• Call us (213) 742-1000
  • donate
connective tissue disorders

Treating Connective Tissue Disorders: Meet The Experts

Connective tissue disorders are a bit like a rock landing in a pond: Their effects ripple outward, touching a child’s body and mind in many ways. At OIC, we know that it takes the wisdom and experience of care providers from a number of specialties to ensure that our patients’ needs are met. 

Our team approach to treating connective tissue disorders means that many people will play important roles in your child’s treatment and care. 

Here are some of the different providers who could make up your child’s treatment team:


 

Nurse Coordinator

Think of your child’s care team as a brick wall whose goal is to stop the connective tissue disorder in its tracks. Each specialist is another brick in this wall. And a nurse coordinator is the mortar holding the wall in place. 

As part of your child’s treatment team, a nurse coordinator might: 

  • Ensure that all medical tests—such as imaging or blood work—are carried out as needed
  • Perform a physical exam and discuss your child’s medical history with you
  • Coordinate care and communication between you, your child, and other members of the care team

 

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Orthopaedic surgeons are trained in the latest and best surgical techniques to treat connective tissue disorders. However, at OIC, our orthopaedic surgeons can do much more than just perform surgery as part of their role on your child’s treatment team.  

For instance, an orthopaedic surgeon might: 

  • Evaluate your child’s health and medical history, and discuss the best care options to help your child meet personal goals
  • Work with other care team members to create a customized treatment plan that meets your child’s needs
  • Provide surgical or non-surgical treatment for your child’s connective tissue disorder

 

Medical Geneticist

Many connective tissue disorders, particularly those that affect bone, are relatively rare and require dedicated expertise in their diagnosis and management. Medical geneticists specialize in pinpointing underlying genetic causes of connective tissue disorders. This helps us to create a treatment approach tailored to each child’s needs.

The role of a medical geneticist includes:

  • Evaluating your child through history, physical exam, and imaging tests
  • If appropriate, working to identify the genetic cause of the connective tissue disorder
  • Working to coordinate care for each child based on the underlying genetic condition

 

Orthotist

Sometimes children with connective tissue disorders might struggle with mobility issues. In these situations, medical devices—such as crutches or wheelchairs—can help children maintain their independence.  

Orthotists are here to ensure that your child receives the right device. In order to do this, an orthotist might: 

  • Work with the other members of the treatment team to determine the best way to meet any physical challenges your child might have
  • Fit your child with crutches, braces, a wheelchair, or other assistive devices, if needed
  • Adjust these devices and provide you and your child with instructions on how to take care of them over time

 

Pediatrician

At OIC, our pediatricians are much more than just primary care providers for children. They are an important part of each child’s treatment team. 

Your child’s pediatrician can: 

  • Review your child’s medical history and current condition, and discuss treatment goals
  • Coordinate and provide both general and disease-specific healthcare for your child
  • Work with the other members of your child’s medical team to provide care—for example, by performing pre-operative bloodwork, if needed

 

Physical Therapist

Some connective tissue disorders can cause pain and impair a child’s strength, mobility, range of motion, and coordination. At OIC, our physical therapists are here to help children who are struggling with any of these issues. 

As part of the treatment team, a physical therapist might: 

  • Review and discuss your child’s current health, medical history, and goals
  • Design a physical therapy plan tailored to meet your child’s needs and goals
  • Teach your child exercises, stretches, and other techniques to help prevent or reduce pain and maintain or improve strength, mobility, range of motion, and coordination

 

Social Worker

At OIC, we know that managing life with a connective tissue disorder is about more than just meeting your child’s physical health needs. Our social workers are ready to address any social, emotional, or financial challenges your family might be facing because of a connective tissue disorder. 

To meet your family’s needs, a social worker can: 

  • Ensure that you and your child understand the information provided by the different care team members
  • Provide emotional support to you and your child, when needed
  • Help your family coordinate and manage all aspects of care—such as by finding or referring you to additional financial resources or assistance, if necessary