Children’s Orthopedic Center is a special place for children and
families. We have a small
office with a personal touch, and we strive to provide excellent
orthopedic care in a convenient and timely manner.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, we work as a team to give considerate and compassionate care to
children of all ages, with a focus on quality, value, preventative care
Dr. Susan Atkins is a pediatric
orthopedic surgeon with special interests in pediatric sports medicine
and trauma, developmental problems, birth problems (including clubfoot)
and genetic and neuromuscular disorders.
Having competed, coached, judged and taught gymnastics and dance
for years, she has an active interest in sports medicine, fitness and
nutrition with the teaching skills necessary to help children learn
better self care.
Why See a Pediatric Orthopedist?
One question families often ask is when to see a pediatric orthopedic
rather than a pediatrician, general orthopedic surgeon or other
specialist. The right answer
depends on the type of problem and the age of the child.
In most cases, your pediatrician can make a recommendation for
Pediatric orthopedists have additional training in congenital and
developmental problems, as well as expertise about the growing child.
Injuries often involve the growth plate, a relatively weak area
of the bone. Many injuries
that require surgery in adults can be treated conservatively in
children. Rapid growth of
adolescence is a key factor in many sports related conditions, which
require special attention.
More rapid healing and rehabilitation is often seen in children, so a
standard adult approach may leave a child out of sports longer than
patients more often want a swimming cast, and
sometimes do not fare well
with a removable splint, as toddlers
and some teens don’t always follow
issues, like bowleg and knock knee, are treated differently in children
than adults – again, often requiring much less invasive care than adults
might need. Many pediatric
diagnoses are best treated at a young age, with better results and less
Once growth is complete, some families prefer to see a sports
medicine specialist, who may be more familiar with the more
adult-oriented therapists and surgeries.
For general screening, medical or neurologic problems, your
primary care physician or pediatrician is more appropriate.