Frequently asked questions

What is the main paediatric orthopaedic phone number?

Ann O’Toole, Admin Manager 01 4096967

What should I bring with me to my child's outpatient appointment?

Copy of health insurance, any referral letters, details of medical history

What are the steps I need to take to prepare my child for surgery?

Being there for your child before, during and after surgery is the most important thing you can do to help him or her. Surgery can be a very stressful time; your support helps your child maintain the highest level of emotional health. You may also want to do the following to prepare your child for surgery: Make a list of questions about your child’s diagnosis and treatment and bring that list to your appointments with your doctor. Bring some of your child’s favorite things with you for his or her stay at Brenner. Those comfort items might include family photos, books, favorite toys or stuffed animals, music and a portable music player or a laptop computer. You should also bring things to help you during your child’s period of stay at OLCHC. It’s important that you also maintain optimal physical and emotional health during your child’s surgery and post-operative treatment. We offer a range of support services for patients and their families. Please ask your health care team for more information about OLCHC support services and a checklist of things to do right before surgery, including any restrictions on food and water intake.

When to see a Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon after your child has an injury?

If your child has significant pain, swelling or deformity, the inability to use that arm or leg, a limp, or pain that persists for more than a couple days, or decreased movement of a joint

What is a growth plate and why is it important with respect to injuries?

A growth plate is a layer of cartilage cells at the ends of long bones that “grow” and make the bone longer. Once the child is finished puberty, the cartilage cells turn into bone and the growth stops. The growth plates stop growing at different times in children. The growth plate is weaker than bone and is therefore it is more likely to fracture at the growth plate than to sprain the joint. Even if the x-ray is negative or normal, there may be a fracture though the growth plate.

Why is fracture treatment different in children compared to adults?

Children are not just little adults. Fractures may occur in the growth plate and need different treatment to allow the fracture to heal yet not disturb the growth of the bone. More fractures in children can be treated with casts compared to adults. The time to healing is different for children of different ages. Different surgical equipment is needed because of the growth plates and the size of the bones.

What things can I do to prevent injuries?

Some examples include: Never let your child get on a trampoline with anyone else. More than one person on a trampoline causes the smaller children to get bounced too high and land hard or off balance. Someone else could also land on the child’s arm or leg causing a fracture. Even the safety nets do not prevent all injuries. Wrist fractures are 90% of the injuries related to roller skating, heelie’s, rip sticks or inline skating. The wrist or arm fracture rate can be 99.5% decreased with the use of wrist guards. Are slides dangerous? Holding a child/infant between your legs and going down the slide can lead to tibial fractures in the child who is wearing shoes or sneakers. I have seen this recently with the new slides being made of plastic and having a U shape. The shoe gets caught on the side of the slide and the leg gets twisted as they go down. What is a “pulled elbow” or “nursemaids elbow”? If you are holding a child (< 5 years old) by their hand and then suddenly pull on the arm, a ligament around the radial head gets pulled out of place and then the child has elbow pain, holds their arm by the side and won’t turn the forearm. This has to be reduced right away to relieve the pain. Some times the ligament will reduce itself while getting an x-ray. Once it is reduced, the pain goes away within 15-20 minutes. The pediatrician, Emergency doctor, Paediatric Orthopaedic surgeon can reduce this usually quite easily and the parent can be taught how to do it. If the pain does not go away, there may be something else wrong.

How long does it take for a muscle sprain to heal in children under 10 and how would you treat it?

Typically mild muscle sprains or contusions can heal within a week. Children experiencing severe pain or prolonged episodes of pain more than a week should be evaluated by physician to rule out other types of injury. Similar to adults, children should rest, apply ice and compression, stretch and consider physical therapy.

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