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Common Orthopaedic Problems in Childhood

The specialty that treats bone defects that are genetic-related, acquired, and those that develop during gestation is called pediatric orthopaedics.

Children with developmental and musculosketal conditions as well as those with congenital bone diseases will need the expert help of pediatric orthopaedics specialists.

Orthopaedic conditions are very common among children.

These conditions are classified as developmental, congenital, or acquired.

Some of the most common pediatric orthopaedic disorders are:



Bow-legged (Genu varum)

Genu varum can be attributed to a posterior hip capsule that is tight.

The condition will often get resolved once the child turns 2 years old.

In severe cases however, splinting at night is recommended.

Internal tibial torsion

This condition is deemed the most probable cause of in-toeing in children that are aged 2 years and below.

Fortunately, the condition is resolved (even without treatment) once the child starts to walk.

Leg length discrepancy

This condition is often attributed to growth asymmetry.

Treatment approaches can include surgical correction of the longer or shorter leg and inhibition of growth of the longer leg.


Pes cavus

Pes cavus results to a high arch adn in most cases, does not respond to weight-bearing.

Depending on the condition’s severity, treatment alternatives can include physical therapy, orthotics, and surgery.


This condition is also known as club foot.

It pertains to the various abnormalities in the tibia, fibula, and the bones.

Likely remedies can include splinting, casting, and manipulation.

In cases that are severe, surgery might be recommended.

Planovalgus deformity

While considered common, this condition is often associated with cerebral palsy.

For ambulatory children with deformities that are mild to moderate in nature, calcaneal lengthening is the likely option.

For children that are non-ambulatory, the relapse rate is high so surgery might not be of much benefit.


Ingrowing toenail

When the nail’s edge will grow into the surrounding tissues, ingrowing toenail develops.

Treatment options for the condition can range from warm soaks to taking antibiotics.

Severe cases however will already require surgery.

Curly toes

Curly toes often affect the fourth and the fifth toes.

Curly toes can be inherited or bilateral.

Fortunately, at least 25 to 50 percent of the cases get resolved when the child turns 3 to 4 years of age.

Otherwise, surgery would be the likely treatment approach.


Discoid lateral meniscus

The term refers to the congenital malformation of the lateral meniscus.

If the condition causes the child discomfort, arthroscopic repair might be recommended.

Patellar subluxation and dislocation

This congenital condition often responds well to immobilization.

In chronic cases however, surgery might be necessary.


Treatment option for this condition can range from immobilization, NSAIDs, and surgery.

Chrondrocyte transplantation has also become one of the likely alternatives recently.



When a vertebra slips forward on the vertebra situated below it, this condition occurs.

Physical therapy and NSAIDs are often given as first treatment resorts.

Severe cases of the condition however might need posterior spinal fusion.

Intravenous treatment (often followed by oral antibiotics) is also often prescribed.


This condition is deemed uncommon in children.

Back pain, lumbar lordosis loss, and the inability of the patient to flex the lower back are considered some of the condition’s clinical features.


Slipped capital femoral epiphyses

When the femoral head slips posteriorly, this condition occurs.

The condition is also very common among obese and rapidly growing children aged 12 to 15.

Management of the condition often includes surgical hip pinning.

Transient monoarticular synovitis

This condition will often result to limping and develops after a respiratory infection.

Effective treatment options include rest, physiotherapy, and NSAIDs.

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