Paediatric orthopaedics is a branch of medicine which concentrates on the diseases of the kinetic system in children – from newborn babies to youth until the age of 18 years. The key role of paediatric orthopaedics is early diagnostics of congenital and acquired diseases of the locomotor system in children and teenagers, which usually develop asymptomatically. Without adequate treatment launched in time, a significant risk is posed by the deterioration of these defects as the child grows and assumes an upright position. This may lead to degenerative changes and permanent disability.
At ENEL-SPORT, our specialists in paediatric orthopaedics are responsible not only for the diagnosis and treatment of faulty posture in children, spinal diseases or locomotor disorders, but they also take care of proper prevention and rehabilitation of children. Proper development of the kid’s iliac (hip) joints and prevention of potential complications should be important for each parent due to the risk of reducing the quality of the child’s life in the future, or even permanent disability. Therefore, appointments with a paediatric orthopaedist are also necessary in the period of accelerated growth when the bones and the muscular system start to grow rapidly, which may lead to static and postural disorders of the body.
When should we seek medical assistance?
All parents should visit a paediatric orthopaedist as early as in the first month of their baby’s life. The specialist will assess whether the child’s skeleton, muscles and joints develop properly. Detection of congenital defects at this stage creates an opportunity for quick and relevant treatment. The next appointment should be planned a few months after the child starts to walk.
Older children and youth usually need the assistance of a paediatric orthopaedist due to injuries to the motor organ. These most often include bone fractures, knee dislocation and ankle sprain. The reasons for appointments also include:
- suspicion of faulty postures in children;
- preliminary diagnosis of platypodia (flat feet);
- frequent backaches;
- complications after an orthopaedic surgery;
- tendon or muscle pains which may indicate inflammation.
It is also worth seeking the assistance of a paediatric orthopaedist at ENEL-SPORT facilities in Warsaw and Łódź when the child has been observed not to develop properly in terms of movements and has a problem with limb mobility.
What does the visit look like?
A specialist in orthopaedics consults children in the case of every single irregularity related to the motor organ. The first appointment takes place a few weeks after the baby is born. Then, the physician makes a general assessment of the motor organ, especially the functioning and location of iliac (hip) joints. If there are any doubts, the diagnostics will be extended by an ultrasonography examination in order to assess any potential abnormalities.
An appointment for older children starts with a medical history, provision of first aid in the event of an injury, or detailed identification of the patient’s postural defect by means of examinations and functional tests of the particular motor organ elements.
It is important to bring the following documents:
- the child’s medical record book;
- the entire documentation from previous appointments;
- test/examination results or X-ray images.
Every single parent must be aware that an appointment with a paediatric orthopaedist may determine proper development of their child. Parents should not assess the hip joints of their newborn baby on their own, but rather leave the diagnosis for a specialist. This is because preliminary medical examination serves as the basis for prevention, prognosis and immediate treatment. In the event of faulty posture in children, it usually requires combined, multidisciplinary procedures.
What diseases may the specialist diagnose?
A paediatric orthopaedist diagnoses and treats such problems as:
- dysplasia of the iliac (hip) joints in infants;
- faulty posture: lordosis, scoliosis and kyphosis (rounded back);
- torticollis (wry-neck), cervical hyperlordosis, thoracic hyperkyphosis, lumbar hyperlordosis;
- genu valgum (knock-knee) and genu varum (bowleg)
- flat feet, hollow feet or flat-abducted feet.