Children's Hospital Colorado
In the background, a patient with long brown hair watches as a doctor holds a white plastic skeleton of the hips, which is shown clearly in the foreground.


About the Hip Preservation Program

The pediatric orthopedic team in our Hip Preservation Program evaluates and treats hip problems in children from infancy through adolescence. As a multidisciplinary team, we have a variety of experts who work together to provide quality care. This includes physicians, surgeons, therapists, athletic trainers and nurses, making us one of the most comprehensive pediatric hip care programs in the nation.

Pediatric hip conditions we treat

From hip pain in young athletes to complex congenital hip disorders, we treat the entire spectrum of pediatric hip conditions. Our most common referrals include:

  • Hip dysplasia: when the "ball" at the top of the hip bone is loose in the socket, causing the hip to dislocate
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI): abnormal contact between the top of the thigh bone and the frontal part of the hip socket; typically caused by either an abnormally shaped hip bone or an abnormally shaped socket
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease: a condition of the hip in which the blood supply to the top of the thigh bone is temporarily disrupted, causing pain and inflammation in the joint, as well as changes to the bone structure
  • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE): when the ball at the end of the thigh bone slips off the thigh bone at the growth plate; this usually happens after periods of rapid growth around the onset of puberty
  • Transient synovitis: an inflammation in the hip joint that occurs when a viral infection, such as an upper respiratory infection, settles in the hip joint; the most common cause of hip pain in prepubescent children

Pediatric hip surgeries we perform

Our three pediatric hip surgeons each specialize in a specific class of hip surgery in children and collectively perform more than 150 operations each year. This high-volume practice allows our pediatric hip surgeons to achieve the highest possible level of skill in complex realignment surgeries and places them among the best hip surgeons in Colorado.

Our pediatric hip surgery specialties include:

  • Hip arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure in which a surgeon, with the assistance of a tiny camera called an arthroscope, repairs hip problems with miniature surgical tools using only a small incision
  • Periacetabular osteotomy: A procedure in which a surgeon uses four main cuts to free the femoral head from the hip socket and move it to a better weight-bearing position

Why choose us for pediatric hip care


We recognize that care for complex hip conditions requires a team that spans many specialties. That’s why our team of pediatric hip specialists includes orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, physician assistants, nurses and anesthesiologists.

We also work closely with our radiology department where radiologists use cutting-edge imaging technology to analyze each patient’s condition to craft the best course of treatment.

In addition, our collaborative approach includes experts who focus on rehabilitation, rheumatology and pain management.

These specialists work together to create individualized treatment plans for each patient.

Personalized care for patients and their families

A nurse is assigned to each child and family in our Program to serve as a point of contact for the duration of treatment. Our nurse learns the complexities of the patient’s condition, from surgery to pre- and post-operative care.

As the point person for each family, the nurse also helps patients complete the at-home components of care like physical therapy exercises and medication regimens. This allows the child and their family to easily get answers, which ensures their continued comfort with the care plan.

Contact the Hip Preservation Program

At the Hip Preservation Program, we welcome questions and consultations from parents and referring providers.

For appointments at Anschutz Medical Campus or our South Campus, call 720-777-6600 or email

Some insurance companies require a referral from a primary care provider before we can schedule appointments. Once a referral is in place, most insurance companies will cover specialty care visits. Learn more about insurance plans accepted by Children’s Colorado.

Cartoon image of a patient and doctor having a telehealth call.

Keeping you safe, wherever you are

We're here when you need us with the same safe, high-quality care we've always offered, even during the pandemic. Now, in many cases, you can get that care without even leaving home because we offer virtual visits across every one of our specialties.

See if telehealth is right for your child


Get to know our pediatric experts.

Stephanie Mayer, MD

Stephanie Mayer, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Shelley Dell'Orfano, DNP

Shelley Dell'Orfano, DNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Dennis Gurule, PA-C

Dennis Gurule, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Debbie Burke, PA-C

Debbie Burke, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Looking for a second opinion?

If your child has a fracture, orthopedic tumor, spinal condition, sports injury or other orthopedic condition, we can help you feel confident about their care.

Get a second opinion from our pediatric experts

Dr. Frank Scott, Chief of Hand Wrist & Elbow at Children's Hospital Colorado, examines a young girl's hand and wrist.