Help for Autistic Children Undergoing Orthopedic Surgery

As a San Diego pediatric orthopedist, I spend a lot of time with parents and their children to create a calm environment, build clear expectations and establish a bedrock reservoir of trust.

Although some children face surgery unafraid, many struggle with anxiety. Generally autistic children fall into the latter group, which is why it is edifying to see articles like this one helping to spread the word about better methods for calming these kids:

The studies also recommended including caregivers as “interpreters” of patients’ needs because the children often cannot communicate for themselves.

Doctors can make changes to the surgical or pre-surgical setting to match patients’ specific needs and preferences, the study also concludes. For example, hospitals can bring in a service dog to calm the patient the first time they’re introduced to the surgical setting.

It may also be helpful to let the patient get used to the staff and the setting before surgery as a type of “rehearsal” and to give the patient as many choices and distractions as possible, the study team writes.

There’s lots more in the article, including good ideas about removing unnecessary equipment, dimming the lights, and working out a narrative that makes sense of the procedure within a more appealing and decodable story.

For the best pediatric orthopedist in San Diego, don’t hesitate to contact the AOSM offices today.

Further Reading on Sports Injuries in Kids

Pediatric orthopedic care demands a special constellation of skills. Kids are still growing, and their bodies are changing rapidly, so planning for the body’s natural development is paramount.

Understanding what kind of injury your child has – chronic or acute, serious or minor – requires an expert assessment of your kids’ symptoms and presentation. This page offers a good overview of the various questions involved, along with a rubric you can use to evaluate the intensity of your child’s impairment.

Although the article includes a lot of good advice, this last bit is especially well-advised:

Take Every Injury Seriously
It is important to remember that even if an orthopedic injury does not look serious, underlying structures may be severely compromised. An in-depth assessment and appropriate treatment are important to ensure you don’t worsen the injury. . .. Reviewing the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments is important to providing quality care.

For the highest standard in pediatric orthopedic treatment in San Diego, please contact Dr. William Holland’s orthopedic surgery offices here.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery?

A lot has been written about what adults can expect from orthopedic surgery procedures in the way of recovery and mobility. Most 60-year-olds headed in for hip surgery or knee surgery become capable autodidacts, scanning the Web for information about prognosis and aftercare.

Not so for younger patients, whose parents are often left in a state of confusion about the most common surgical procedures, and how these procedures may impact young lives.

Which is why this web page is long overdue; released by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it details the average recovery times for some of the most frequent procedures in pediatric orthopedics:

1. Supracondylar fracture pinning: Six days
2. ACL reconstruction: Six days
3. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy: Six days
4. Spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: 42 days
5. Both-Bone forearm fracture fixation: Four days
6. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery: Six days
7. Hip arthroscopy for hip impingement: 10 days
8. Limb length discrepancy correction: Nine days
9. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis: 9.5 days
10. Femur fracture fixation: 13 days

Clip and save this list, but do not assume its figures are gospel. Every patient is different, and each child heals differently from major orthopedic surgery. The best way to learn your options and foretell the future is by speaking with an expert San Diego orthopedist in person.