Most Common Conditions in Pediatric Orthopaedics

Most Common Conditions in Pediatric Orthopaedics

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Pediatric orthopaedics is the specialty that treats diseases (genetic-related or acquired) and bone defects that develop during gestation.

Children with developmental and musculoskeletal disorders and those with congenital bone diseases will also need the expertise of a competent pediatric orthopaedic specialist.

While it’s fortunate to note that some conditions will correct itself even without treatment, other cases can become severe sans medical attention.

Some of the most common pediatric orthopaedic conditions include:

Knee

Patellar subluxation and dislocation – classified as a congenital disorder, this condition will respond best to immobilization. In chronic cases however, surgery is the recommended treatment intervention.

Discoid lateral meniscus – this kind of condition is deemed a congenital malformation. Arthroscopic repair will be considered if the condition starts to become troublesome.

Baker’s cyst (poplitel cyst) – similar to tibial apophysitis, Baker’s cyst will often respond favorably to conservative treatment interventions. Arthroscopy is often recommended when there is an underlying internal derangement.

Osgood-Schlatter disease or tibial apophysitis – the condition often responds to conventional treatment approaches like physical therapy, bracing, orthotics, and activity modification.

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Legs

Internal femoral torsion – in-toeing in children (2  year old and above) is often traced to this condition. Fortunately, the condition will resolve itself even without  medical intervention once the abnormal sitting correction has been corrected.

Internal tibial torsion – this condition is considered the most prevalent cause of in-toeing in children (2 years old and below). Luckily, the condition will resolve itself once the child begins walking.

Knock-kneed or Genu valgum – the condition will often resolve itself once the child turns 8 years old. The condition is also considered benign. However, should the condition linger until the child turns 10 years of age, surgery will most likely be recommended.

Bow-legged or Genu varum – the condition is considered a result of a tightened posterior hip capsule. If the condition has not been resolved by the time the child turns 2 years old, osteotomy will most likely be recommended.

Hip

Perthes’ disease – the condition is characterized by the idiopathic avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Typical treatment approaches include analgesics, bracing, and bed rest.

Developmental dysplasia – this spectrum of disorders often affects the proximial femur, hips, and the acetabulum. Early detection and treatment has been known to help prevent long-term morbidity.

Transient monoarticular synovitis – considered one of the most common causes of limping, the condition often occurs after a respiratory infection. Treatment interventions can include rest, physiotherapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Septic arthritis – the condition is attributed to Staphylococcus aureus. Septic arthritis is often treated through arthroscopy, emergency aspiration, and drainage and debridement with antibiotic cover.

Toes

Ingrowing toenail – the condition occurs when the nail’s edge grows into the surrounding soft tissues. Management of the condition can range from noninvasive approaches (antibiotics and warm soaks) to ingrown toenail surgery.

Hammer toe – oftentimes, the condition affects the second toe. Although surgery is often not required, it can become the treatment option if the condition becomes severely painful.

Curly toes – the condition often affects the fourth and the fifth toes. Oftentimes, curly toes does not manifest any symptoms. The condition is also considered inherited. The condition often resolves itself by the time the child turns 3 to 4 years old in at least 25 to 50 percent of the cases. Otherwise, surgery will most likely be the next option.

Polydactyly – while the severity of the condition can vary from one child to another, the condition is considered very prevalent. Condition severity can range from just minor soft tissue duplications to severe skeletal abnormalities. The best treatment approach for the condition is surgical removal.

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