Pediatric Injury Specialist
Pediatric Injury Q & A
How does pediatric orthopedic care differ from care for adults?
Children’s bones, joints, and connective tissues are still growing, and tissues heal at different rates – typically much more quickly than in adults. When fractures, torn ligaments and other types of pediatric injury are not treated promptly and appropriately, the bones and tissues can grow or “heal” abnormally. Seeing an orthopedist with experience in pediatric care is essential for ensuring children heal and develop properly following a fracture, sprain, dislocation or other injury affecting the musculoskeletal system so they can return to their normal activities as soon as possible.
What kinds of fractures are common in children?
Common childhood fractures include:
- Buckle fractures occur at the end of long bones when one side of the bone becomes compressed while the other side expands.
- Greenstick fractures occur when the bone bends and partially fractures, similar to the way a green twig will break when bent.
- Growth plate fractures occur at the ends of the arm and leg bones where new bone tissue is formed.
- Plastic deformation occurs when the bone bends, resulting in multiple small fractures that require realignment before casting.
Most fractures can be treated with casting or bracing, but in very severe fractures, surgery may be required to straighten and realign the bones and pins or screws may be needed to keep the fragments in their proper positions.
How are pediatric orthopedic tumors treated?
Treatment of pediatric tumors depends on the type of tumor that’s present, its location, and other factors. Some benign (non-cancerous) bone tumors will resolve on their own while others may require minimally-invasive procedures to eliminate them. Bracing or casting may be used to provide stability while the bone heals. Malignant (cancerous) tumors typically require surgery to remove the affected portion of the bone or, less frequently, the entire limb. Soft tissue tumors also usually need to be removed surgically. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be used to prevent cancerous growth and prevent the tumor from spreading.