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What is pediatric orthopedics?

Pediatric orthopedics is the specialty that treats both bone defects that arise during gestation and acquired or genetic-related bone diseases.

A child may be born with a congenital bone disease that requires the expertise of a board-certified pediatric specialist skilled in diagnosing and treating such conditions, or a child’s growing bones may encounter developmental or musculoskeletal conditions that require orthopedic expertise as well, such as bone fractures that result from sports injuries.

The nature of bone disease is often complex, so pediatric orthopedic specialists collaborate with other experts at McLane Children’s  Scott & White to ensure the best care for your child. These may include caregivers in rehabilitation services, including physical therapy and occupational therapy. They may also work with other medical and surgical specialists, such as neurologists or neurosurgeons if the brain or spine is involved.

What kinds of services do pediatric orthopedics provide?

Using minimally invasive and traditional surgical techniques, we treat the following conditions:

  • Nonmalignant bone tumors
  • Bone-related cancers such as Ewing’s sarcoma that affects the bone marrow
  • Club feet, a congenital abnormality where both feet are turned in, which usually affects boys
  • Hand-related injuries and defects
  • Bowed legs, caused by disease or abnormal leg development, which is more common in toddlers and naturally improves over time
  • Knock-knees, a condition in which the knees are joined when the legs are straightened but the ankles are not, often diagnosed during the toddler years if bowed legs do not improve; can be caused by medical disease, such as osteomyelitis, a bone infection; obesity; or Rickets disease, a lack of Vitamin D
  • Scoliosis, a curving of the spine that can be present at birth or its cause may be unknown or acquired as a result of other disease

In addition to general pediatric orthopedics, there are subspecialty clinics in scoliosis and multispecialty clinics in cerebral palsy and spina bifida. The multispecialty clinics are characterized by a multispecialty team effort that includes not only orthopedics but rehabilitation and urology and pediatric neurosurgery as required:

  • Cerebral palsy is a cluster of symptoms related to the movement centers in the brain, present by age three.
  • Spina bifida results from an incomplete closure of the neural tube during gestation; it corrupts the spine’s development.

What is pediatric orthopedic surgery?

Pediatric orthopedic surgery subspecialists are specially trained to treat children. They work collaboratively with a child’s primary care physician or pediatrician to ensure your child has the best treatment plan, depending on his or her needs. McLane Children’s Hospital takes a family-centered care approach to care for each child’s physical and emotional needs.

Learn about the Bud E. Bear Program to help prepare your child for an upcoming surgery.

How can I get my child in to see a pediatric orthopedist?   

Our specialists accept patients based upon physician referral. Physicians may call the Scott & White Physician Referral Network at 800-792-3368 or 254-724-2218 to refer a patient by phone.

If your child is a Scott & White Health Plan patient, you will be referred to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon if your child’s physician believes a visit is necessary.

Some health plans may require a referral prior to seeing a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Contact your insurance company to learn about your child’s coverage.

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