Pediatric orthopedics is a subspecialty of orthopedics that focuses on the musculoskeletal problems common to children and adolescents. Children are not merely, as the saying goes, small adults—many basic differences exist between the orthopedic problems frequently seen in adults and those prevalent in children and adolescents.
The most unique characteristic of this age group is that they are actively growing; when physicians deal with pediatric musculoskeletal problems, they must consider the effect further growth will have on any treatments and on the anticipated outcomes.
In recognizing and emphasizing such differences, this subspecialty has opened the door to more careful study of both common and rare afflictions of the musculoskeletal system, which has led upgraded treatment protocols and improved prognoses for many abnormalities.
The pediatric orthopedic surgeons at MedStar Health specialize in a wide range of diseases and abnormalities in children and adolescents, including:
- Fractures and dislocations
- Congenital abnormalities such as clubfoot and congenital hip dislocation
- Neuromuscular disease such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida
- Common problems of the child, such as in-toeing, flatfeet, toe walking, and growing pains
- Sports injuries
- Bone tumors
- Bone infections, such as osteomyelitis and septic arthritis
Risk of treatment
Before signing consent for any operation, parents must be fully aware of the benefits, alternatives, risk, complications, and postoperative plans associated with that operation.