Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
We cannot think of children as miniature adults, their bodies are growing and developing until they point they reach skeletal maturity. Medical professionals treating diseases of and injuries to the bones, joints and muscles of children must be experts in the specific nature of said diseases and injuries. Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery is the subspecialty that is deals with these problems in children.
Between childhood and adolescence, there are many varied osteoarticular processes that children may experience. If we look at age, it is obvious that the issues faced by babies vary greatly from those faced by adolescents. So, while congenital abnormalities and postural deformities are most common in babies, young children present more disorders in gait and deformities of the limbs. Later on, when the children are older, several pathologies of the hip and spine can appear. Once a child reaches adolescence, fractures are the most common issue. The origin of the different problems is also very diverse, and can include infectious or tumoural congenital processes.
Many paediatric diseases manifest with skeletal deformities or disorders of function, which is why paediatric orthopaedic specialists must work in coordination with the other Paediatrics specialists: neonatologists, neurologists, nephrologists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, pneumologists, oncologists and gastroenterologists. In turn, they need the collaboration of other specialists such as radiologists, anaesthetists, rehabilitators and pathologists.
The Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Unit of our hospital is accredited as a centre of reference for the various pathologies covered by our specialty, as well as neurodegenerative diseases (childhood cerebral palsy, spina bifida, neuromuscular diseases, peripheral neuropathies) bone dysplasia (achondroplasia, imperfect osteogenesis) and major bone deformities (stretching and bone corrections). We also collaborate with other departments and units in other pathologies that are also considered reference centres in our hospital: such as the CSUR in childhood sarcomas.
The members of the Unit are fully qualified and trained to perform non-surgical and orthopaedic treatments that cover the subspecialty of Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery.
The Unit is located at the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital and falls under the Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology Department.
The Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit has five lines of research underway:
- Orthopaedics in cases of myelomeningocele
- Childhood traumatology
- Orthopaedics in cases of club foot
- Orthopaedics in Perthes disease
- Paediatric spine orthopaedics
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.