The Orthopaedic Clinic helps by treating children and youth in the Maritimes who have injuries and diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system.
How we help
We use surgical and non-surgical methods to treat infections, tumours, sports injuries, traumatic injuries and congenital disorders. The bones, joints, and muscles of growing children and youth are treated in using a multidisciplinary approach that includes observation of growth, physiotherapy, casting, bracing or splinting, and surgery.
The Orthopaedic Clinic Staff coordinates care for children with complex needs. Children may be seen in a general orthopaedic clinic or a more focused scoliosis clinic, fracture clinic, or limb deficiency clinic. The orthopaedic clinic has partnerships with the Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida Clinics. Both inpatient and outpatient care is provided. Children who require hospitalization will stay on the Medical Surgical Neurosciences Unit (MSNU)
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is involved in several research studies aimed at investigating the anatomical changes and treatment options associated with scoliosis. There’s also involvement with several multi-centre scoliosis studies including the participation of health institutions from across North America. Other research projects include treatment of supracondylar humerus fractures and free vascularized fibular graft.
What to expect
You'll be notified of your child’s appointment by mail and/or phone call. Before your appointment it may be helpful to write down any questions you may have. Some questions may include those related to activity level, pain management and return to school or sports. Follow up care, if required, will be reviewed prior to leaving. The booking clerk will notify you of follow up appointments by mail and/or a phone call.
While in the orthopaedic clinic your child’s care may be provided by a resident (a doctor specializing in orthopaedics), nurse or orthopaedic technologist, all under the guidance of the orthopaedic surgeon. Each child is examined and assessed on an individual basis and after discussion with a parent or guardian a personalized plan of care is determined. Other health professionals will be consulted as necessary. Your child’s visit may include or be followed by diagnostic tests such as x-rays, blood work, or more specialized tests such as MRI, CT scan, or bone scans.
The Orthopaedic clinic is a very busy clinic, so you may have a bit of a wait; please bring some quiet activities or reading material for you and your child.
To fully prepare for your appointment, please bring the following with you:
- Your child's health card
- Your appointment letter
- A List of medications
- Any medications needed during your visit
- A pair of shorts for your child, as it will make the examination easier.
- Name and telephone number of your referring physician and/or family physician
- Insurance information
- A list of questions you and/or your child may have for the physician. Also, remember to ask for any instructions from the doctor or letters of medical necessity that you may need for school our your child's family physicians/pediatrician.
- Books, games, snacks, diapers, change of baby clothes, or other necessities.
Who you’ll meet
Our team is made up of many members who work closely together. Some of the people you may meet during your visit include physicians, a neurophysiologist, a nurse practitioner, registered nurses, orthopaedic technologists, physiotherapists, a child life specialist, and a social worker.
There are five orthopaedic surgeons who work in the Orthopaedic Clinic. They’re physicians responsible for assessing, examining, diagnosing, and treating any musculoskeletal problems your child may have (or deciding that your child does not have any problems). They also perform surgery, and will see your child in follow-up appointments. You may also meet residents or fellows (doctors who are training to become family doctors, pediatricians or orthopaedic surgeons) who work under the guidance of our physicians.
A neurophysiologist is someone with a Ph.D. (Neurophysiology) and specialized knowledge about the function of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The primary role of the Neurophysiologist is to monitor and protect patients from neurologic injury while they are undergoing surgery. The neurophysiologist works closely with the entire surgical team to optimize patient safety during surgery where there is a risk of brain, spinal cord, or nerve injury.
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a Masters Degree who has advanced clinical skills and specialized knowledge, in this case about pediatric orthopaedics. She is responsible for assessment, diagnosis, and management of a variety of orthopaedic conditions. During your clinic visit, she may examine your child, order and interpret x-rays or other imaging, prescribe medications, decide on a treatment plan, or complete other health screening.
The registered nurses in the Orthopaedic Clinic have a high level of knowledge, skill, and competence in the area of pediatric orthopaedics. They will help answer any questions you might have about your child’s orthopaedic condition, and will help guide you through whatever treatment option is necessary. They’re also knowledgeable about child growth and development, and can provide guidance if you have questions or concerns. Should your child require surgery, treatments, or hospitalization, they’re also instrumental in helping to make sure you and your child are adequately prepared.
Orthopaedic technologists help orthopaedic surgeons with the treatment of orthopaedic injuries and diseases by applying, adjusting, and removing a variety of casts, splints, and bandages. They may also provide you with information and instructions about treatment.
Physiotherapists are trained to assess, treat, and prevent disease, injury, or conditions that affect the structure and/or movement of the human body through treatment, exercise, and education. Our physiotherapists are involved with patients in both the clinic setting and the inpatient setting.
Child Life Specialist
Health care experiences can be stressful for children and youth. These experiences may cause fear, confusion, and changes in behaviour. With the help of child life staff, children and youth can master these feelings through play, education, and support. Child life specialists have special training designed to promote the well-being of children and youth and their families by assisting them to cope with the stresses of health care through play, education, and other strategies.
Social workers are dedicated to improving the physical health, mental health, and well-being of patients and families by working on the issues that patients and families identify as concerns. Social workers at the IWK have special training (Masters Degree) in the areas of medical and mental health social work practice.
Accessing this Clinic, Program or Service
Referrals are accepted from family physicians, emergency departments, pediatricians and other specialists. New referrals are accepted for adolescents up to their 16th birthday.
The clinic is located on the 1st Floor of the IWK Children’s Building.