Treatment Programs

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Pediatric Orthopaedics

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Orthopaedics Service provides clinical care to infants, children and adolescents, from birth to college age, for the entire spectrum of musculoskeletal problems.

  • 617-726-8523

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Orthopaedics Service provides clinical care to infants, children and adolescents, from birth to college age, for the entire spectrum of musculoskeletal problems.

For almost a century, we have helped thousands of orthopaedic patients and today we treat the largest number of trauma, sports-medicine-related injuries and musculoskeletal tumors of any facility in New England. We have earned an outstanding reputation for successfully caring for patients who are often considered untreatable by others.

Comprehensive Services and State-of-the-Art Facilities

We treat all facets of a child’s skeletal health, including:

  • Trauma and fractures
  • Sports and performance injuries
  • Other acquired injuries

We have expertise in the management of inborn problems, such as:

  • Spinal deformities
  • Hip and foot anomalies
  • Growth disorders and developmental delay
  • Metabolic disorders, including rickets and Blount’s disease
  • Neuromuscular disorders, ranging from cerebral palsy to muscular dystrophy

Our surgical expertise includes state-of-the-art techniques in:

  • Foot and hip reconstruction
  • Limb lengthening
  • Spinal reconstruction
  • Tendon transfers and muscular reconstruction
  • Sports medicine procedures
  • Skeletal trauma care

By working together in multidisciplinary teams, we achieve outstanding results in the diagnosis and treatment of various orthopaedic conditions:

  • In conjunction with the Orthopaedic Oncology Service, we offer treatment for benign malignant tumors and neoplasms of bone and connective tissue.
  • With our colleagues in the Orthopaedic Hand Service, we care for a wide range of hand and upper extremity deformities.
  • Working with the nearby Shriners Hospitals for Children- Boston, we treat all orthopaedic manifestations of acute and chronic burns.

In caring for our patients, we have access to some of the most advanced imaging capabilities in the world. Our light-speed CT scan eliminates the need for sedation 95 percent of the time, minimizing the time needed to assess a child’s condition and start appropriate care. In addition to standard CT and MRI, we offer PET (positron emission tomography) scanning for looking at the body’s biochemical functions, functional MRI for providing 3D structural and functional imaging, and special, high-resolution MRI scanning for furnishing exquisite anatomical views. MassGeneral Hospital for Children has the first FDA-approved intraoperative MRI, which has axial imaging that allows our surgeons to operate through the smallest hole possible and provides views from many angles during an operation in order to attain maximum tumor resection.

Ongoing Research Ensures the Most Advanced Treatment

Our large patient population provides us the opportunity to observe, study, learn and discover new knowledge to advance the field of orthopaedics. Recent innovations include:

  • New materials and technologies for total hip and knee replacement
  • Innovative approaches to the treatment of bone cancers
  • Novel treatments for athletic injuries

Working in collaboration with colleagues in the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication, we are exploring a number of orthopaedic applications for the utility of patient-derived stem cells in treating Legg Calve Perthes disease, a major cause of premature arthritis in children and young adults. We are also investigating the utility of multi-detector CT scans in improving diagnostic capabilities in a host of injuries to the immature elbow.

We continue a tradition of research into the causes and prevention of injuries sustained by children as a result of trauma. To this end, we have recently received grant funding to develop a comprehensive database for our pediatric trauma and non-trauma patients, giving us the ultimate ability to prospectively study treatment outcomes for all of our patients.

Multidiscliplinary Care and Close Collaboration with Referring Physicians

At MassGeneral Hospital for Children, we provide a team approach that is comprehensive, compassionate and personalized. Physicians, certified nurse practitioners, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, research scientists and technicians work together to formulate the best treatment program for each child. An attending orthopaedic surgeon heads each child’s team, and, with input from the family and referring health care provider, develops and manages an individualized plan of care. The team can immediately call upon any needed pediatric subspecialists and resources, including a brace and orthotic service.

More information about the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Orthopaedics Service.

