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When to refer to orthopaedics

Referral to paediatric orthopaedics or orthopaedics is warranted in the context of:

  • Suspicion of bone or joint infection.
  • Limping / non-weight bearing.
  • Limb pain that is not resolving. 
  • Mechanical knee problems. 
  • 'Sport' injuries that are not resolving.
  • Scoliosis. 
  • Painful flat feet.
  • Bow-legs or knock-knees that are not normal variants. 
  • Joint or limb deformities.

The urgency of the referral depends on the clinical context. Any suspicion of infection, malignancy or spinal cord compression warrants urgent referral. More information is provided in the 'when to refer same day' section.


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