What to Expect at Your Clinic Visit with Pediatric Orthopaedic Trauma Services

Coming to the Orthopaedic Trauma Clinic at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is like a "sick" visit with your child's pediatrician. We ask questions about what hurts and what happened.

We know young children are often afraid at the doctor's office, especially when something hurts. But we're experts at distracting little ones and putting them at ease.

Teens and young adults are often more anxious about what an injury means for their sports careers or social lives.

We're here to reassure you and work to get you a diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible.

What to Know About Orthopaedic Trauma Office Visits

When you visit us, our Orthopaedic Trauma team will:

  • Take a medical history.
  • Take x-rays of the injured and related body parts on site or review x-rays that you bring on a disk.
  • Perform a gentle exam of your child's injury.

A few things to keep in mind when you're coming for a clinic visit:

  • Bring your x-rays or scans on a disk if they are not from a UPMC facility. Paper reports are not sufficient. We have to see the actual images to determine the correct course of treatment for your child. Otherwise, we need to take repeat x-rays.
  • We have no pain medications in the office. Take any over-the-counter pain medicine before coming in. If an injury needs care with local anesthesia or sedation, we'll send you to the Emergency Department (ED).
  • We'll usually leave on a cast from the ED. If your child got a splint, we'll take it off and provide something more comfortable and stable.
  • We'll exchange most splints and braces from non-UPMC EDs and clinics. We'll fit your child with a more customized and comfortable cast or brace.

At-Home Care Tips

There are many things parents can do to encourage good healing at home.

If your child has a soft tissue injury, like a muscle strain or a ligament sprain, RICE can help:

  • Rest. Stay off the strain or sprain.
  • Ice. Treat the injury with ice.
  • Compress. Add pressure to the injury as directed by your doctor.
  • Elevate. Keep the injury above your heart.

If your child has a cast, proper care is vital. Care for your child's cast depends on if they have a standard cast or a waterproof cast.

It’s important to keep this information about casts in mind:

  • Waterproof vs. classic casts. Waterproof casting is not right for all fractures. Your provider will discuss whether it can work for your child's injury.
  • No waterproof casting in the ED. We do not offer waterproof casting in the Children's ED. We do offer it in the office, at satellite offices, and sometimes at UPMC Children's Orthopaedic Urgent Care.
  • Cost. There is an out-of-pocket charge for waterproof casts, so check with your provider before making any purchase decisions. Please do not buy and bring waterproof materials prior to your visit. They may be incorrect, and you might not be able to return them.

Make An Appointment With a UPMC Children's Orthopaedic Trauma Expert

To make an appointment, call 412-692-5530Or, schedule your child's orthopaedic trauma appointment online.