Children's Hospital Colorado

Pediatric Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Research at the Orthopedics Institute

Our Orthopedic Institute team uses research findings and technological innovations to advance how we care for kids with orthopedic conditions. We search for ways to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic injury, disease and deformity.

Dr. Sarah Sibbel examines a toddler's hand.
Research article

Dr. Sarah Sibbel’s outcomes are among the best in the nation for correcting hand and forearm deformities. Learn about her work as a hand surgeon.

Orthopedics and rehabilitation advancements

We take a comprehensive approach to researching pediatric orthopedic issues. Our Institute is comprised of highly organized, collaborative programs that focus on hip, spine, hand, trauma, neuromuscular issues, musculoskeletal tumors and sports medicine.

"There's a difference between getting someone back to their daily life fast and back to their daily life safely. We do what’s right for the long run so that our patients can have long active lives."

Stephanie Mayer, MD

Pediatric orthopedic surgeon

Learn about Dr. Mayer's research

What our orthopedic research means for kids

The scientists at Children's Colorado use several types of research to improve orthopedic treatments. We're focused on understanding the biological causes of conditions and testing new therapies, treatments and medications to see if they offer better outcomes than current standards of care. We study and seek the next innovations in a variety of clinical areas:

  • General orthopedics: This team investigates orthopedic conditions including clubfoot, hip dysplasia, spinal deformities and fractures, with an emphasis on improving quality outcomes.
  • Hand and upper extremity: We evaluate topics including congenital hand differences, hand and forearm surgical outcomes. We're focused on personalizing treatment for every child's unique healing trajectory.
  • Hip preservation: We're currently examining patient predisposition, long-term effects and progression of hip conditions, and effective interventions to extend preservation of hip function and cartilage.
  • Neuromuscular: We focus on the hips and lower extremities. Our research involves prospective and retrospective studies examining surgical outcomes. We're working to refine surgical intervention and improve results of orthopedic procedures.
  • Spine: Our physicians and nurses research how to improve quality and safety outcomes, including the use of non-invasive treatments such as bracing, casting and observation before surgery becomes an option.
  • Sports medicine: Our researchers aim to reduce risk of pediatric and adolescent athletic injuries, and to improve treatment outcomes. Our projects include retrospective outcomes studies, prospective randomized treatment protocols and observational assessments.
  • Trauma: Our team focuses on the management of complex orthopedic conditions that are caused by traumatic accidents. We're specifically interested in the treatment of fractures, limb deformities, musculoskeletal infections and acute sports-related injuries.
  • Tumor: The orthopedic tumor team studies the development, quality of life and treatment outcomes for patients experiencing cancer of the musculoskeletal system. Our goal is to improve functional ability and patient satisfaction as a result of innovative surgical interventions.

Learn more about the Orthopedics Institute.

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A spine the size of your hand

Hunter's congenital scoliosis had compressed his spinal cord, which would have eventually led to paralysis. Spinal fusion was his best option, but the risks were high.

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Children's Colorado in the news

The Holyoke Enterprise

Adaptive Equipment Enables Skiing for Local Tech-Lover

April 12, 2017

Katie Gerk, 19, was born with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, but that has not stopped her from skiing multiple seasons at Winter Park. Gerk is in the hospital's Adaptive Recreation for Childhood Health (ARCH) program, which began in 1968 as a way for kids with amputations to get involved with skiing. Since, the program has expanded to provide recreational resources for individuals with a wide range of medical conditions. Frank Chang, MD, orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis, is highlighted.


3D-Printed Spine Helps Girl with Scoliosis be More Active

July 1, 2016

Children’s Colorado was the first pediatric facility to use 3D-printed FIREFLY technology to treat scoliosis. Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Sumeet Garg performed the surgery on 13-year-old Jocelynn Taylor, who had a spine curvature over 100 degrees. Dr. Garg examined a 3D-printed replica of Jocelynn’s spine prior to surgery and connected rods to Jocelynn's spine with 3D-printed brackets during surgery.