Health News

A pediatric orthopedic surgeon has a unique job aimed at getting a child back to their normal life. For Dr. Robert Palmer, pediatric orthopedic surgeon for Vidant Orthopedics-Greenville, helping a child return to their routine means creating a relationship that allows patients and families to partner in their recovery.

“Being a pediatric orthopedic surgeon is unique because we are responsible for treating the whole child,” Dr. Palmer said. “We see so many unique cases, from limb deficiencies, to physical deformities and traumatic injuries like broken bones. This means the relationship I build with my patients and their family is not centered around a single surgical event, but rather the unique treatment and healing process catered to help that child get back to life.”

Pediatric orthopedists specialize in treating bone, joint or muscle problems and the care continuum using both surgical and nonoperative treatment modalities for pediatric patients depending on the severity of their condition. Cases range from physical conditions from birth to sports-related injuries.  Using innovative rehabilitation strategies, the goal is to safely and expediently get the patient back to his or her baseline level of function.

Patients and families can expect a coordinated process that usually involves the primary pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist and sometimes even the child life specialists at the Vidant Health Maynard Children’s Hospital at ECU Health Medical Center, who specialize in supporting pediatric patients throughout the healing journey.

“One of the most important aspects of treating pediatric patients is being able to clearly communicate,” Dr. Palmer said. “There is a lot of fear that can come with a patient, especially the younger ones that may not understand their condition or injury. I have a young daughter myself and my approach is to treat the patient and family as if I was in their shoes.”

With resources across Vidant’s 29-county service area, the healing process post-surgery is designed to keep care as close to home as possible, reducing the need for long car rides which can be a hindrance for children in pain.

“This is the best job in the world,” Dr. Palmer said. “I get to help a child and their parents through one of their most difficult times. It is an amazing feeling and I am incredibly grateful to have that opportunity.”  For more information about pediatric orthopedics, please call Vidant Orthopedics-Greenville at 252-816-4001.

Read more in The Daily Reflector