Pediatric orthopedic surgery
Dr. Edward Fink is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon on staff at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. His office can be reached at 602-865-4011.
Question: What are some common reasons why a child would need to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon? Are musculoskeletal issues or injuries treated differently in children than in adults?
Answer: Pediatric orthopedic surgeons are specialists who are highly trained in diagnosing, treating, and managing problems involving the bones, joints, and muscles in young people – ranging from newborns to teenagers.
There are a number of reasons why a child may need to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, such as injuries, congenital abnormalities, problems related to musculoskeletal growth or development or infections. By and large, the majority of young patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon following some type of musculoskeletal injury. A twisted knee from a football tackle, a broken arm from falling off the monkey bars, or an injured neck from a car crash are all injuries that might require a visit to an orthopedic surgeon.
Not all patients who see an orthopedic surgeon require surgery. Sprains, strains and even broken bones are common by-products of active children, and while certain injuries may need medical attention, many can be successfully treated without the need for surgery. However, in perhaps 40-50 percent of cases, particularly those involving serious fractures, surgery is necessary to realign or stabilize a broken bone.
Due to the ongoing growth of children and development, musculoskeletal problems absolutely need to be managed differently in children than in adults. Children have growth plates at the ends of their bones, which is where continued growth occurs. Roughly 15-30 percent of all fractures in young children involve a growth plate, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If these injuries aren’t properly treated, there can be significant repercussions for how the bones heal and continue to grow.
Generally speaking, children’s bones are resilient and have a great potential to remodel after an injury, which allows them to recover from fractures or injuries more quickly and often with better results than adults.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s musculoskeletal health, contact your healthcare provider. The orthopedic specialists at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the spine, bones, joints and muscles.