Treatments & Research

With Advanced Technology, Shriners Hospitals for Children Brings Innovation To Orthopaedics


Shriners Hospitals continues to be a leader in pediatric orthopaedic care

Since our first hospital opened its doors in 1922, providing care for orthopaedic conditions has been a hallmark of Shriners Hospitals for Children. The diseases and disorders we treat are wide-ranging and diverse, and include bone deformities such as clubfoot, neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy, and conditions with a genetic cause such as osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease. Our goal is to help each child become as healthy and independent as possible.

With a large staff of experienced pediatric orthopaedic surgeons, as well as a comprehensive team of physical, occupational, speech and other therapists, we are able to provide each child with a customized care plan. Our orthopaedic physicians are able to address a wide range of conditions, including hip problems, foot deformities, limb deficiencies and discrepancies, spinal deformities and other orthopaedic difficulties associated with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy. We also emphasize technology in the treatments we provide.  Here are just a few examples.

New X-ray technology provides better images and reduces radiation exposure

A patient uses the EOS imaging system.

Research indicates that radiation from repeated X-rays can increase the risk for cancer later in life. This is of great concern to our medical team, as Shriners Hospitals for Children is committed to providing the safest treatments available to our patients. That is just one reason many of our locations now have EOS imaging systems, which offer both improved images and less exposure to radiation.

The EOS imaging system is based on Nobel Prize-winning technology that provides life-size, whole-body images with up to 85% less radiation, compared to conventional X-rays. Images are taken in a standing or seated position in 2D and 3D. These weight-bearing images reveal a patient’s natural posture and allow physicians to analyze the interactions between bones, joints and ligaments from different angles.

Radiation exposure is cumulative over one’s lifespan, so EOS imaging is particularly helpful for use with children who need multiple images taken throughout their course of treatment.

Motion analysis helps determine the best course of treatment

Shriners Hospitals for Children is an internationally recognized leader in clinical motion analysis. The motion analysis centers at our locations complement our health care system’s commitment to provide excellent care to children with orthopaedic conditions. The information provided by motion analysis can be used to improve both patient outcomes and treatment protocols. In our 14 motion analysis centers, highspeed cameras, reflective markers, force platforms and muscle sensors are used to record, measure and evaluate how a child with a mobility impairment – such as those caused by neuromuscular conditions including cerebral palsy, congenital challenges like clubfoot or spine conditions like scoliosis – actually moves. When we understand different gait and movement patterns, we can help children with mobility impairments to move more efficiently, more easily and more confidently.

Innovation in orthotics and prosthetics


Sarah (left) has a prosthetic leg provided by POPS.

The highly qualified Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children have created devices that allow children with limb deficiencies to play musical instruments, participate in sports and have a better quality of life. These O&P (orthotic and prosthetic) professionals can create a full range of devices, from a complete prosthetic limb to the smallest assistive device, for children of all ages, efficiently, accurately and precisely. The POPS program at Shriners Hospitals is streamlined, collaborative and technologically advanced.

Our U.S. locations are supported by designated fabrication centers, which make the devices according to data electronically provided by the health care locations. Using a computerized system and electronic carvers eliminates the need for creating plaster casts as models, and saves a scanned model as a digital file for future reference. Now, creating an O&P device can be accomplished in days rather than weeks. The POPS program strengthens the consistency and efficiency of our processes and products throughout our health care system. These are just a few examples of our efforts to provide patients with orthopaedic conditions care and treatment that will help them become as healthy and independent as possible, able to take their place in their communities with grace and confidence.

TO LEARN MORE about the orthopaedic care available at most Shriners Hospitals for Children locations, please visit