Family-Centered Care

We respect that the family is the center of the child’s life and welcome families to participate in every aspect of the child’s care. To help parents feel confident in making informed decisions, education is a cornerstone of our care. In addition to holding one-on-one discussions with patients and their families, we also have multiple information booklets as well as a website that describes in detail various orthopedic conditions.

Arthritis

Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.

Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis is a disease that may cause bone or joint collapse as a result of loss of blood supply to the bone due to injury or other causes (such as long-term use of certain medications).

Back and Neck Pain

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back that restrict mobility. Neck pain is pain that occurs in the area of the seven cervical vertebrae in the neck area.

Benign Bone Tumors

There are many benign bone tumors that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.

Bone Cancers

There are different types of bone cancers, which are typically defined as a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the bone that destroys normal bone tissue.

Bursitis

Bursitis is caused an inflamed bursa, a closed, fluid-filled sac that functions as a cushion and gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.

Calluses and Corns

Calluses are protective pads made up of the thickened upper layer of skin due to repeated rubbing of the area. Corns are small calluses that develop on the top of the toes due to pressure or rubbing against shoes or other toes.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through an opening from the wrist to the hand called the carpal tunnel.

Chondroblastoma

Sometimes called Codman's tumor, a chondroblastoma is a rare type of benign bone tumor that originates from cartilage.

Chondrosarcoma

Chondrosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that develops in cartilage cells.

Chronic Pain

Pain is an unpleasant feeling that lets you know that something may be wrong. It is one of the body's warning signals that indicates a problem that needs attention.

Congenital Hand Deformities

Congenital anomalies are deformities that are present at birth.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome feels similar to the pain that occurs from hitting the "funny" bone in your elbow. The "funny" bone in the elbow is actually the ulnar nerve, a nerve that crosses the elbow (the ulnar nerve begins in the side of the neck and ends in the fingers).

Dupuytrens Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture, also called Dupuytren's disease, usually begins with a thickening of the skin in the palm of the hand, which may develop into a hard lump or thick band that eventually could cause the fingers to contract, or pull into the palm.

Elbow Pain and Problems

Common elbow problems include the following: arthritis - common forms of arthritis, bursitis, fractures, and injury.

Enchondroma

An enchondroma is a type of benign (non-cancerous) bone tumor that originates from cartilage.

Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a cancer that occurs primarily in the bone or soft tissue.

Fibrous Dysplasia

Fibrous dysplasia is a chronic disorder in which bone expands due to abnormal development of fibrous tissue, often resulting in uneven growth of bones, pain, brittle bones, or bone deformity.

Foot Pain and Problems

Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Improperly fitted shoes can worsen and, in some cases, cause foot problems.

Fractures

A fracture is a partial or complete bone break. When a fracture occurs, it is classified as either open or closed.

Giant Cell Tumor

A giant cell tumor is one that is made up of a large number of benign (non-cancerous) cells that form an aggressive tumor - usually near the end of the bone near a joint.

Hand Pain and Problems

There are many common hand problems that can interfere with activities of daily living (ADLs),

Hip Fracture

A hip fracture is a break in the femur (thigh bone) of the hip joint.

Hip Problems

The following are some of the most common hip problems: arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic arthritis, avascular necrosis, bursitis, and hip pointer.

Knee Pain and Problems

Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint (i.e., arthritis). Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee.

Kyphosis

A normal spine, when viewed from behind appears straight. However, a spine affected by kyphosis shows evidence of a forward curvature of the back bones (vertebrae) in the upper back area, giving a "humpback" appearance.

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is characterized by pain in the back side of the elbow and forearm, along the thumb side when the arm is alongside the body with the thumb turned away. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist backward away from the palm.

Ligament Injuries to the Knee

Ligament injuries to the knee include injuries to one of the four knee ligaments (elastic bands of tissue that connect bones to each other).

Low Back Pain

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning.

Lumbar Disc Disease (Herniated Disc)

Lumbar disc disease occurs in the lumbar area of the spine. As discs degenerate, fragments of the disc material can press on the nerve roots located just behind the disc space, causing pain, numbness or changes in sensation.

