Children's Hospital Colorado
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About the Lower Extremity Limb Differences Program

For kids with complex lower extremity (from the hips to the toes) limb differences, we provide a complete team of orthopedic experts so you get not only the best medical care, but lifelong support. At Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Lower Extremity Limb Differences Program, your child’s treatment is customized for their unique needs and based on the latest research.

Children with complex limb differences usually require surgery and ongoing care. So we work with your family to provide the best treatment and follow-up options that are right for you.

Your care team may include:

  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Orthopedic nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Physical therapists
  • Prosthetic and orthotic specialists
  • Radiologists

Why choose us for lower extremity limb difference care

Children’s Colorado is one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation with the top-ranked children’s orthopedic program in the region. Our program’s multidisciplinary approach allows us to get a complete view of your child’s condition and overall health. We involve every specialist necessary to make sure your child has the best possible outcomes and quality of life. When possible, you see all specialists in one visit, so you get answers more quickly.

Multiple orthopedic surgeons work together to make sure we create the best care plan for your family’s needs. Our doctors also conduct research on limb differences. Their work at the forefront of this field gives our patients access to treatments that aren’t always available everywhere.

We also offer second opinions for patients who have been evaluated at another hospital and may want to explore treatment options. If you have questions about getting a second opinion, please call us at 720-777-4985.

ONLY Multidisciplinary limb differences program in the region

Who we treat at the Lower Extremity Limb Differences Program

We care for any child who has congenital (present at birth) limb differences or differences caused by infection, traumatic injury, tumors, bone diseases and some neurologic disorders. These limb differences can include leg length discrepancy (when one leg or bone is longer than the other) and angular deformity (when a bone or extremity is bowed).

Limb differences we treat include:

  • Limb length discrepancy
  • Angular deformity
  • Physeal arrest (growth disturbance)
  • Congenital femoral deficiency
  • Fibular and tibial hemimelia

Learn about our Hand and Upper Extremity Program for care of upper extremities.

Services we provide for lower extremity limb differences

Treating limb differences is often complex and may require multiple stages of treatment. We provide care in three primary areas:

  • Diagnosis and correction recommendations
  • Surgical treatment
  • Post-operative therapies, psychological and social support and ongoing care

We make sure to provide you an accurate diagnosis and a custom care plan to meet your needs inside and outside our hospital.

Limb differences diagnosis and surgical correction recommendations

A comprehensive exam that includes expert imaging is the first step toward creating a personalized treatment plan and correcting your child’s limb difference. Our imaging services are led by radiologists who specialize in children’s orthopedics and include:

We may also evaluate your child in our state-of-the-art Center for Gait and Movement Analysis to better understand how their limb difference affects them in day-to-day movements.

Surgical treatment for limb differences and post-operative therapies

Treatment for children with lower limb differences is usually complex and may include the following procedures:

  • Growth modulation: Changing growth patterns in bones to correct angular or length issues
  • Internal limb lengthening: Making bones longer so they match in length
  • External correction: Attaching external devices to bones to help lengthen them or correct other differences

Most children participate in physical therapy before and after surgery to ensure the best possible recovery. Our team of experienced physical therapists works directly with your child and tailors home exercise programs.

Learn more about how we treat limb differences with surgery in this video:

Psychological and social support and ongoing care

This level of complex care can be challenging for your child and your whole family. Our psychologists and social workers specialize in helping families like yours. They’re here to give you any kind of support you need before, during and after your child’s treatment.

Our treatment isn’t done until your child’s limb difference is completely treated or they’re done growing. Our clinic grows with your kid and provides the personalized care they need at every step of their journey.

We also offer the opportunity for kids and families to meet others going through similar treatment. Connecting with kids on the same path helps many children cope with the complexities of living with a limb difference.

Contact the Lower Extremity Limb Differences Program

If you have questions about our Lower Extremity Limb Differences program or would like to ask about scheduling an appointment, please call 720-777-4985. If your child might benefit from our program, we will set up an initial appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons, who will work with our team to decide what the best course of treatment is. Appointments are held in our Orthopedics Clinic on Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Julia Sanders, MD

Julia Sanders, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

Sayan De, MD

Sayan De, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery

Jessica Kenny, PhD

Jessica Kenny, PhD

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