Congenital Musculoskeletal Conditions Q&A

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Grapevine, TX

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Congenital Musculoskeletal Conditions

Congenital Musculoskeletal Conditions services offered in Grapevine, TX

Some babies develop problems with their bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues before birth. If your child has one of these congenital musculoskeletal conditions, visit board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon Roderick Capelo, MD, at Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates in Grapevine, Texas. Dr. Capelo and his team specialize in treating these disorders, including problems like clubfoot, scoliosis, and brittle-bone disease. To benefit from their extensive expertise, call Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates today or book an appointment online.

What are congenital musculoskeletal conditions?

Congenital musculoskeletal conditions affect how a baby’s bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments develop before birth.

Babies and children with congenital musculoskeletal conditions don’t always have symptoms. However, there may be visible abnormalities in the baby’s legs, hands, feet, or arms, or unnatural spinal twists, bows, or curves. The child might not move as much as other infants, and their bones may break easily.

What causes congenital musculoskeletal conditions?

The mother’s health and habits significantly affect a baby’s development. Factors that can raise the risk of congenital musculoskeletal conditions in a baby include substances the mother takes into her body and certain diseases, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Illicit drugs
  • Certain medications
  • Radiation
  • Certain chemicals
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Chickenpox
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure

In around 60% of cases, the cause of congenital musculoskeletal conditions isn’t clear. Risk factors that increase a child’s chances of having congenital musculoskeletal conditions include chromosome disorders and inheriting abnormal genes.

What congenital musculoskeletal conditions could my baby have?

Some of the more common types of congenital musculoskeletal conditions the Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates team sees include:

Foot problems

Clubfoot is the most common orthopedic birth abnormality. The baby’s foot turns inward and down so they can’t put their sole on the floor. Metatarsus adductus is a congenital musculoskeletal condition where the foot curves inward or there’s intoeing.

Spinal abnormalities

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature or twisting of the spine. Kyphosis is spinal bowing.

Muscle and bone disorders

Osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) causes the bones to break under very little stress. Muscular dystrophy damages and weakens the muscles.

Joint disorders

Common joint problems include bow legs (where the knees go away from each other) and knock knees (where the knees go inward). Sometimes a baby’s arms or legs don’t develop properly or are missing.

How are congenital musculoskeletal conditions treated?

Treatments available at Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates for congenital musculoskeletal conditions include:


Fitting a brace, splint, or cast helps properly align the child’s bones and joints and encourages them to grow normally.

Physical and occupational therapy

Physical therapy improves a child’s range of motion and strength. Occupational therapy focuses on helping a child with congenital musculoskeletal conditions to manage tasks like eating, dressing, and walking.


When a congenital musculoskeletal condition is too severe for conservative treatments, surgery might be necessary to adjust bones, muscles, and connective tissues. Another possibility is guided growth, which influences how bones grow from their growth plates.

For an expert assessment of your child’s congenital musculoskeletal condition, call Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates today or book an appointment online.