Not Just Childs Play Pediatric orthopedic surgeons treat children with joint, bone, limb and spine problems. Causes can be as a result of developmental, congenital, or some form of traumatic impact. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons must spend an additional year of training after residency to learn about the differences in a child’s growing skeleton and that of an adults. This is important if they are to effectively diagnose and treat children with disabilities. It takes a great deal of commitment on the part of the person who chooses to become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. There are several common disabilities for which children may need to be taken to a pediatric orthopedic. Common Disabilities Treated by Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons Spina Bifida A congenital defect. There is no type of cure for spina bifida; the damaged nerve tissue cannot be repaired. The defect isn’t visible. Spina bifida usually isn’t detected until an x-ray is taken of the back. The doctor will try to prevent any infections from growing in the exposed nerves on the spine, while protecting the nerves from any additional trauma. The orthopedic surgeon will monitor the child’s motor strength, neurological status and joint range of motion. Cerebral Palsy There are various forms of cerebral palsy disorders which involve the nervous system and brain functionality. These effect a child’s learning, movement, thinking and even their sight. Symptoms of cerebral palsy vary but may include; abnormal walking, tight muscles that are unable to be stretched, loss of movement in muscles and joints that tighten and will not open all the way. Doctors who treat cerebral palsy are tasked with helping the child to be as independent as they possibly can. Spinal Cord Injury The spinal cord is a group of nerves that carry messages to other parts of the body. Spinal cord injuries in children are most commonly caused by automotive incident or a sports injury. Spinal injuries are not easily detected in children. General signs may include paralysis, tingling or burning sensations and flaccid extremities. It is not possible to reverse the damage caused by spinal cord injuries. However, doctors will discuss ways to avoid further damage and how a child might be able to return to an active lifestyle. Muscular Dystrophy (MD) This is when a group of muscle diseases weaken your musculoskeletal system and limit locomotion. Generally, conditions are inherited. Symptoms vary depending on the form of Muscular Dystrophy a child has. Some of the visible symptoms are poor balance, curvature of the spine and back, droopy eyelid, and frequent falls. Treatment of MD may include occupational therapy, physical therapy and the use of orthopedic instruments.
Included in the treatment of such medical conditions is the options for surgery. A pediatric orthopedic surgeons most common procedures are the lengthening of tendons and spinal fusions. However, surgery is not offered without considering how it will ultimately benefit the patient. Although there are no cures for these medical conditions, there are many treatment options available that can be discussed with your pediatric orthopedic surgeon. If you are based in Phoenix, you can visit the following website: Phoenix orthopedic surgeons.