Center for Children Specialties & Services
Doctors at the Center for Children, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, provide quality care for a variety of pediatric orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions.
The conditions we provide treatment for include:
- arthrogryposis, a problem noted at birth in which tissues surrounding the joints are abnormally short and contracted
- Blount disease, a progressive bowing of the legs in children and adolescents
- bone conditions, including osteoporosis, osteopenia (low bone density that’s less severe than osteoporosis), osteogenesis imperfecta (also called brittle bone disease), and frequent fractures
- brachial plexus, a problem noted at birth where an upper extremity has varying degrees of weakness
- cerebral palsy, a group of chronic disorders affecting the motor center of the brain and its ability to control movement and posture
- clubfoot, a range of foot conditions noted at birth that are treated by experts at the New York Ponseti Clubfoot Center, a component of the Ebers Center for Foot Deformity at the Center for Children
- hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathies, such as congenital insensitivity to pain, treated at NYU Langone’s Dysautonomia Center
- diseases that affect bone and joint development and require experienced surgeons and therapists to manage the associated problems, such as skeletal dysplasias including achondroplasia, pseudoachondroplasia, multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, Larsen syndrome, and others
- Down syndrome
- fracture care, including emergency treatment through the Samuels Orthopedic Immediate Care Center and KiDS Emergency Department
- hand and upper extremity disorders
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a disease that affects the blood supply to the hip in children
- limb deformity and limb length inequalities
- neuromuscular disorders, including spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and myasthenia gravis through NYU Langone’s Elly Hammerman Center for the Treatment of Neuromuscular Disorders
- pediatric scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine
- rheumatologic conditions, including juvenile arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and juvenile dermatomyositis, an inflammatory muscle disease
- sports injuries, including concussion, sprains and strains, and ligament tears
Services We Offer
The Center for Children is at the forefront of pioneering advances in the treatment of pediatric musculoskeletal, developmental, and neurological disorders.
We offer a variety of progressive treatments and services, including the following.
Limb Lengthening Techniques
We provide state-of-the-art techniques for limb lengthening in children with limb length inequalities and upper and lower extremity deformities. Our goal is simple: to improve function, decrease disability, and prevent or delay arthritis in children.
Distraction osteogenesis, a surgical procedure, involves separating the bone slowly over time, while new bone forms to lengthen the leg.
The Center for Children is a leader in the use of the Taylor Spatial Frame™, a computer-assisted device that allows physicians to correct limbs that are either minimally or seriously deformed. This is done by attaching a circular metal frame to the outside of the leg, and using the device's computer program to develop a three-dimensional computer plan that allows the doctor to accurately measure how much to adjust the frame for optimal results. The frame is left in place for a period of time, and is adjusted according to a schedule prescribed by the surgeon to help correct and position the limb over time.
Newer technologies, such as the Precise® nail, are used to lengthen and straighten bones without needing to have devices remain on the outside of the leg or thigh. It works when the expandable Precise® nail is implanted in the bone, and a separate magnetically assisted device acts like an external remote control to periodically lengthen the implanted Precise® nail, and therefore the bone, from the outside.
Hip pain in children, adolescence, and young adulthood is often a prelude to early hip arthritis and the potential need for hip replacement. Every young person with hip pain should be thoroughly evaluated and not told to just “live with it.” More often than not, with the correct management, one can live a normal life without the nuisance and debilitating effect of hip pain.
Our team of world-renowned orthopedic surgeons works alongside other pediatric specialists to make an accurate diagnosis and tailor treatment to a child’s needs. Our experienced team has performed hundreds of hip-preserving procedures for young patients from around the globe with hip dysplasia, an abnormal development of tissue in the hip socket that forms in utero and that can occur anytime during childhood, adolescence, and even into early adulthood.
Depending on your child’s individual diagnosis, we offer less invasive procedures such as hip arthroscopy, an outpatient procedure that uses a camera in the hip joint allowing torn structures or impinging bone to be repaired or removed. We also perform a great number of complex procedures to deepen the socket, such as periacetabular osteotomy of Ganz, which surgically repositions the hip to relieve stress on the joint.
Ponseti Technique for Clubfoot
Our pediatric orthopedists have been performing the Ponseti technique for more than 15 years and have a center bearing its name. This technique is a nonsurgical treatment for clubfoot. The method involves a gentle manual manipulation of the child's foot, combined with plaster casting. It enables the foot to eventually develop normally.
Baclofen Pump for Spasticity and Dystonia
For those children who live with movement disorders, such as a muscle control condition known as spasticity and a neurological movement condition known as dystonia, the baclofen pump is a relatively new technology that infuses continuous medication into the spinal canal in order to control spasms. A neurosurgeon inserts the pump, which is the size of a hockey puck, under the child's abdominal skin. The pediatric staff regularly monitors the child, who must have the pump refilled every 8 to 10 weeks.
Many patients with neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy experience painful, uncontrollable muscle spasms. Treatment with Botox®, which contains a small amount of botulinum toxin, can decrease these unwanted spasms when injected into the specific muscles by stopping the impulse between the nerve endings and the muscle.
Genetic Testing and Counseling
Changes in genetic material, called mutations, can disrupt normal growth and development and cause birth defects, developmental delays, growth disturbances, and many other health problems in children. We offer a Clinical Genetics Program, in which we diagnose, manage, and offer genetic counseling for children and families.
Our goal for pediatric rehabilitation, whether as a primary or secondary treatment, is to assist children who have severe orthopedic and neurological conditions in reaching their highest functional capacity, specifically their motor, intellectual, and social skills. We evaluate children for their individual needs relating to equipment, bracing, and psychological needs.
We offer various types of treatment, including physical and occupational therapy, aquatic therapy, speech therapy, therapeutic electrical stimulation, and psychological services, including psychotherapy, group therapy, and family therapy.