Expert GOSH consultant gives advice this World Paediatric Bone and Joint Day

Mr Yaser Jabbar
Mr Yaser Jabbar

This World Paediatric Bone and Joint Day, Mr Yaser Jabbar, Consultant Limb Reconstruction and Paediatric Orthopaedics at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Pyrrha Group, shares tips on how to keep your children's bones and joints healthy.

  • What does orthopaedics mean? 

Orthopaedics is a word derived from two greek terms- Orthos “straight" and Paideia “growth of children". In modern terms it relates to the field of medicine and healthcare looking after bones and joints. As a consultant in Limb Reconstruction I look after children and adults who have legs and arms that have either not grown or developed normally, been injured by infection or trauma and those who have had major injuries like bomb blasts and car crashes.

In Paediatric Orthopaedics, alongside my colleagues, I look after children who have any problem with bones and joints throughout childhood- for example clubfeet, hip problems from birth or developed later like slipped epiphysis.

  • How common is it for children to have a serious problem related to their spine or joints?

This is quite a difficult question.

Most children will not have a serious bone or joint problem in their lifetime. Having said that there are a huge number of children with small problems that, if helped with, can help function during childhood as well as preventing problems in the long term.

Unfortunately when children do develop serious bone and joint problems, they really do need specialist assessment and advice or treatment. If they do come to the right places early then usually they can achieve the correct treatment from the outset. 

  • What can parents do to help their children have strong and healthy joints and bones?

Bone and joint health is really an area that fits naturally in to an active lifestyle.

The best advice one can give is to encourage a full and varied diet including amounts of normal fats and sources of calcium to allow children to build up bone stock and bone strength. Sunlight exposure is vital and should be encouraged so that Vitamin D can be made and converted in the body to help store the Calcium.

What is interesting to note is that our body levels of bone density, which is comparable to bone strength in the normal population, are set by the age of 18-20. That means we really need to encourage children and adults to keep active,  engage with sports and physical activity to keep their bodies strong for the future.

The Pyrrha Group

Mr Yaser Jabbar, Mr Bran Sivakumar and Dr Michelle White

The Pyrrha Group are unique in their combined approach to management of highly complex limb reconstruction, congenital anomaly and injury care. They look after patients across the board, whether local NHS patients or international private patients with specialist needs. They have leading edge expertise, and access to some of the world’s most advanced medical technology in order to provide the best care in the world with consistency, reliability and minimisation of risk.

The group are always happy to hear from patients, colleagues and anyone who feels they might be able to help them. They can be contacted either through this website or on +44 (0) 203 488 3680 or
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