Pediatric Orthopedic Treatments
Choosing the Right Treatment
Your child’s doctor carefully considers their growing bones when determining how to treat an orthopedic condition. Our medical staff are here to guide you and your child down the right road to recovery, reducing pain and returning to normal function.
All pediatric orthopedic physicians at University Health are providers from UT Health San Antonio, our academic partner for high-quality healthcare. These doctors are at the forefront of groundbreaking research, the latest medical technologies and the most advanced techniques to serve our youngest patients.
Accidents and Sports-Related Injuries
It is extremely common that kids get hurt while playing sports or simply playing around—but that doesn’t make injuries any less frightening. Broken bones, sports-related injuries and other accidents typically come through our pediatric emergency department, which is open 24 hours a day. Your child will get immediate care from one of our on-call orthopedic physicians.
Fracture treatments are tailored to your child’s needs and depend on where the fracture is. Simple fractures may heal on their own. Larger fractures may require a cast or possibly even surgery and pinning. Your child’s doctor will take many factors into consideration before recommending a treatment. For example, your child’s doctor would treat fractures on a growth plate differently than a fracture in the middle of the bone.
If your child suffered an injury while playing a sport, the injury may be treated differently depending on the age of your child, what sport your child plays and whether your child will continue participating in that sport. In very serious cases, your child may need surgery right away.
Pediatric Inpatient Services
While your child is at University Hospital recovering from an accident or injury, we aim to make your family as comfortable as possible.
Child Life Services
Our Child Life team helps make your child feel at home as much as possible in our facilities, focusing on the emotional and developmental needs of children and their families. Some of the services our specialists provide include:
- Coping skills to manage the stress of injury and hospitalization
- Anxiety management before and during tests and procedures
- Creating a daily routine similar to the child’s home schedule
- Supplying entertainment and educational resources for the child and family
- Providing a sense of safety and security
Level I Pediatric Trauma Center
Because of our highly skilled physicians and nurses, our Level I pediatric trauma center receives referrals from other health care facilities when they aren’t equipped to handle complicated injuries. These young patients receive care in our pediatric ICU or our pediatric intermediate care unit depending on the severity of the injury. We are prepared to handle all kinds of orthopedic injuries in children as well as other serious injuries that can result from broken bones and high impact trauma.
To achieve your child’s full recovery, pediatric rehabilitation may be another step in a comprehensive treatment plan. Our specialists will help your child learn to walk and balance again after a leg injury, and teach your child to get dressed, brush their teeth and comb their hair with minimal assistance after an arm injury.
Injured athletes often need outpatient rehabilitation to fully recover and safely return to their sport. As part of our sports medicine rehab program, our physical therapists take athletes out into the field to test their strength and ability to ensure complete recovery.
Pediatric Spinal Surgery
While spine surgery is not the only treatment for scoliosis in children, it is an option. However, there are many factors to consider before choosing that treatment plan. Because kids are still growing, our pediatric spinal surgeons take into consideration how surgery may affect the child’s future development, weighing with you the benefits and risks of surgery.Some questions you will want to discuss with the surgeon before making a decision include:
- Are there nonsurgical alternatives for treating scoliosis?
- What are the benefits of surgery?
- What are the risks?
- Will my child’s condition get worse if left untreated?
- How will surgery affect my child’s growth and flexibility?
- How do you perform pediatric spinal surgery?
- Is it better to do surgery now or wait until my child is older?
If you and your doctor determine surgery is the best path forward, our highly skilled, board-certified surgeons will explain the whole process, from start to finish. We understand this can be a difficult diagnosis to face, and we will be with you every step of the way.
Orthopedic Cancer Treatment
Pediatric oncology is a highly specialized field centered on the unique needs of children and adolescents. Our orthopedic oncology physician at the Pediatric Blood and Cancer Center works with you and an integrated team of other medical experts to create a customized treatment plan. That may be surgery, chemotherapy or another treatment tailored to your child’s needs. Our ultimate goal is to provide compassionate care that yields the best possible outcome for your child.