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Pediatric Orthopedic Services

About Our Service

The pediatric orthopedics team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital treats a wide range of conditions affecting the bones, joints and muscles of infants, children and teens. Because their skeleton is still growing, orthopedic issues in children can be quite different than in adults. Our team brings together some of the most talented pediatric orthopedic specialists in the country who are specially trained to deal with the complexities of growing bodies.

We are dedicated to solving your child's musculoskeletal problem and are supported by a full staff of physician assistants, nurses, cast technicians and radiology technicians. Our goal is to work with you to find the right treatment plan for your child while providing your child with the best possible experience. Our team has the clinical skills to solve problems and the comforting bedside manner to calm nerves.

Comprehensive Care for Kids’ Bones, Joints and Muscles 

We offer both surgical and non-surgical treatments for a wide variety of conditions, from ones present at birth, to those that develop with age or are the result of a traumatic injury. We use the latest techniques and technologies to deliver the very best care available.

Clubfoot: Clubfoot is a condition in which one or both feet turn inward and down. It is apparent at birth and if left untreated can lead to a lifetime of disability. Sue Laham, PA-C, treats clubfeet utilizing the Ponseti Method, which is considered the gold standard in treating clubfeet around the world. She is one of just three practicing healthcare providers in Michigan recognized by the Ponseti International Association to deliver this treatment.

Fractures: Broken bones, or fractures, are a common childhood injury. We offer on-site X-rays, splints, waterproof casts when appropriate, reductions, surgery if needed and more.

Limb Difference Clinic: The Limb Difference Clinic is a partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Michael Forness, DO, and Lisa Maskill, MD, care for young patients who were born with a hand, foot or limb difference or underwent amputation due to an accident or a disease.

Pediatric Hip Disorders: Hip dysplasia is a disorder that can run in families and is more common among girls, firstborn infants and breech babies. Dislocated hips generally cause no symptoms in young children, but lack of treatment (or delayed treatment) can lead to abnormal walking in children, and painful osteoarthritis and hip deformity in young adulthood. Phil Nowicki, MD and John Kemppainen, MD have expertise in diagnosing and treating this condition.

Repetitive Stress Injuries: When you repeat the same movements over and over again, you can put too much stress on a specific part of the body and develop inflammation, muscle strain or tissue damage. These injuries are increasingly common in teens, linked most often to the stress of repetitive motions in sports, especially when training year round for the same sport. 

Sports Injuries: With increased participation in youth sports, injuries are becoming more common in children and teens. Injuries in growing children often need specialized treatment that is different from adults. Our team specializes in the diagnosis and management of sports injuries to help your child get back to playing as soon as possible. The treatment of sports related injuries is a specialty of John Kemppainen, MD, and Jeff Cassidy, MD.

Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, occurring at any age, but most often during the growth spurt before puberty begins. Girls are eight times more likely than boys to develop a curve that requires treatment. Treatment is dependent on the severity of the scoliosis and the age of the patient. Small curves can be treated simply with observation, while larger curves in children with significant amounts of growth remaining are often treated with bracing. In very young children, treatment can include casting or growth modification surgery, such as growing rods or vertebral body tethering. Severe curves require surgery to correct deformity and prevent progression of the deformity through life. John Kemppainen, MD, and Jeffrey Cassidy, MD, are skilled in the treatment of scoliosis and other spinal deformities. Dr. Cassidy is one of few surgeons in the country performing vertebral body tethering. 

Complex Orthopedic Problems: We provide care for many complex conditions such as arthrogryposis, genetic syndromes, cerebral palsy and bone dysplasia. We collaborate with other specialists at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to provide safe and comprehensive care for all aspects of your child’s condition.

Features of Pediatric Orthopedic Services

Fracture Walk-In Clinic

Broken bones, or fractures, are a common childhood injury. Our Fracture Clinic provides expert care from pediatric orthopedic surgeons, physician assistants, nurses and technicians—all of whom have specialized training in treating infants, adolescents and teens. We offer on-site X-rays, splints, waterproof casts when appropriate, reductions, surgery if needed and more. Clinic is open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. No appointments are necessary.

Orthopedic Oncology

Orthopedic oncologists specialize in the treatment of bone and soft-tissue tumors that involve the musculoskeletal system. We have the only two orthopedic oncology surgeons in West Michigan, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors. Our specialists are also skilled in limb salvage surgery and pelvic/sacral reconstruction.

Blood Management Services

We are one of only a few children’s hospitals in the country with a blood management program. This means we will do our very best to honor your beliefs and help your surgical team avoid blood transfusion if possible.