Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of only a few children’s hospitals in the country to offer an integrated orthopedics program that focuses on 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 work to help our patients recover motor function and 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)
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)
Lab testing (such as blood work)
Physical therapy, including sports medicine physical 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 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
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. An EOS image is taken while your child is standing, allowing our specialists to get a better view of structural abnormalities 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 have access to 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.
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:
Rare genetic disorder detection
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 patients who’ve gone through surgery or are experiencing the side effects a variety of conditions, such as cerebral palsy or neurotrauma.
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy incorporates a variety of functional activities to help children develop skills such as self-care independence and safety, self-regulation and organization, and community integration.
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 we need all in one place, we’re able to streamline appointments and save your family time.
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Children's Hospital Colorado providers
Children’s Hospital Colorado providers are faculty members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Our specialists are nationally ranked and globally recognized for delivering the best possible care in pediatrics.
Some healthcare professionals listed on our website have medical privileges to practice at Children’s Hospital Colorado, but they are community providers. They schedule and bill separately for their services, and are not employees of the Hospital.