While many of us like to think of children as happy and healthy, occasionally they may have developmental issues which require medical intervention. Children can make difficult patients and they can require specialist attention from professionals who have the training, skills and knowledge to diagnose any underlying issues. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon is a specialist doctor, who has been trained to diagnose and treat the joint, bone or muscle problems in children. They treat children of all ages from newborn babies through to those in their early teens. However, if your child has been referred to a pediatric specialist, it can be a little daunting, so here are some of the basics about this particular field of medicine.
Training: A pediatric orthopedic surgeon has to undergo thorough and meticulous training. Each qualified professional has gone through a very long and rigid program of learning just to begin practicing their skills. They will have attended and graduated medical school, which is a four year learning program, before completing a residency program specializing in orthopedic surgery which takes five years. On completion of these aspects, they will then complete their training with a sub specialty year to qualify as a professional and specialist pediatric orthopedic surgeon
Why Is it a Specialty: Children present a variety of specific developmental characteristics which can vary according to their age and the particular details of their medical condition. Some orthopedic surgeons choose to specialize in pediatrics which allows them the skills and knowledge to deal with children and help them to recover normal development. This can be a difficult challenge as they also need to have a good bedside manner which will put the child at ease and the ability to cope with tears or tantrums.
Children and Surgery: The word surgery will usually make anyone nervous but this especially the case with small children. A pediatric surgeon must be able to reassure children and their parents by explaining the details of the procedure in a simple and clear manner. This may involve the use of a doll to point out the details of the procedure or simply the distraction of a brightly colored office with plenty of toys to make the child feel more comfortable and relieve the potential anxiety.
Conditions: Specialist pediatric surgeons can handle a number of medical or surgical conditions. The child will be carefully assessed to confirm an accurate and thorough medical diagnosis. Since children and their musculoskeletal features are still growing, the surgeon needs to assess whether the condition is normal for the specific child and whether they will simply grow out of it during the course of their development. Typically, these types of surgeons manage true abnormalities of the musculoskeleton such as congenital hip dyspepsia, club foot, fractures, infections in the bone or joint, tumors or even limping.
There are several ways to find a great pediatric orthopedic surgeon. These include researching on the internet or by referral. Your primary health care provider will inform you if they feel a consultation with a specialist would be beneficial for your child.
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