Orthotics are devices that support or correct parts of the body that are weak, injured or not working properly. Prosthetics replace missing body parts. Whether your child's needs are temporary or lifelong, our Orthotics and Prosthetics team will work with your family to assess and treat your child's unique situation to meet your family's goals.

In growing children and teens, fitting orthotics and prosthetics is especially important. At Seattle Children's, we specialize in caring for children of all sizes and ages, from birth through age 21. Our experts support your family through every stage of the process: meeting to assess your child's needs and goals, taking careful measurements to ensure proper fit, building your child's device, fitting it and following up to make sure the device functions well as your child grows.

Conditions We Treat

At our clinic, we see children with many conditions, including:

  • Arthrogryposis causes stiff joints and muscle weakness. This affects your child's movement. It most often affects shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees and feet. Doctors use splints and braces, often along with physical therapy, to try to improve range of motion. Read more.

  • Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects your child's muscle tone and ability to move on purpose in a coordinated way. Cerebral palsy can lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing and speech problems and learning disabilities. CP is most often caused by damage to the brain. There is no cure for CP. Treatment, therapy, special equipment and, in some cases; surgery can help your child live with the condition. Read more about cerebral palsy.

  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip refers to a wide variety of problems in how children's hips form. Some of these problems are present at birth (congenital). Others develop as your child grows. In general, DDH makes it more likely that your child's leg bones can come out of the hip joint (dislocation). DDH can range from mild to serious. For the best results, it is important to find DDH early and start treatment quickly. Read more.

  • Children with limb deficiencies are missing part or all of their legs, feet, arms or hands. Some children are born with limb deficiencies. Others have limbs removed due to injury or accident, or to treat serious medical conditions.

  • Spina bifida is a neural tube defect. The neural tube is what grows into the brain and spine of an unborn baby. Spina bifida occurs when the neural tube fails to close. There are many forms of neural tube defects, and they vary greatly in their severity. Some, such as spina bifida occulta, cause few, if any, problems. The most severe form, meningomyelocele, often causes loss of muscle use (paralysis) in the leg, bowel and bladder, along with learning disabilities. Read more. (PDF)

  • Positional or deformational plagiocephaly is a lopsided head shape. One area of a baby's head can be flattened somewhat by pressure on the bones of the skull. The pressure can come from the baby's position in the mother during pregnancy or from the baby lying in the same position during the first several months of life. Babies who have conditions that limit their movement are more likely to develop the condition. Read more.

  • Scoliosis is a sideways curve in the backbone (spine). On an X-ray, most children's spines look straight. The spines of children with scoliosis curve to the side, like the shape of the letters S or C. Many children have slight side-to-side curves in their spines. They usually do not need treatment. The bones and cartilage in the spine (vertebrae) of children with scoliosis have greater than 10 degrees of tilt. Read more.

  • Babies who are born with clubfoot have one foot or both feet pointing down and in. Their toes point toward the opposite leg, and the bottom of their feet face inward. In some cases, it looks like the baby's foot is upside down. Clubfoot does not get better on its own. If it is not treated, it can cause discomfort and make the child's foot function poorly. But with treatment, there is an excellent chance the baby's foot will look good and work very well. Read more.

  • Trauma refers to injuries and accidents that may cause children to need orthotic or prosthetic devices.