Big Apple Parent—May 27, 2008
With the number of pediatric orthopedists trained to deal with the special bone, joint and tendon problems of children dwindling, more hospitals rely on general orthopedists to evaluate and treat pediatric injuries, such as fractures. Parents need to be aware of how to get the right treatment for their child's injury in order to have the best outcome in the long run.
Daniella, 5, jumped off her brother's bunk bed — and broke her elbow. Daniella's parents took her to their local emergency room. When the doctors removed her cast eight weeks later, her parents quickly realized that her arm may not have set properly.
To help their daughter, the family found the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Service at Hospital for Special Surgery on the Upper East Side. Since then, Daniella's elbow has been re-set and, with physical therapy cast removal, she is healing well.
Daniella's parents' experience isn't necessarily uncommon. The numbers of orthopedic residents choosing pediatrics as a subspecialty is not keeping up with demand in some areas. And advances in medicine have made it difficult for general orthopedists to stay abreast of the best treatments for children in the same way that a sub-specialist can.
Proper supervision can help reduce falls that often contribute to fractures. Also, always make sure your child is wearing appropriate protective gear, like wrist guards during activities like rollerblading, and helmets while skateboarding, bicycle riding and other outdoor activities. Beware that fatigue and weakness can lead to a stumble or fall that can result in a fracture.
Getting the proper treatment from the start can speed up the health and recovery process, and help make sure that the fracture heals in the right position — which will help avoid future complications, functional limitations and need for additional treatment.
Doctors Green, Scher, and Widmann are pediatric orthopedic surgeons at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery. To access HSS's Pediatric Orthopedic Urgent Care Service around-the-clock, call toll free 1.877.HSS-1KID (1.877.477.1543).
Read the full story at nymetroparents.com.