an exaggerated manner. It is an inherited trait common in infants and often corrects itself as a child grows. However, there are two conditions that can lead to persistent bowlegs in children that are toddler age or older: rickets and Blount disease.
Rickets is a condition caused by a lack of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for bone growth. If a child is deficient in calcium and/or vitamin D, the legs cannot develop properly as they grow. This can lead to muscle pain among other problems such as spleen and liver enlargement.
Blount disease causes abnormal growth at the top of the tibia bone which is located by the joints of the knees. Doctors can start to detect Blount disease around the age of 2 and may recommend bracing or surgery to correct it.
Scoliosis is a condition where the child’s spine curves sideways. If the curves are large enough, the child may need surgery or a brace to help correct it. Most cases of scoliosis develop in early puberty around age 10.
There are many reasons it is important to be aware of these common conditions that often affect infants. The the well being of your children is one reason. However, the most important one is that all of these conditions can be resolved if treated early on.
Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has over 10 years of experience as a orthopedic surgeon including pediatric orthopedics. If you would like more information on common pediatric orthopedic conditions like flat feet, bowlegs, and Scoliosis, contact Orthopaedic Specialists today at 502-212-2663.