Children are not just small adults. A pediatric orthopaedic surgeon is a doctor who takes care of children with musculoskeletal problems. That means any child with a bone, joint, or muscle problem or disease and certain nerve problems and diseases. Pediatric orthopaedists take care of abnormalities in how children walk differences in leg lengths, deformities that are present at birth such as clubfeet and dislocated hips, deformities that develop later in childhood such as crooked legs and curved spines (scoliosis). A pediatric orthopaedist also takes care of acute problems such as broken bones, infections in bones or joints, and tumors in bones.

Because children are still growing, their body's response to injuries, infections and deformities may be quite different than what would it would be in a full-grown person. Many of the problems children have with their bones and joints don't even occur in adults. For the same problem that an adult might have, the evaluation and treatment is usually quite different in a child.

Pediatric orthopaedists have advanced experience in treating children due to their specialized training. They're also proficient in taking care of anxious parents and grandparents, and know about the worry that goes along with having a child with an orthopaedic problem.