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Thread: What's the difference in the type of doctor?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    What's the difference in the type of doctor?

    I hope this does not sound like a silly question. What are the various forms of orthopedic specialists? I read one post on this forum which states, "I would be sure you are having a pediatric ortho (if not a ped ortho surgeon) with experience reading childrens x-rays for scoliosis reading the x-ray. " Does this mean we should only be seeking a pediatic orthopedic specialist? Is this different than an orthopedic surgeon? Thanks for any clarification.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Ottawa, Canada
    A paediatric orthopaedic doctor will only have children as patients and operate most often on children so they will likely have the most experience with treating children. Some orthopaedic doctors do more work with scoliosis than others too so I think it would be best to find a paediatric orthopaedic doctor who specializes in scoliosis. Also within the realm of scoliosis there are doctors who specialize in infantile or juvenile or adolescent or adult scoliosis.
    Ruth, 50 years old (s-shaped 30 degree scoliosis) with degenerative disc disease, married to Mike. Mother to two children - Son 18 and daughter 14. Both have idiopathic scoliosis. Son (T38, L29) has not needed surgery to date. Daughter (March 08 - T62, L63).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    north of boston, ma
    a good resource is to go to the website and find a specialist there (physician locator on the left). specifically look for those doctors whose specialty match the age of your child - infantile/juvenile/adolescent. also you can post of this board and ask if anyone has any experience with that particular doctor.

    as for reading x-rays, there is definitely observer error +/- 5 degrees is the norm. from what i understand, the radiologist will read the x-ray and give you a #, but the definitive answer should come from your ortho.

    hope this helps,
    mom to lucas 6 1/2 yrs old with infantile scoliosis diagnosed at 18 mos 68o/45o;
    spinal detethering due to a tight/fatty filum at 22 mos;
    tlso and charleston brace from 18 mos to 2 1/2 yrs old at children's boston, ma;
    serial plaster casting from 2 1/2 until 4 1/2 at shriners in erie, pa;
    now in a spinecor brace at 21o/19o from montreal. next appt. sept 2008
    and ruby (3 1/2 yrs old and a handful!)
    north of boston, ma

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    I agree with Deshea that it is important to try to find a doctor who treats a lot of kids the SAME AGE as your child. When David was first diagnosed with infantile scoliosis, the doctor we were referred to was apparently very good but the vast majority of her cases were the typical scoli patients - teenage girls. I feel much better now that David is seen by Dr. Betz at Shriners because they see a lot of younger kids (infantile/juvenile) in addition to adolescents.

    Also, when a doctor is not seeing a lot of kids in a particular age group, then he/she is likely not focusing on the best and newest treatments for that age group. I hope that makes sense

    Good luck.
    Last edited by mariaf; 11-08-2007 at 05:52 AM.
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

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