An Evidence-Based Approach To Pediatric Orthopedic Emergencies (Trauma CME)
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An Evidence-Based Approach To Pediatric Orthopedic Emergencies (Trauma CME)

May 2009

Abstract


Orthopedic injuries are a common presenting condition to emergency departments (EDs), with both pediatric and adult patients affected. Neurovascularstatus is of paramount concern in these injuries. However, structural differences between growing and mature bone (as well as tendons and ligaments) mandate that particular attention be paid to the pediatric patient to ensure that subtle age related injuries are not missed.

This issue of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice focuses on the challenge of evaluating and managing the pediatric orthopedic patient and highlights conditions with which the ED clinician may not have significant experience. Many of these injuries are of the simple “bumps and bruises” variety and require little more than ice, pain control, and education about the injury. However, there are some diagnoses that require truly emergent care in order to salvage a limb or prevent future loss of function. Differentiation between the urgent and emergent patient may not be overtly obvious. This article will focus on the available literature with the caveat that much of the information available is based on small case studies and retrospective reviews. By raising clinician awareness of these conditions and applying the available evidence, the ED clinician can work to ensure the best possible outcome for pediatric orthopedic patients.
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