Lumbar Strain (Weight Lifter's Back)

A lumbar strain is an injury to the lower back, which results in damaged tendons and muscles that spasm and feel sore.

Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers and Baseball Elbow)

Medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer's elbow, baseball elbow, suitcase elbow, or forehand tennis elbow, is characterized by pain from the elbow to the wrist on the palm side of the forearm.

Myeloma Bone Disease / Multiple Myeloma

Myeloma bone disease is cancer that affects certain white blood cells called plasma cells.

Neck Pain

The neck is located between the head and the shoulders. Because of its location and range of motion, it is often left unprotected and subject to injury.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative, joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the neck, lower back, knees, hips and/or fingers.

Osteochondroma

Also called osteocartilaginous exostoses, osteochondroma is an overgrowth of cartilage and bone near the end of the bone near the growth plate.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle-bone disease, is a genetic (inherited) disorder characterized by bones that break easily without a specific cause.

Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an inflammation or swelling of bone tissue that is usually the result of an infection.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease in which there is a loss of bone mass and destruction of bone tissue, causing weakening of the bones in the hips, spine and wrists.

Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that develops in the osteoblast cells that form the outer covering of bone.

Paget's Disease of the Bone

Paget's disease of the bone is a chronic bone disorder in which bones become enlarged and deformed. Bone may become dense, but fragile, because of excessive breakdown and deformation of bone.

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper's Knee)

Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is a condition caused by inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shin bone, often caused by overuse of the knee joint.

Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

Patellofemoral stress syndrome is a condition common among runners involving knee pain caused by irritation of the cartilage of the kneecap.

Pelvis Problems

Two of the more common pelvic problems include pelvic fractures and osteitis pubis.

Repetitive Motion Injury

Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons caused by performing the same motion over and over again.

Rotator Cuff Injury

An injury to the rotator cuff, such as a tear, may happen suddenly when falling on an outstretched hand or develop over time due to repetitive activities.

Sciatica

Sciatica, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, is a pain that originates along the sciatic nerve, which extends from the back of the pelvis down the back of the thigh.

Scoliosis

A spine affected by scoliosis shows evidence of a lateral, or sideways, curvature, and a rotation of the back bones (vertebrae), giving the appearance that the person is leaning to one side.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are pains at the front of the lower legs caused by exercise, often after a period of inactivity.

Shoulder Dislocation

Dislocation of the shoulder means the displacement of the upper arm bone (humerus) out of the shoulder joint.

Shoulder Pain and Problems

Common shoulder problems include the following: dislocation, separation, bursitis, impingement syndrome, tendonitis, rotator cuff tear, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), and fracture.

Shoulder Tendonitis

Tendonitis of the shoulder is an inflammation of the rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon.

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Many activities can lead to soft-tissue damage of muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Sprains and Strains

The majority of sports injuries are caused by minor trauma involving muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons, including contusions (bruises), sprains and strains.

Torn Meniscus

Meniscus tears can occur during a rotating movement while bearing weight, such as when twisting the upper leg while the foot stays in one place during sports and other activities.

Torticollis (Wryneck)

Torticollis, also known as wryneck, is a twisting of the neck that causes the head to rotate and tilt at an odd angle.

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa.

A special first dance

As a child suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, Marcela Gaviria complained to her surgeon, Dempsey Springfield, MD, that she would never get married.

Primary Care Orthopaedics

Director(s): Brian E. Grottkau, MD|A. Holly Johnson, MD|David C. Ring, MD, PhD|R. Malcolm Smith, MD Offered by: Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Orthopedics

MGHfC Pediatric Orthopaedics Service

Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
32 Fruit Street
Suite 3E
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-8523
Fax: 617-724-0551
Hours: 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

To schedule an appointment with a MassGeneral for Children pediatric specialist, please call 888-644-3248 or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment.

Physicians may call 888-644-3211 or use the online referral form and the Access & New Appointment Center will call your patient within 1 business day.

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