It is seen that orthopedic deterioration occurs in childhood due to hereditary and postnatal various reasons. Pediatric orthopedic diseases occur due to trauma, neurological, tumor and inflammation formation. It covers the processes related to the diagnosis and treatment stages of disorders targeting the musculoskeletal system.
What is Pediatric Orthopedics?
Children experience many orthopedic disorders throughout their developmental stages. Gait problems, hip and knee joint injuries, various curvatures and deformities in the leg structure are treated in pediatric orthopedics. The most distinctive difference from the adult orthopedic specialty is that it carries out medical studies for patients whose development continues. Therefore, the long-term effects of the planned treatment should also be considered.
Pediatric Orthopedics and Its Fields
Treatments for traumas that occur in the body as a result of sports injuries and accidents are carried out within the scope of pediatric orthopedics. At the same time, gait disorders and congenital hip dislocation, which are frequently encountered in children, are among the targeted diseases.
The diseases treated within the framework of pediatric orthopedic expertise, along with the specified areas, are as follows:
Developmental Hip Dysplasia: It is the dislocation of the hip joint that develops due to some reasons in the womb or after birth in babies. Orthopedic problems where the head of the thighbone is fully or partially protruding beyond the hip joint is called developmental hip dysplasia. It is also known as congenital hip dislocation among the people.
- It is known that the development of the baby in the mother’s womb is caused by hormonal changes and hereditary factors. In addition, the habits of swaddling the baby after birth also cause damage to the hip joint.
At the diagnosis stage, after the examination of the pediatric orthopedic doctor, the hip joint is followed in detail by x-ray.
- Spina Bifida: It is a spinal disorder caused by an unknown reason after the third month of pregnancy. The symptoms experienced by the patients vary depending on which part of the spine in the back region is damaged. Spina bifida is one of the most common congenital diseases. It is recommended that expectant mothers use folic acid regularly during pregnancy.
- Cerebral Palsy: It is a disease that starts in infancy and lasts until childhood and develops due to neurological causes. As a result of damage to the central nervous system, orthopedic problems arise that affect the musculoskeletal structure. There is no treatment method that gives definite results in terms of recovery. There are applications for rehabilitation and reducing the effects of the disease.
- Clubfoot Disorder: It is visibly detected in newborn babies. It is among the orthopedic diseases that occur after birth and in which the form of the feet deteriorates. In patients, clubfoot can be understood as a result of three different symptoms. It can be counted as pointing the toes downwards and folding them formally. The last symptom is the turning of the heel to the inside.
- Flat Footed: Due to the anatomical structure of humans, they are born with flat-footed feet. During the development period, it is observed that the sole of the foot is shaped. Patients should prefer orthopedic shoes that are specially designed for the development of the sole of the foot. It is divided into types as loose and hard flat feet. If there is no curve when the patient is standing, it is understood that he has a hard flat foot structure. It is diagnosed after a detailed examination by an orthopedic specialist.
- Inward Pressing Condition: Inward pressing is a constantly encountered pediatric orthopedic disorder among children. As the growth phases are completed, the posture of the legs attains the healthy form it should be. It is known that deformities in the hip and knee joints of patients negatively affect them.
- Perthes Disorder: Pain occurs in the musculoskeletal structure due to the blood circulation problem in the hip joint. Children usually have orthopedic health problems on the hip and knee area.
- Osgood – Schlatter: It is seen in children who have an active sports life. Pain and swelling in the knee area are among the symptoms. During the treatment phase, rest is recommended by the specialist doctor.
Pediatric Orthopedic Diseases and Treatment Techniques
The treatment methods used in general orthopedic disorders are also valid in pediatric orthopedics specialization targeting children. First of all, the person’s general health screening is done. Then, the treatment of the disease that damages the musculoskeletal system is decided. It is important to treat children with ongoing development at an early age. Otherwise, when it comes to adulthood, recovery is provided by using surgical interventions.
After the diagnosis of developmental hip dysplasia, the treatment method to be applied is decided. Hip dislocations caught in the first months of infancy are healed by surgery. However, at the points where it is observed in advanced dimensions, bandage, plastering and finally surgical intervention are applied respectively.
The most common orthopedic problems in patients with spina bifida are hip joint weakness, fractures and scoliosis. If it is not noticed by the specialist doctor in the early period, it causes serious problems. Deformities in the hip joint and spinal curvatures should be treated by a specialist in pediatric orthopedics.
In the treatment of clubfoot, it is recommended to intervene without delay for an effective healing process. In order for the muscles to reach a healthy structure easily, they should be treated before the walking phase. If casting is not sufficient, the ligaments in the heel are intervened with surgical techniques. Orthopedic shoes are used for a certain period of time for effective recovery after treatment.
Regular check-ups with a specialist doctor in the treatment of pediatric orthopedic diseases should not be neglected. Orthopedic problems should be recognized and treated at an early age so that they do not reflect on adulthood. The treatment methods applied are important for the musculoskeletal structures of the patients whose development processes continue.
ORTHOPEDICS AND TRAUMATOLOGY SPECIALIST
prof. dr. hasan hilmi muratlı