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The orthopedic surgery program at Children’s Mercy is consistently ranked as one of the top pediatric orthopedic programs in the nation. We provide comprehensive trauma, hand, musculoskeletal, sports medicine, spine, and general orthopedic services for children of all ages. 

Our orthopedic surgeons specialize in children’s musculoskeletal problems and work closely with the hospital’s physical and occupational therapists to ensure the best possible outcome for every patient. We use an EOS imaging system that greatly limits your child's exposure to radiation.

Our approach to care is supported by ongoing research that is leading to new, more effective treatment methods.

Clinical Services

The Hand Surgery program is one of the largest in the U.S. Our team cares for children with a wide variety of upper extremity differences. We care for patients at three of the Children’s Mercy facilities.

The Spine Surgery program provides specialized treatment for all aspects of pediatric spinal care. Our team also provides nonsurgical solutions such as vertebral stapling and guided growth techniques.

The orthopedic surgery program at Children’s Mercy offers a special program for children with complex medical conditions who need orthopedic surgery. Conditions may include chronic illness, heart and lung illnesses, neuromuscular disorders or chronic illnesses.

The Sports Medicine Center provides specialized services to meet the unique needs of youth and adolescent athletes. We provide the best possible treatment for athletes through surgical, nonsurgical, rehabilitation, and research.

The Fracture Clinic offers specialized treatment for children with fractures or acute injuries that are initially seen at community hospitals and primary care offices throughout Kansas and Missouri.

Rod techniques for the growing spine:

Children younger than 10 years of age need a different approach than the older patient and teenager. The growing spine needs to be supported by the treatment. In children in whom casting or bracing is not an option we recommend surgery which allows the spine to grow. 

There are several types of growing rods and techniques:

Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rods

Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rods (VEPTRI) is rib-based surgery which means that the device attaches to the ribs. The upper devices attach to one or more ribs and the lower devices attach to ribs, the spine or the pelvis. The patient generally has a lengthening of the device every six months, typically as an outpatient. The device is lengthened until early adolescence when the lengthening procedures stop and the rod is left or replaced with permanent rods.

Growing Rods

These are rods that attach to several levels of the spine at the top end and attach to the spine or the pelvis at the lower end. The device is typically lengthened surgically every six months as an outpatient.


This is a surgical technique where rods are attached to the spine and, typically, the central part of the device has several levels where the spine is fused. The spine grows along the rods and there is no need to surgically lengthen the rods


This is the newest technique, which is similar to a growing rod in that it is surgically attached to the spine and sometimes to the pelvis. The lengthening of the rod is done in the clinic and requires no surgery. The lengthening takes only a few minutes and it done by an external magnet.

Additional services provided:

  • Limb lengthening

  • Full range of orthopedic surgery procedures

  • Botox injections for tone management

  • Casting and related procedures

  • Consultations

  • Follow-up care and coordination with OT/PT

  • Patient and caregiver education

  • Rehabilitation services

  • Arthroscopic surgery

  • Treatment of spinal deformities

  • VEPTR surgery

  • Growing rod surgery

  • Musculoskeletal oncology


  • Bone and joint trauma

  • Bone disorders

  • Bone tumors

  • Bone and soft tissue tumors

  • Bow legs

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Club feet

  • Developmental hip dislocation

  • Fractures

  • Hand anomalies

  • Hip and joint diseases

  • Infections of bone and joint

  • Joint replacement

  • Kyphosis

  • Leg length discrepancies

  • Limb length discrepancies

  • Scoliosis

  • Spina bifida

  • Sports injuries

  • Other orthopedic conditions


Inside Pediatrics: Martin's Story

Go inside the operating room to see surgeons give young Martin the gift of greater movement.

Bone lengthening: Aveon's story

After six surgeries to correct a condition she was born with, Aveon undergoes surgery at Children's Mercy to lengthen her bone. She will receive a new magnetic implant through a new technique. Dr. Olney has cared for Aveon for more than 10 years.

Planning for Surgery

From free valet parking at the front door to personalized follow-up care during your child’s recovery, we want every aspect of your experience at Children’s Mercy to be beyond your expectations.

Read about how to prepare your child for scheduled surgery, what to expect when you arrive, and resources available while you’re here.

Pediatric anesthesia at Children's Mercy

At Children’s Mercy, a pediatric anesthesiologist is an active member of your child’s care team before, during and after their surgery or procedure.

We administer anesthesia for more than 27,000 kids per year—that’s 74 per day—so our team is experienced at finding just-right doses of medication for kids of all sizes. 

Surgery EASE App

Any time your child is away from you during surgery is nerve-wracking for you and your family. The EASE app provides secure, live text message updates from your child’s surgical team during their procedure. This app is currently used for select heart and orthopedic procedures.

Contact the Orthopedic Team

Orthopedic Surgery Clinic
To schedule orthopedic appointments at any location or to speak to a nurse about a question, call (816) 234-3075

Sports Medicine Center
(816) 701-HURT

Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas
(913) 696-8528

Children's Mercy Northland
(816) 413-2500

Children's Mercy East
(816) 478-5200

Children's Mercy Outreach Clinic — Springfield
Ferrell-Duncan Clinic Bone & Joint Center

Children's Mercy Outreach Clinic — Salina
(866) 899-6836

Children's Mercy Wichita
Advanced Orthopedic Associates
(877) 855-1974