From pediatric questions to general medical queries, our panel of experts is here to answer your questions….
A Broken Bone
Question: I broke my arm as a child and it was treated. Now I am a 40-year-old and having a lot of pain and trouble moving this same arm. Could this be related to my past injury?
Dr. Brijesh Puthalonkunath Valsalan, Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon responds: “Childhood injuries can present problems in adulthood in some individuals. Injuries of the arm, which are around the growth plate region, can have late consequences in adulthood. Fractures around the elbow are well-known to cause issues later on life. These fractures, especially intra-articular fractures (those fractures where the fracture line runs across a joint surface) are typically prone to secondary osteoarthritis due to incomplete reduction of intra-articular fractures or deformities related to growth-plate injury. Another late complication typically seen in lateral condyle fractures is ‘tardy ulnar nerve palsy’ which is a late onset ulnar nerve neuropathy due to nerve stretching as a result of elbow valgus deformity. But there could be a multitude of other causes for your arm pain which are totally unrelated to the old injury. These are far more commonly encountered in clinical practice than old injury sequelae. You would need to consult an orthopedic surgeon for clinical and radiological evaluation to determine the cause of pain and to plan further management.”
Weaning the Baby
Question: My baby is approaching one year now and I want to wean her off the breast and on to formula milk. What is the best way to do this?
Dr. Venkiteswaran Ramanathan, Medical Director and Consultant in Pediatrics and Neonatology responds: “For ideal nutrition, WHO recommends that a baby must be exclusively fed breast milk for the first six months, but you can continue for up to two years if you wish, even after the baby is introduced to solid foods. If you wish to wean your baby off breast milk, you can start with the following steps. First, substitute breast milk with bottle milk once a day and gradually increase the number. Also, start offering solid food instead of breast milk at meal times. Make sure your partner also helps during the feeding time as you aren’t always there to feed her. You can also try different bottles/teats and decide on one your baby prefers. Since your child is turning one, you can offer a cup for sipping. Don’t expect an immediate result, as the change from breast feeding will be a slow process.”
Teenager Addicted to Gadgets
Question: How do I know if my teen is addicted to her electronic gadget? Are there any key signs?
Dr. Saliha Afridi, Clinical Psychologist responds: “Electronic addiction is a real issue with serious physical and mental health implications. Teens are more depressed and anxious today than ever before and research shows that electronic addictions are a major contributing factor to the rise in these disorders. Here’s how to tell if your child is addicted: Is he irritable and moody when you take away the electronics? Do they sneak/or break the rules to get more screen time? Does he/she need more and more screen time to feel satisfied? Does he/she seem withdrawn and opt out of social gatherings to be near a screen? Has his/her social, academic, or emotional life suffered as a result of screen time? If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, then your child has reached unhealthy and dysfunctional levels of electronic use.”