Obesity in Pediatric Orthopaedics

Shawn R. Gilbert


Curr Orthop Pract. 2013;24(6):576-580. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Rates of childhood obesity have risen dramatically in the past decades. Currently, 31.6% of children are overweight or obese. Obesity is associated with significant medical complications, including a significant effect on the musculoskeletal system. Recent research is reviewed, describing the effect of obesity on the growth plate and developing skeleton, alterations in risk for fractures and other musculoskeletal disorders, and alterations in treatment or outcomes in orthopaedic surgery.


This manuscript focuses on recent research in the field of pediatric orthopaedics that pertains to obesity, with particular emphasis on research published within the last 2 yr. Topics covered include general health and musculoskeletal health, perioperative management issues, fracture risk and fracture care, and diagnoses specifically associated with or affected by obesity such as Blount disease and slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). More comprehensive reviews of obesity and pediatric orthopaedics, including older literature, can be found in the references.[1–3]