Child Orthopedics


Frequently Asked Questions

We took our son to a specialty clinic for surgery on his knees because he was extremely bow-legged. There's a special name for this condition (Blount disease). That was last year. Now this year, they have sent him a questionnaire to fill out about his pain, satisfaction level, and function. He's only nine years old! How can he answer questions about his satisfaction with the surgery or his quality of life?

Patient satisfaction surveys are becoming more and more common all the time. Hospital administrators, insurance companies, and even surgeons want some way to measure the results of the procedures performed. Patient satisfaction and quality of life ratings can be ways to measure success. Depending on the instructions provided with the survey, the agency sending it to you may have expected you (the parent(s)) to complete the questions to the best of your ability. Using your observations and judgment, you can provide some feedback otherwise unavailable to them. There are questionnaires specifically designed for parents and children (e.g., AAOS Pediatrics Parent/Child Outcome Instrument). Sometimes these surveys are modified for a specific condition as in the case of Blount's Outcome Questionnaire, a survey based on the AAOS Pediatrics tool just mentioned. Sometimes it depends on the age of the child and level of maturity. Some children are quite capable of analyzing their feelings, symptoms, function, and perceived results of treatment. Others wouldn't have a clue and would need their parent(s) to complete any such forms. If the organization sending you the survey listed a phone number, you could telephone them and clear up any confusion about how to complete the form.

Jerome K. Jones, MD, et al. Outcome Analysis of Surgery for Blount Disease. In Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. October/November 2009. Vol. 29. No. 7. Pp. 730-735.

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