Pediatric orthopaedics is the specialty that deals with the treatment of bone diseases and defects (both genetic-related and acquired) that develop during gestation.
Developmental and musculoskeletal disorders can also use the help and expertise of a competent pediatric orthopaedic specialist.
In addition, children who are born with congenital bone diseases can also benefit from the help of a pediatric orthopaedics expert.
Although certain conditions get corrected on their own without requiring treatment, others can end up becoming more severe without medical intervention.
Some of the most prevalent orthopaedic conditions in children include:
Popliteal cyst or Baker’s cyst – similar to tibial apophysitis, this condition often responds well to conservative treatment interventions. However, if there is an underlying internal derangement, arthroscopy is often required.
Tibial apophysitis or Osgood-Schlatter disease – it is fortunate to note that this condition will also often respond well to non-invasive treatment options like bracing, physical therapy, orthotics, and activity modification.
Patellar subluxation and dislocation – classified as a congenital disorder, this condition often responds best to immobilization. In chronic cases, however, surgery is deemed the best treatment intervention.
Discoid lateral meniscus – this condition is classified as a congenital malformation. Arthroscopic repair becomes the best resort once the condition starts to get troublesome.
Genu valgum (knock-kneed) – this condition is often benign and often gets resolved once the child turns 8 years old. However, surgery might be necessary if the condition lingers until the child turns 10 years old.
Genu varum (bow-legged) – this condition is believed to be caused by a tightening of the posterior hip capsule. If the condition is still not resolved after the child has turned 2 years old, osteotomy will be recommended.
Internal femoral torsion–this condition is the cause of in-toeing in children 2 years old and above. Fortunately, the condition will be resolved without treatment once an abnormal sitting position is corrected.
Internal tibial torsion – deemed the most prevalent cause of in-toeing in children ages 2 years old and below, the condition usually gets resolved the moment the child starts to walk.
Curly toes – the fifth and the fourth toes are the ones often affected by this condition. In majority of the cases, no symptoms will manifest. The condition is also considered hereditary. Fortunately, in 25 to 50 percent of the cases, the condition is resolved once the child turns 3 or 4 years old. If not, surgery will be recommended.
Polydactyly – while considered very common among children, the severity can vary from one child to another. Condition severity can range from just minor soft tissue duplication to serious skeletal abnormalities. The best treatment approach for polydactyly is often surgical removal.
Ingrowing toenail – when the nail’s edge grows into the soft tissues, an ingrown toenail occurs. Management of the condition can range from conservative options like antibiotics and warm soaks down to surgery.
Hammer toe – this condition is known to often affect the second toe. While surgery is often not required, it is resorted to when the condition becomes too painful.
Transient monoarticular synovitis – considered one of the most common causes of limping, this condition often manifests after a respiratory infection. Treatment options for the condition can include rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and physiotherapy.
Perthes’ disease – this condition is characterized by the idiopathic avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Common treatment interventions include bracing, analgesics, and bed rest.
Septic arthritis – the condition is attributed to Staphylococcus aureus. Treatment interventions often include arthroscopy, drainage and debridement (with antibiotic cover), and emergency aspiration.
Developmental dysplasia – this spectrum of disorders often affects the proximal femur, hips, and the acetabulum. Early detection and prompt treatment can help prevent long-term morbidity.