The term “orthopedics” seems simple enough. It’s a branch of surgery that deals with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, tendons, and cartilage) and, therefore, should apply to people of all ages. However, there’s a difference between general orthopedics and pediatric orthopedics besides the fact that the latter is designed specifically to treat children.
For one thing, a child’s bones are very different from those of an adult. An infant begins life with a skeleton consisting of cartilage that gradually develops into calcified bones. As a child grows, his or her bones are softer in structure than adults.
What is different about the way a doctor cares for a child’s bone and joint injuries and disorders has a lot to do with what are known as growth plates. These growth plates are made of developing cartilage tissue near the end of long bones. A child’s bones grow from the ends where the growth plates are located. In children, fractures can occur within or near the growth plates, which requires different types of treatment compared to fractures in adults.
Also, children’s bones heal faster than adult bones. As such, an injured child needs to be evaluated promptly to make sure the fracture heals properly. Otherwise, surgery may be needed to correct it. In addition, a child’s fracture doesn’t need to be casted for as long as an adult’s does. There are also differences in pediatric surgical techniques when it comes to sports injuries such as an ACL tear.
Child Care Specialists
Pediatric orthopedic surgeons not only complete medical school and spend several years in residency specializing in musculoskeletal treatment to become general orthopedic physician, but also receive additional training in a specific area of orthopedics plus additional training in the care of children. This includes evaluating and treating children with special needs, deformities, and gait abnormalities. Pediatric orthopedic specialists are adept at examining all portions of a children’s musculoskeletal system, from head to toe, while keeping the child relaxed and cooperative.
At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, we treat patients of all ages. Whether dealing with a sports injury or any other kind of orthopedic condition, our board-certified physicians see patients in a child-friendly environment and can provide pediatric-specific therapy as needed. Most conditions will heal with nonsurgical treatment. However, if your child requires surgery, our caring and compassionate providers are equipped to utilize the latest pediatric surgical techniques to help heal your child as quickly and effectively as possible.
Your Family Orthopedists in San Antonio
The orthopedic physicians and staff at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine are dedicated to providing you and your family with the best patient-centered care available. If you or a loved one is in need of an orthopedic surgeon, or merely considering your options, our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible in a comfortable, supportive environment.
We’re located next to Methodist Texsan Hospital in Balcones Heights. Contact us today by calling (210) 692-7400 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. We look forward to serving you.