Comprehensive orthopaedic trauma care at Children’s National Hospital extends beyond healing broken bones (fractures). Our team of nationally recognized pediatric orthopaedists delivers specialized care to help children with traumatic injuries regain as close to normal function as possible.
Orthopaedic Trauma Care at Children’s National: Why Choose Us?
Orthopaedic trauma includes serious injuries involving the bones and joints that come on suddenly, such as when your child is in a car accident or experiences a bad fall. In addition to treating a high volume of fractures, what sets Children’s National apart is our expertise in treating less common, very complex conditions.
Highlights of our program include:
- Level I Trauma Center: Our designation as a Level I Trauma Center means your child has round-the-clock access to the most advanced care. This includes a complete range of pediatric surgical subspecialists, including neurosurgeons, if necessary. Learn more about emergency medicine and trauma services.
- Non-operative treatments: You may be surprised to learn that we treat most fractures without surgery and achieve excellent outcomes. Using the latest bracing and casting techniques, we maximize your child’s natural ability to heal.
- Referral center: Physicians from Washington, D.C., and surrounding communities put their trust in our expertise. Children’s National receives referrals from as far away as West Virginia, southern Maryland and Virginia. We invite referring providers to view our orthopedic surgery and sports medicine referral guidelines.
- Research: Through research we are working to improve orthopaedic trauma care and outcomes. Our research interests include casting techniques to help children avoid surgery and reducing x-ray exposure. Learn more about the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Surgical Innovation.
- Family-centered care: From personalized treatments to emotional support, we create a positive experience for our patients and their families. Certified child life specialists help you and your child cope with his or her injury and take extra steps to make your child’s hospital stay less frightening.
Orthopaedic Trauma Care at Children’s National
Our depth of experience in orthopaedic trauma helps us deliver timely, effective care. Whether your child needs treatment for a recent injury or a previous fracture that did not heal well, we offer the best available care.
Features of orthopaedic trauma care at Children’s National include:
- Fracture clinics: Your child can receive urgent fracture care in locations throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Our fracture clinics offer on-site X-ray capabilities, dedicated cast technicians and advanced practice nurses with special training in fracture care.
- Inpatient orthopaedic trauma care: Our orthopaedic surgeons are available all hours of the day and night. A dedicated trauma operating room allows us to deliver urgent surgical treatments without delay.
- Minimally invasive and growth plate-sparing techniques: We perform surgeries using the smallest necessary incision. We also protect your child’s development by minimizing disruption to special bone segments (growth plates) responsible for his or her growth potential. Learn more about minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery.
- Advanced treatments: We offer advanced treatments, including procedures to stimulate bone growth and correct deformities due to improper fracture healing. We also specialize in reconstructing limbs after complex fractures.
Children’s National Orthopaedic Trauma: Conditions We Treat
In addition to standard breaks and strains, we treat a broad range of orthopaedic trauma conditions, including:
- Angulated fracture: This type of fracture happens when fractured bone segments fall out of natural alignment and instead lie at angles to each other.
- Bone infections (post traumatic osteomyelitis): This type of bone infection can occur as a complication from some forms of orthopaedic trauma. Learn more about bone infections.
- Complex fractures: Complex fractures include a number of severe fractures, including those located near joints, with multiple breaks and with bone loss.
- Fracture malunion and nonunion: Malunion occurs when the two segments of a fracture heal to form an unnatural bone alignment. Nonunion occurs when a fractured bone fails to complete the healing process.
- Growth arrest or delayed growth: Fractures near special segments known as growth plates can disrupt your child’s natural bone development. This can cause a limb to stop growing altogether (growth arrest) or to grow at a slower than normal rate (delayed growth).
- Growth plate (physeal) fractures: Growth plates are segments of cartilage at the ends of long bones of the arms and legs that contribute to your child’s skeletal development. Injuring a growth plate can affect the length or alignment of the bone and may require treatment to optimize function of the limb.
Expert Care When You Need It
Experts at Children’s National are available 24/7 to care for orthopaedic traumas, all with growing kids' needs in mind. When a broken femur sent Jared to the Emergency Department, Matthew Oetgen, MD, used cutting edge techniques to treat his injury.