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Orthopedic Conditions and Children

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Orthopedic Conditions and Children

Growth Plate Quiz
Take the Growth Plate Quiz Growth plates are found on the long bones of children and teenagers. These plates are areas of growing tissue near the end of the bones, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Test your knowledge of growth plates by taking this quiz, based on information from the NIAMS. The growth plate is the weakest area of the growing skeleton. You didn't answer this question. You answered The correct answer is The growth plate is wea...
Fast Facts
Scoliosis can affect more than one family member. Any child with a parent or sibling who has scoliosis should be screened by a doctor, advises the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases .
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Congenital and Hereditary Disorders

Osteogenesis Imperfecta in Children
Osteogenesis Imperfecta in Children What is osteogenesis imperfecta? Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle-bone disease, is a genetic (inherited) disorder characterized by bones that break easily without a specific cause. An estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in the U.S. have this disease. OI can affect males and females of all races. What causes osteogenesis imperfecta? The cause of OI is believed to be because of a genetic defect that causes imperfectly formed or an inadequate amount of b...
Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular Dystrophy What is muscular dystrophy? Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a broad term that describes a genetic (inherited) disorder of the muscles. Muscular dystrophy causes the muscles in the body to become very weak. The muscles break down and are replaced with fatty deposits over time. Other health problems commonly associated with muscular dystrophy include the following: Heart problems Scoliosis. A lateral, or sideways, curvature and rotation of the back bones (vertebrae), giving the appearance th...
Metatarsus Adductus
Metatarsus Adductus What is metatarsus adductus? Metatarsus adductus, also known as metatarsus varus, is a common foot deformity noted at birth that causes the front half of the foot, or forefoot, to turn inward. Metatarsus adductus may also be referred to as "flexible" (the foot can be straightened to a degree by hand) or "nonflexible" (the foot cannot be straightened by hand). What causes metatarsus adductus? The cause of metatarsus adductus is not known. It occurs in approximately one out of 1,000 to...
Congenital Limb Defects
Congenital Limb Defects What are congenital limb defects? Congenital limb defects occur when a portion or the entire upper or lower limb fails to form normally or does not form when the baby is developing in the uterus. What causes congenital limb defects? The cause of congenital limb defects is unknown. However, risk factors that may increase the likelihood of a congenital limb defect include the following: Conditions, such as genetic abnormalities, growth restriction, mechanical forces, that affect th...
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) What is DDH? Developmental dysplasia of the hip is a congenital (present at birth) condition of the hip joint. It occurs once in every 1,000 live births. The hip joint is created as a ball and socket joint. In DDH, the hip socket may be shallow, letting the "ball" of the long leg bone, also known as the femoral head, slip in and out of the socket. The "ball" may move partially or completely out of the hip socket. Click Image to Enlarge The greatest incidence of D...
Clubfoot
Clubfoot What is clubfoot? Clubfoot, also known as talipes equinovarus, is a congenital (present at birth) foot deformity. It affects the bones, muscles, tendons, and blood vessels and can affect one or both feet. The foot is usually short and broad in appearance and the heel points downward while the front half of the foot (forefoot) turns inward. The heel cord (Achilles tendon) is tight. The heel can appear narrow and the muscles in the calf are smaller compared to a normal lower leg. Clubfoot occurs ...
Congenital Hand Deformities
Congenital Hand Deformities What are congenital hand deformities? Congenital anomalies are deformities that are present at birth. Any type of deformity in a newborn infant can become a challenge for the child as he/she grows. Hand deformities can be particularly disabling as the child learns to interact with the environment through the use of his/her hands. The degree of deformity varies from a minor deformity, such as a digital disproportion, to a severe deformity, such as total absence of a bone. Earl...
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Growth-Related Disorders

Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease
Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease What is Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease? Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (or Perthes disease) is a rare condition in children in which the ball-shaped head of the thigh bone, referred to as the femoral head, loses its blood supply. As a result, the femoral head collapses. The body will absorb the dead bone cells and replace them with new bone cells. The new bone cells will eventually reshape the femoral head of the thigh bone. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease causes the hip joint to become pa...
Femoral Anteversion
Femoral Anteversion What is femoral anteversion? Femoral anteversion is an inward twisting of the thigh bone, also known as the femur (the bone that is located between the hip and the knee). Femoral anteversion causes the child's knees and feet to turn inward, or have what is also known as a "pigeon-toed" appearance. It is typically detected when the child is four to six years old. What causes femoral anteversion? Femoral anteversion can be the result of stiff hip muscles due to the position of the baby...
Tibial Torsion
Tibial Torsion What is tibial torsion? Tibial torsion is an inward twisting of the shin bones (the bones that are located between the knee and the ankle). Tibial torsion causes the child's feet to turn inward, or have what is also known as a "pigeon-toed" appearance. It is typically seen among toddlers. What causes tibial torsion? Tibial torsion can occur due to the position of the baby in the uterus. It also has a tendency to run in families. Typically, a child's walking style looks like that of his or...
Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Osgood-Schlatter Disease What is Osgood-Schlatter disease? Osgood-Schlatter disease is an overuse condition or injury of the knee that causes pain and swelling below the knee area over the shin bone in growing children and adolescents. What causes Osgood-Schlatter disease? Osgood-Schlatter disease is characterized by inflammation of the patellar tendon and surrounding soft tissues. It is caused by the constant pulling of the patellar tendon on the area below the knee where the tendon attaches. Click Ima...
Lordosis
Lordosis What is lordosis? A normal spine, when viewed from behind appears straight. However, a spine affected by lordosis shows evidence of a curvature of the back bones (vertebrae) in the lower back area, giving the child a "swayback" appearance. Click Image to Enlarge What causes lordosis? The cause of lordosis has been linked to achondroplasia and spondylolisthesis. However, lordosis may be associated with poor posture, a congenital (present at birth) problem with the vertebrae, neuromuscular proble...
Scoliosis in Children
Scoliosis in Children What is scoliosis? Click Image to Enlarge A normal spine, when viewed from behind, appears straight. However, a spine affected by scoliosis shows evidence of a lateral, or side-by-side curvature, with the spine looking like an "S" or "C" and a rotation of the back bones (vertebrae), giving the appearance that the person is leaning to one side. The Scoliosis Research Society defines scoliosis as a curvature of the spine measuring 10 degrees or greater. Scoliosis is a type of spinal ...
Kyphosis
Kyphosis What is kyphosis? A normal spine, when viewed from behind appears straight. However, a spine affected by kyphosis shows evidence of a forward curvature of the back bones (vertebrae) in the upper back area, giving an abnormally rounded or "humpback" appearance. Click Image to Enlarge Kyphosis is defined as a curvature of the spine measuring 50 degrees or greater on an X-ray (a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and orga...
Nursemaid's Elbow
Nursemaid's Elbow What is nursemaid's elbow? Nursemaid's elbow occurs when the radius (one of the bones in the forearm) slips out of place from where it normally attaches to the elbow joint. It is a common condition in children younger than 4 years of age. It is also called pulled elbow, slipped elbow, or toddler elbow. The medical term for nursemaid's elbow is radial head subluxation. What causes nursemaid's elbow? A sudden pulling or traction on the hand or forearm causes nursemaid's elbow. This cause...