Blog > What is a Pediatric Orthopedist?

What is a Pediatric Orthopedist?

a doctor checking a child's spine in a doctor's office

A pediatric orthopedist is a medical doctor who specializes in evaluating and treating babies, children, and adolescents who have conditions or injuries that affect their bones, muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. This specialist has undergone extensive medical education and training—not only in medical school but with a residency in orthopedic surgery and further subspecialty training (fellowships) in pediatric orthopedics and pediatric spinal deformity. 

At The Pediatric Orthopedic Center, our orthopedists are all board-certified and/or fellowship-trained at leading medical institutions.

What Sorts Of Problems Do Pediatric Orthopedists Treat?

The sorts of problems that pediatric orthopedists treat fall under the realm of musculoskeletal issues in children. These may be congenital disorders they are born with, orthopedic problems that develop as your child grows (such as scoliosis), or orthopedic problems that result from an accident or injury as we often see in student-athletes. Parents bring their children in for consultations and pediatric orthopedic treatment for many issues including: 

  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and muscle strains
  • Torn ligaments, such as meniscus tears
  • Deformities noted at birth or that develop later, such as club foot, hip dysplasia, pigeon toes, and scoliosis
  • Birth defects such as cerebral palsy or brachial plexus injury
  • Limping, which may be due to a physiological disorder or injury
  • Tendinitis and bursitis
  • Infections of the bones, muscles, or joints

Pediatric orthopedists may work with other specialists, such as oncologists who may be treating a child for complicated medical issues.

What To Expect During A Pediatric Orthopedic Appointment

Parents and children alike will be more at ease when they know what to expect during a pediatric orthopedic appointment.

At TPOC, your pediatric orthopedist will take a medical history of your child, followed by a physical exam, during which the orthopedist will ask your child questions about any pain, other symptoms, or how an injury happened. As physicians who are specially trained to deal with children of all ages, we understand that the doctor’s office can be scary—especially for little ones. We also know how to ask the right questions and create a non-threatening environment. We encourage your child to participate in the exam to relieve apprehension, and our pediatric orthopedists look for signs of pain or injury in babies and youngsters who are not yet able to tell us what’s bothering them. For example, we may observe them doing an activity to assess their condition.

Depending on the nature of your child’s condition, we will take X-rays, a CT scan, ultrasound, or an MRI to get a good picture of the bone, joint, or muscle involved. We may also draw blood for testing as part of the pediatric orthopedic appointment. 

Broken bones and severe sprains may be treated with a cast, brace, or splint. Certain conditions will require surgery, which our orthopedic surgeons will schedule after a full evaluation. We may also prescribe physical therapy.

When To See A Pediatric Orthopedist

You should bring your child in to see a pediatric orthopedist right away if they’ve suffered a sports injury or have been in an accident. At TPOC, we advise parents to consult a pediatric orthopedist even if your child’s injuries are not obvious on the surface or causing pain, as many times, a problem is brewing in the joint that will worsen without treatment. 

Other reasons to see a pediatric orthopedist:

  • Your family has a history of orthopedic problems that develop during childhood
  • You delivered a baby during a breech birth
  • Your child is limping, favoring an arm or leg, or having trouble lifting arms overhead. 
  • Your child complains of pain when doing a specific activity 
  • You see bruising, swelling, or your child complains of stiffness in his or her joints

 Make An Appointment With TPOC’s Pediatric Orthopedists

We have four offices in northern NJ — in Cedar Knolls, Springfield, Jersey City, and Wayne — staffed with eight pediatric orthopedists and a pediatric foot and ankle specialist. From hip disorders to spinal and limb deformities to the many sports injuries student-athletes suffer, we’re here to treat your child with award-winning care. Call or fill out the form for an appointment on our website

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Know Before Your First Visit

Verify the date and time of your appointment. You may be required to complete new patient paperwork or provide personal information prior to being seen by your doctor. Please arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to your appointment time.

Confirm the address and location of your appointment. The Pediatric Orthopedic Center has four convenient locations in New Jersey. Confirm with the front desk staff the office location for your visit.

Be aware of travel issues and delays. Be mindful of any driving conditions, road construction detours and parking requirements to ensure you arrive for your appointment on time.

Urgent Care for Acute Injuries (Cedar Knolls)

Walk-In Hours Update

*Urgent and Acute Injuries Only during Urgent Care/Walk-in Clinic hours. To find out if your child’s injury qualifies for a walk-in visit, click here. (Walk-in fees may apply.)

Monday:

Regular Hours: 9am-5pm
Walk-in Hours* (Cedar Knolls): 5pm-8pm

Tuesday:

Regular Hours: 9am-5pm
Walk-in Hours* (Cedar Knolls): 5pm-8pm

Wednesday:

Regular Hours: 9am-5pm
Walk-in Hours* (Cedar Knolls): 5pm-8pm

Thursday:

Regular Hours: 9am-5pm
Walk-in Hours* (Cedar Knolls): 5pm-8pm

Friday:

Regular Hours: 8am-5pm
NO walk-in hours.

Saturday:

Walk-in Hours* (Cedar Knolls): 10am-2pm

Sunday: Closed

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