HOW TO BEST PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR THE FIRST VISIT
If you have an appointment to see one of the COA providers, you can preview his/her bio/credentials in our "meet the team" section. As discussed above, most likely, your child will be scheduled to see one of our nurse practitioners or physician assistants. In our practice, our PA's and NP's specialize in the care of fractures and are always supervised by a physician. Your child will likely obtain new radiographs to ensure that the fracture has maintained its alignment. Our radiology technicians only work with children and will do their best to keep your child smiling throughout the entire x-ray process. if you have been to an ER or urgent care recently, please make sure you bring a copy of the xrays on a CD with you. The COA providers can usually access x-rays in the Children's Healhcare of Atlanta system, but we cannot access radiographs from every emergency room across Georgia.
Based on the radiographs, your child may have a new cast applied. Under certain scenarios, a waterproof cast may be available. Otherwise, a standard, non-waterproof fiberglass cast will be applied. We offer an extensive number of cast color options. Like our radiology technicians, our orthopaedic technicians (lovingly known as our "cast techs") are also very experienced with children and will do a wonderful job at making the casting experience a pleasant one. There is a small chance that surgery may be recommended for your child to help align the bones better. If this is the case, your child will be referred to one of our surgeons on call for the practice.
The patients at COA often have a very pleasant experience with us, but there are several circumstances which may cause anxiety, and we find that the better your child is prepared for the visit, the better the visit will go.
- THE CAST SAW
The cast saw is feared by many young children due to its loud noise. The noise is similar to a vacuum cleaner. The saw is an oscillating saw that works by cutting through the saw, but it will not cut the skin. The more your child can stay still, the better the experience. Feel free to watch one of our COA patients having her cast removed.
Items of distraction and items that decrease anxiety are also very helpful. Please make sure your child has his/her favorite stuffed animal and/or toy. Also, electronics such as cellular phones and/or tablets can work wonders while your child is having his cast removed.
- TAKING X-RAYS?
Many children also fear getting x-rays taken. There could be a multitude of reasons for this such as the dark room, big machines, etc. For our younger patients, we encourage one family member to come back to x-ray to assist in keeping her child calm. If the mother is pregnant, however, we would discourage that parent from coming back with her child. Again, please let your child know that the xray does not hurt. If your child has a freshly broken bone and/or a recently surgically treated bone, our pediatric-focused radiology technicians will take all measures possible to keep your child comfortable during the x-ray process.
if your child is coming for a first-time scoliosis evaluation, here is some helpful information to know before your visit.
- THE EXAM
The exam can be anxiety-provoking for many children. Your COA provider will need to examine your child's back. Some COA providers prefer the exam without a bra in place (for our female patients) to get a thorough exam. We would recommend that your daughter wear a sports bra (a bra without an underwire), so that she can wear this bra during the xray and likely throughout the exam. She will have a cloth gown to wear that is open in the back. She will also have to wear shorts. We have paper shorts available in the office, but your child will likely prefer to wear his/her own shorts if possible. The exan typically entails a thorough investigation of the back as well as a brief neurologic examination
- THE X-RAY
If your child has had recent x-rays prior to her appointment with COA, please obtain a copy of these xrays on CD. Otherwise, we will need to repeat the x-rays in the office in order to be able to evaluate the spine. For females, bras without underwires can be worn during the xray, so we highly recommend that your daughters wears a sports bra on the day of the office visit. If you have not had any prior x-rays, we have the capabilities of performing high quality radiographs in every one of our locations and be able to give a reading of that x-ray within a few minutes.
- TREATMENT POSSIBILITIES
Based on multiple factors, your COA doctor will discuss various scoliosis treatment options, which include observation, bracing, or surgery. Please click here for additional information on scoliosis prior to the first visit.