Children's Hospital Colorado

Orthopedic Services We Offer

We care for patients’ growing muscles, joints and bones through sports medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and research.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Orthopedics 2021-2 Badge


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No matter your needs, we offer personalized and child-focused orthopedic care. Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of only a few children’s hospitals in the country with a complete children's orthopedics program that includes pediatric orthopedics, orthopedic procedures and rehabilitation medicine.

This means that in addition to providing common orthopedic tests like X-rays and casting for broken bones and other common injuries, we perform surgery on some of the most complex orthopedic conditions. We also help our patients recover from injury and improve their quality of life.

Depending on your child’s condition or injury, orthopedic treatment, procedures and tests may include:

  • Comprehensive imaging (such as X-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT)
  • Splinting or casting
  • Surgery for various conditions from broken bones to sports injuries to cerebral palsy and more
  • VEPTR surgery (a device we implant to treat patients with scoliosis and thoracic insufficiency syndrome)
  • Concussion testing
  • Lab testing (such as blood work)
  • Movement analysis
  • Physical therapy, including sports medicine physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Pediatric orthopedic imaging

Imaging tests help us diagnose many different orthopedic conditions, from broken bones to structural tears, such damaged ligaments or joints. And because kids' bodies are growing, it takes pediatric experts like ours to know exactly what to look for. We also use imaging equipment that is safer for kids and know how to make your child feel comfortable during their imaging tests.

  • X-ray: A quick and painless test that uses an ultra-low dose of radiation to provide detailed, high-quality images of the condition or injury
  • Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI: A machine that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequency and a computer to produce detailed images of structures in the body
  • Computed tomography, or CT scan: A combination of X-ray and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images of the body, including bones, muscles, fat and organs
  • Arthrogram: An X-ray or picture of the inside of a joint using a special dye injection to increase the detail of the image
  • Ultrasound: An imaging test that uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body
  • Positron emission technology or PET scan: A machine that creates 3D images of a specific area of the body
EOS Imaging system

Low radiation X-ray: The EOS Imaging System

The EOS Imaging System is a low radiation imaging scan for scoliosis or other spine, hip or leg disorders. A low radiation imaging scan is safer for children with progressive conditions who may need imaging exams throughout their life. We take an EOS image while your child is standing, allowing our specialists to get a better view of structural issues so we can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment. Unlike a traditional X-ray, which stiches multiple images together, the EOS Imaging System conveniently produces just one, high-quality image similar to an X-ray that can include the entire body when necessary.

Pediatric orthopedic surgery

Our specialists do everything they can to treat conditions and injuries without surgery, but when surgery is the best treatment option, our patients receive care from one of the safest, most experienced and most effective pediatric orthopedic surgery teams in the country. This includes offering VEPTR surgery to treat patients with scoliosis.

What is VEPTR surgery?

We are one of only a few national centers offering VEPTR surgery, which helps straighten a child’s spine and separate their ribs so that their lungs can grow normally. Thoracic insufficiency syndrome is a disease marked by severe deformities of the chest, spine and ribs that prevent normal pulmonary development. Though rare, our team sees many patients with thoracic insufficiency syndrome each year, and we actively participate in multi-institutional research aimed at improving care for these children.

Coach in concussion recovery program

Concussion testing

Pediatric experts with our Concussion Program specialize in evaluating and treating children and young athletes who experience a concussion or other type of mild traumatic brain injury, or TBI. In addition to general medical exams, specific testing for concussions can include neuropsychological testing, which is an evaluation of thinking skills and behavior that helps doctors understand changes in brain function after a concussion. After appropriate evaluation, our team works with a child’s family, as well as a school nurse or another person at the child’s school, to implement a concussion recovery plan.

Pediatric orthopedic lab tests

Depending on your child’s orthopedic condition, a pathologist may need to test a sample of their blood for the following reasons:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Rare genetic disorder detection
  • Cancer evaluation

Special care designed just for kids

Our staff is experienced at drawing blood from children and know how to make the process as quick and easy as possible. We explain ahead of time how the process will work and answer any questions you have. Additionally, one of the many benefits of our program is that we never ask you to leave during a blood draw. We encourage you to hold and comfort your child throughout the process.

Pediatric orthopedic movement analysis

The Center for Gait and Movement Analysis uses advanced video recording techniques and motion capture technology to get an in-depth look at the way your child walks, which is referred to as their gait. This helps their doctors evaluate their condition and provide the best possible treatment.

What to expect from a gait analysis

Tests can include:

  • Observing and recording movement while walking at normal speed
  • 3D motion analysis of your child’s skeleton to more accurately assess their movement challenges
  • Dynamic electromyography to collect data on how well your child’s muscles are working while walking

Physical and occupational therapy

Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help children regain motor function and redevelop everyday life skills.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy helps restore maximum function for kids who’ve gone through surgery or are experiencing the side effects a variety of conditions, such as cerebral palsy or neurotrauma.

Women giving physical therapy

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy helps children develop skills for day-to-day activities. This helps kids care for themselves independently and safely, organize themselves and participate in their community.

What is sports medicine physical therapy?

Sports medicine physical therapy is specifically for young athletes. The program helps get them back on track after a sports injury.

Sports medicine physical therapy

Where to find our orthopedic services

Modern facilities and advanced equipment help our orthopedic experts test, diagnose and treat all types of injuries, movement challenges and musculoskeletal conditions in children and young adults.

  • Outpatient clinics: Our outpatient clinics include exam rooms, consult rooms and X-ray imaging suites at many of our locations in the Denver Metro area and in Colorado Springs, and we offer orthopedic clinics at all Children’s Colorado locations. With everything you need all in one place, we’re able to streamline appointments and save your family time.
  • Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit: This inpatient unit is staffed by board-certified pediatric specialists, as well as pediatric nurses who specialize in orthopedics and rehab.
  • Sports medicine centers, labs and gyms: Our clinics, labs and gyms are available for general physical therapy services, as well as physical therapy specifically designed for young athletes.
  • Pediatric operating rooms: Our operating rooms have special medical equipment that we can adapt to meet the needs and sizes of all patients, from babies to young adults.
See where we offer orthopedic services

Learn where to find our orthopedic services at numerous clinics throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

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