Pediatric Orthopedics

Treatment for Growing Bones

Last modified: December 21, 2011

Beatrice Woods
Licensed Practical Nurse

Pediatric Orthopedics

The bones and muscles of the skeletal system are the cornerstone for growing bodies. Healthy bones are made of nerves, blood vessels and tissue.  Bones develop and mature from early childhood to pre-adulthood decreasing in number as the child increases in age.

Common Pediatric Orthopedic Disorders

Because children are in a continuous growth process their bodies react to abnormalities differently. Any deviation in the bones, muscles, and joints of children are handled by the pediatric orthopedic branch of medicine.

Common orthopedic disorders seen in small children include pigeon toes, feet turning in towards the toe; knock- knees, an abnormal alignment of the body where the knees come together while in a standing position, and flat feet a condition affecting the feet where the feet are literally flat and without the bony structure called an arch on the sides of the feet. These conditions typically require no surgery,  resolving over time as the child gets older.

Time is not the answer for all pediatric orthopedic issues. Complex diseases and disorders of the bone and spine may require pediatric orthopedic surgery. Good deals of children are born with orthopedic disorders.Congenital scoliosis, bending of the spinal column related to a vertebral disfigurement. Treatment includes observation of the spinal column, some curvatures are so minuscule no treatment is needed, bracing therapy and possible surgical intervention.

Children are regularly seen at the emergency department for mishaps incurred while playing sports. Popular complaints encountered at the emergency room include, sprains, an over pulling of the tissue that binds bones together, this tissue is called ligaments,  and concussions, a brief injury to the brain caused by a hard hit or blow sometimes causing passing out. Pediatric sports medicine specialist has years of expert training geared towards children and specific injuries.  

Pediatric orthopedic care involves a wide array of ailments from back pain, trauma and breaks in a bone called fractures.   Early intervention by a pediatric orthopedist with issues related to childrens' bones, joints, and muscles is crucial for adequate diagnosis, correction, and possible prevention of the child’s condition.


A deformity present at birth involving a single or bilateral feet pointing down and inward. Treatment for clubfoot always requires medical intervention. Therapy consists of regular sessions of stretching and casting of the child’s foot. Once the foot position is correctly aligned the child must wear leg braces most of the time for several years. Surgery may be required for babies whose feet do not respond to treatment. 

Hip Dysplasia

A serious congenital disorder where the hip ball and socket become disengaged. Treatment will vary per child but includes use of a body harness, hip casting and possible surgery. 

Limb Length Discrepancies

The insufficient development of one or bilateral   extremities causing the limbs to be mismatch in length.  This condition may be present at birth or develop later in a child’s life.  Depending on the degree of the abnormality no treatment may be required. Usually if the deviation in length is more than one inch, limb lengthening surgery is typically urged.

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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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