Choosing the Right Pediatric Orthopedist

Choosing the Right Pediatric Orthopedist

by Stephanie Meadows

Orthopedic medicine is a specialty that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, mainly on the bones, joints, and limbs. Orthopedic doctors can treat a multitude of things, but a majority of problems that are treated involve those with joint infections, injuries, spine or limb deformities, and broken bones. A division of orthopedic medicine focuses on growing children, called pediatric orthopedics. 

A pediatric orthopedist treats children from birth to adulthood. As children are constantly growing, their joints, muscles, and bones require a unique medical focus. Pediatric orthopedic doctors play an important role in caring for a child who has injuries or other problems affecting their growth or development. When it comes to the body and bones of a child, the needs are completely different than adults, as an adult’s bones are stronger and fully grown.

Remember that a pediatric doctor is specially trained in treating children of all ages. An orthopedic surgeon may be trained in treating a variety of injuries and conditions, but a pediatric orthopedic surgeon can provide a whole other level of expertise. 

Since these orthopedic doctors cater specifically to children, they understand how to talk to kids, and educate them in a way that will make the child understand what they are going through, but in a comfortable manner. There is also a special understanding needed for orthopedic injuries or disease, in how they relate to continuing growth and development.

Kids are not always easy to talk to, and don’t always state how they feel. Pediatric doctors have a special way of making connections with children unlike any other. This can be crucial during examinations, and to make an accurate diagnosis. Pediatric orthopedists have the specialized tools to test and make an accurate and timely diagnosis, which is important when aiming to avoid further complications.

Your child should see a pediatric orthopedist if they have any birth defects affecting their limbs or bone development, or have an injury or condition such as scoliosis or arthritis affecting their joints. Since children are active and their bones are still developing, a majority of children will break a bone. By working with these surgeons, parents can be reassured that their child’s broken bone will be treated properly and not affect growth.

The pediatric surgeon you should choose should get to know your child and family with compassion. The doctor that treats your child will become part of your family, so make sure that they have a good bedside manner. Other tips on finding the right doctor for your child include:

1.   Gather recommendations and look at testimonials: Ask friends and family, and look up testimonials online to look at reviews about the pediatric orthopedist you are thinking of choosing.

2.   Look at experience and credentials: Are they certified and qualified to treat children? What conditions or specialties do they treat? Find out their level of expertise.

3.  Consult: Don’t be afraid to go in for consultations with your top pediatric doctors and ask questions to narrow your choices down. Talking to people will always be one of the best ways to ensure you are not making a mistake with what doctor you choose.

4.   Pay attention to detail: Look for a pediatric orthopedic office with a kid-friendly environment (i.e., play areas and friendly staff members who understand children and their needs). Pediatric offices are known for making kids feel more comfortable, which can be important when dealing with the trauma of a broken bone or the reality of needing surgery. They say that when children are relaxed and comfortable in the setting they are in, that they are more willing to cooperate, in this case with the doctor.

At Watauga Orthopaedics, we understand how to address the unique concerns of pediatric orthopedic injuries and will help your child successfully achieve a full recovery.

To learn more about how to choose the right pediatric orthopedist, call Watauga Orthopaedics at (423) 282-9011 to request an appointment, or schedule an appointment online.