JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Musculoskeletal Care.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article provides a review of recent published research studying racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in pediatric musculoskeletal care.

RECENT FINDINGS: Disparities in pediatric musculoskeletal care are demonstrated in two general realms: access to care and health outcomes. Though initiatives have been proposed or enacted to address disparities, underrepresented minorities and patients from lower socioeconomic statuses continue to face barriers across the spectrum of orthopedic care and poorer ultimate outcomes after both non-operative and operative management. Minority pediatric patients and those from lower socioeconomic statuses experience delays across the spectrum of orthopedic care for both urgent and non-urgent conditions. They wait longer between injury date and initial orthopedic evaluation, longer to receipt of diagnostic imaging, and longer to ultimate treatment than their counterparts. When finally able to obtain musculoskeletal care and treatment, they are at higher risk of poor in-hospital outcomes and inpatient complications, worse patient reported outcomes, and suboptimal pain management. In the outpatient setting, they receive less physical therapy and follow-up clinic visits, resulting in greater stiffness and strength deficits, and are ultimately less likely to meet return to sport criteria.

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