The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery provides consultation and management services for all children's orthopaedic (bone and joint) conditions including all congenital or acquired musculoskeletal problems and musculoskeletal trauma. The Department has particular expertise in musculoskeletal deformities including leg lengthening and treating major spinal curvatures.
Outreach clinics operate in Kangaroo Island, Mt Gambier, Port Augusta and Alice Springs. The Department co-operates closely with the Orthopaedic Surgery departments at Flinders Medical Centre, Lyell McEwin Hospital and Modbury Hospital. The Department also has a close association
The Department conducts Clinical Orthopaedic Research and is closely associated with the
How to access the service
Consultation is by referral either through General Practitioners, WCH Children's Emergency or other medical staff within the Hospital.
For Orthopaedic Outpatient Clinic appointments call (08) 8161 7399.
Information for Families
In children, there are growth plates (physes) at the junction between the head and neck of the thigh bone (femur) and also at the lower end of the bone. In later childhood, for reasons that are not completely understood, the head of the femur may slip downwards and backwards, like ice cream partially sliding off a cone. It is important that hip, thigh or knee pain is properly assessed to ensure that this condition is not missed. Treatment usually requires the insertion of a metal screw through a small incision to stop the head of femur sliding off.
A broomstick plaster is a cast used to keep the legs apart and the hip joint in a good position. It can be made of plaster of Paris, fibreglass or a combination of both.
The collar and cuff holds your child's injured arm in the correct position for healing to occur. This is commonly used for fractures of the humerus bone.
An external fixator can be used for lengthening bones or to hold broken bones in place.
A Hip Spica is a large plaster extending from under the armpits down to the feet. It is used to rest the child's hip/s to promote healing of the affected hip/s or secure a fracture in the thigh.
Perthes disease is the name applied to a condition which affects the upper end, or head/ball, of the thigh bone, where the hip joint is. In this condition, the growing part of the head goes through a series of changes, in which it softens, breaks up into fragments, and then gradually re-forms. Treatment often requires some restriction of activities while the hip is irritable. Occasionally treatment with broomstick casts, braces or surgery is required.
Spinal fusion is a procedure performed to treat severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
General information on care of your own or your child's plaster is contained in the Care of your Child’s Cast brochure.
The information brochure is designed to help you become familiar with the care your child will receive whilst he/she is in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) following spinal surgery.
Ultrasound is a method of making pictures of people without using x-ray. Short pulses of this sound are sent into the body, and when the echoes bounce back, they are used to build up a picture of the inside of the body (much like a very complex sonar).
Developmental dysplasia of the hip refers to a spectrum of conditions where the ball and socket of the hip joint fail to form properly. It is more common in female babies, first-born children, breech babies, children with a family history and babies who are wrapped (swaddled) with the legs together. Treatment depends on the age of the child as well as other factors and can include a splint or surgery. Sometimes a hip spica is needed.
How Bones Grow
The Bone Health Foundation website describes how bones grow, as well as a description of selected clinical conditions and useful links to other sites.
The Research Team at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Women's and Children's Hospital comprises orthopaedic surgeons, doctors-in-training, medical and research/higher degree students. It is supported by a Clinical Research Manager, Research Scientist and Research Assistant.
The Department has a long track record of internationally recognised research activity and publications including basic science and clinical research investigating a range of paediatric musculoskeletal conditions.
Current areas of interest for the Research Team at the WCH Department of Orthopaedics include mechanisms of bone growth and repair, paediatric musculoskeletal infections, the management of congenital and developmental musculoskeletal deformities such as scoliosis and lower limb deformity and paediatric trauma.
Clinical Research aims to provide the benchmarks for clinical audit and quality management issues to be undertaken in a structured manner. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has a high clinical workload, which enhances the opportunities for organised clinical orthopaedic research. The Department's Clinical Research Manager, Dr Nicole Williams coordinates the Research programme. Contact 08 8161 7059, email CYWHSOrthopaedicVMO@health.sa.gov.au.
Basic Science Research is funded by the Bone Health Foundation, competitive funding bodies and the Department; it carries out fundamental research aimed at elucidating mechanisms of normal bone growth and bone growth disorders and developing biological treatments to induce growth plate cartilage repair. The understanding of the pathophysiology of skeletal disorders and fracture-induced growth arrest will generate a basis for strategic research in the use of growth factors and cells to repair growth plate fractures in children's bones. Dr Corey Xian coordinates the Basic Research and heads a team of Honours and PhD students.
Please send to:
Surgical Correspondence and Enquiries
OPD Appointment Bookings and Enquiries
Department or Surgical Enquiries
Orthopaedic Clinical Practice Consultant
last modified: 12 Apr 2016