This article traces the development of Paediatric Orthopaedics in Singapore. Ever since the formation of the University Department of Orthopaedics in 1952, orthopaedic surgeons have had a special interest in musculoskeletal problems in children. Special clinics called “Congenital Clinics” were held in the Singapore General Hospital to look after these children. These clinics were continued in the Singapore General Hospital after the University Department moved to the National University Hospital in 1985. In 1987, a Division of Paediatric Orthopaedics was formed at the National University Hospital to streamline the care of children with musculoskeletal problems. In 1997, the new KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital opened with a Department of Orthopaedic Surgery dedicated to paediatric patients. In the space of 50 years Paediatric Orthopaedics has become an established subspecialty in Singapore.
The name “Orthopaedic Surgery” is derived from the words “orthos” (meaning straight or to straighten) and “paido” (meaning child). Thus, it is not unexpected that paediatric orthopaedics was the first discipline within Orthopaedics to develop as a subspecialty.
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