Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
Tel.: (01) 878 4218
Paediatric orthopaedics is about the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal (bone, joint, or muscle) problems in a child who is still growing. This includes new born babies through to teenagers.
A child’s musculoskeletal problems are different from those of an adult. Because children are still growing, the body’s response to injuries, infections, and deformities may be quite different than what would be seen in a full-grown person.
Sometimes, what is thought to be a problem in a child is just a variation of growth that will resolve with time. Some of the problems children have with their bones and joints that are due to growth do not even occur in adults. And, the evaluation and treatment of a child is usually quite different than for an adult — even for the same problem.
Children with complex paediatric problems are best managed by a medical-surgical team approach. Paediatric orthopaedic surgeons diagnose, treat, and manage children’s musculoskeletal problems, such as:
• Limb and spine deformities noted at birth or later in life (clubfoot, scoliosis, limb length differences)
• Gait abnormalities (limping)
• Broken bones
• Bone or joint infections and tumours
Children are not just small adults. They cannot always say what is bothering them, or answer medical questions, or be patient and cooperative during a medical examination. Paediatric orthopaedic surgeons know how to examine and treat children in a way to help them be relaxed and cooperative.