What is a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon?Pediatric orthopaedic surgeons are specialists who treat musculoskeletal (bone, joint, back, or muscle) problems in children. Their specialty training is particularly valuable when treating bones that are still growing.
What training is required for a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon?All orthopaedic surgeons must graduate from medical school and complete 5 years of residency (on-the-job) training. After residency, most pediatric orthopedic surgeons complete 1 or 2 additional years of subspecialty training, in which they focus on mastering the special needs of growing children.
When should I take my child to a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon?Pediatric orthopaedic surgeons diagnose and treat a variety of problems with the arms, legs and spine. Problems walking, crooked limbs, legs of different lengths, curves in the spine, broken bones, bone/joint infections or tumors, and birth defects of the hands or feet are just some examples of the conditions that may require a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.
Children with complex pediatric problems such as developmental delay, skeletal dysplasias, or other syndromes are usually best managed by a multidisciplinary, medical-surgical team.
Why does my child need a specialist?Children are not just small adults. Their growing bones pose different challenges than those of adults. Sometimes, what looks like a problem in a child is just a variation that the child will outgrow over time. Some common pediatric problems don’t even occur in adults. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons, their offices, and supporting staff are all equipped to deal with kids and families to create a comfortable, patient-focused and family-friendly environment.
Where can I find a pediatric orthopedic surgeon?Your pediatrician or primary care doctor may have a recommendation of a local pediatric orthopaedist. You can also visit the website of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) for a directory of members in every geographic location:
Find A Pediatric Orthopaedist
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Does this condition require a doctor with specialty training?
- Is it safe for my child to exercise, run and jump?
- Is there anything that my child should avoid doing?
- Will this condition cause my child any long-term problems?