Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
We cannot think of children as miniature adults, their bodies are growing and developing until they point they reach skeletal maturity. Medical professionals treating diseases of and injuries to the bones, joints and muscles of children must be experts in the specific nature of said diseases and injuries. Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery is the subspecialty that is deals with these problems in children.
Between childhood and adolescence, there are many varied osteoarticular processes that children may experience. If we look at age, it is obvious that the issues faced by babies vary greatly from those faced by adolescents. So, while congenital abnormalities and postural deformities are most common in babies, young children present more disorders in gait and deformities of the limbs. Later on, when the children are older, several pathologies of the hip and spine can appear. Once a child reaches adolescence, fractures are the most common issue. The origin of the different problems is also very diverse, and can include infectious or tumoural congenital processes.
Many paediatric diseases manifest with skeletal deformities or disorders of function, which is why paediatric orthopaedic specialists must work in coordination with the other Paediatrics specialists: neonatologists, neurologists, nephrologists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, pneumologists, oncologists and gastroenterologists. In turn, they need the collaboration of other specialists such as radiologists, anaesthetists, rehabilitators and pathologists.
The Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Unit of our hospital is accredited as a centre of reference for the various pathologies covered by our specialty, as well as neurodegenerative diseases (childhood cerebral palsy, spina bifida, neuromuscular diseases, peripheral neuropathies) bone dysplasia (achondroplasia, imperfect osteogenesis) and major bone deformities (stretching and bone corrections). We also collaborate with other departments and units in other pathologies that are also considered reference centres in our hospital: such as the CSUR in childhood sarcomas.
The members of the Unit are fully qualified and trained to perform non-surgical and orthopaedic treatments that cover the subspecialty of Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery.
The Unit is located at the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital and falls under the Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology Department.
The Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit has five lines of research underway:
- Orthopaedics in cases of myelomeningocele
- Childhood traumatology
- Orthopaedics in cases of club foot
- Orthopaedics in Perthes disease
- Paediatric spine orthopaedics
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Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
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