Pediatric Orthopaedics | Pediatrics


Pediatric Orthopaedics

Children have unique needs when it comes to bone, joint and muscle problems. Our experienced pediatric orthopaedic team specializes in diagnosing and treating the full range of musculoskeletal conditions in children.

Medically reviewed by Lor Randall, M.D. on June 08, 2023.

Young girl smiling as she gets her arm cast removed in clinic room

Expert Care for Children’s Orthopaedic Conditions

Our nationally recognized pediatric orthopaedic team treats all types of bone, joint or muscle problems in children. From conditions present at birth (congenital) to injuries, we provide the exceptional care you expect from UC Davis Health.

Children who come to us receive diagnosis and treatment for orthopaedic problems that affect their upper and lower extremities and spine. Through our partnership with Shriner’s Children’s Northern California, we offer the most advanced care from a diverse team of leading experts in the field.

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Our Difference

Nationally Recognized Care

When you come to UC Davis Health, you can be confident your child is in the hands of compassionate experts. U.S. News & World Report ranks our Pediatric Orthopaedic Program among the top programs in the nation. We’re proud to partner with Shriner’s Children’s Northern California to provide orthopaedic care that exceeds national standards.

Comprehensive Treatment

Our multidisciplinary approach allows us to care for everything from minor injuries to bone tumors. We bring together pediatric orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, sports medicine physicians and prosthetics specialists to focus on your child's specific needs. This close teamwork means your child receives seamless, coordinated care — and a better chance of positive outcomes.

Specialized Expertise

Our physicians have completed years of specialized education and training in pediatric orthopaedics. We also lead and participate in national research on the most promising innovative therapies for children’s musculoskeletal problems. We use this knowledge to improve your child’s care and deliver the best treatment.


Children’s Orthopaedic Conditions We Treat

Many different conditions and injuries can affect children’s bones, joints and muscles. But unlike adults, children’s bodies are still developing. No matter what type of condition your child has, we want them to reach their full potential. That’s why we provide specialized care that considers your child’s needs — right now and as they grow.

Main Types of Pediatric Orthopaedic Conditions

Bone Cysts

Bone cysts are benign (noncancerous), fluid-filled bumps that grow on your child’s bone. If the cyst causes pain or problems with bone growth, our specialists may recommend draining or removing it.

Bone Tumors

Bone tumors are abnormal growths that may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The most common pediatric bone cancers are osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. We partner with our Pediatric Cancer Center to provide your child with the most advanced cancer treatment available.

Learn more about bone cancer
Congenital (Present at Birth) Conditions

Children can be born with limb or spine differences, such as clubfoot (foot twisted inward), leg length differences or scoliosis (curved spine). Some may be diagnosed at birth, but others may not be seen until later. Your child may benefit from monitoring (watchful waiting), physical therapy, assistive devices or surgery.

Learn more about congenital abnormalities
Injuries and Pediatric Sports Medicine

Many children experience fractures (broken bones), strains (torn or stretched muscles or tendons, which connect muscles to bones) or sprains (torn ligaments, which connect bones). They may also develop overuse injuries like tendonitis (irritated or inflamed tendon) from repeated motions like throwing a ball. We ensure your child receives personalized care that fits their needs and activity level. Their customized treatment plan may include specialized exercises, physical therapy or surgery for severe or complex injuries.

Learn about our Department of Sports Medicine
Juvenile Arthritis

Childhood (juvenile) arthritis can interfere with your child’s growth and make it hard to do things they love. Our team is skilled in diagnosing this condition and using the latest medications and therapies to treat it. We work with you and your child to find a treatment that achieves no symptoms (remission) so they can live an active life.

Bone Infections and Osteomyelitis in Children

Children are more likely than adults to get deep infections like osteomyelitis. These infections are often the result of bacteria that get into their body and spread to the bone. Our orthopaedic specialists quickly evaluate your child’s needs and recommend a treatment plan. Antibiotics heal most infections, but we also provide irrigation and surgical removal of the infected area (debridement) for severe cases.


Causes of Orthopaedic Conditions in Children

Pediatric orthopaedic conditions can have many different causes. Some of the most common causes include:

Developmental Issues

Problems related to a child’s development, such as misalignment of bones or damage to cartilage near the end of a bone (growth plate), can result in orthopaedic problems.

Inherited Connective Tissue Disorders

Genetic conditions, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome, can affect your child’s connective tissues.

Injury or Accident

An injury while playing or participating in sports can lead to an orthopaedic condition.

Neuromuscular Disease

Neuromuscular diseases, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, can cause pediatric orthopaedic issues.

Bone Growth Disorders

Health conditions that affect bone growth, such as osteochondrosis and Paget's disease, can disrupt blood flow to your child’s joints.

"Common Musculoskeletal Tumors of Childhood and Adolescence," National Library of Medicine,

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Ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best children’s hospital in diabetes & endocrinology, nephrology, and orthopedics*. (*Together with Shriners Children’s)

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For the 11th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality.”

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