Orthotics & Prosthetics
Lurie Children’s has one of the largest highly skilled teams of orthotists (brace-makers) and prosthetists (artificial limb-makers) in a freestanding children’s hospital in the Midwest. The team in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department is onsite with a laboratory, and ready to create customized, state-of-the-art orthoses (braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs) for your newborn, infant, young child, pre-teen or teenager. Our orthotic and prosthetic specialists come to the table with broad expertise and versatility to care for children of different shapes and sizes, with varying health conditions and physical needs. As experienced technicians and clinicians, they work wonders by combining science with creative and innovative design.
Our orthotics program is named after Moira Tobin Wickes, a certified orthotist, who dedicated her life to children and healing. She started our orthotics program with serial casting, built the program as our director and worked with Lurie Children’s for 25 years.
We are an accredited facility in good standing by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics; a member of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association; and accredited as a residency training site by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education.
Programs & Treatments
We have several programs and treatments we use to help children reach our treatment goals. The conditions we treat and the methods we use include:
The Lurie Children’s Difference
The members of our orthotics/prosthetics team come to our department from multiple fields. Many of our specialists have additional degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, business and health education; this added knowledge and experience enhance the quality of care and service we offer your child and family. It enhances our ability to support a broad range of pediatric conditions and work collaboratively with doctors, nurses and therapists from many disciplines.
We are also always available to answer questions or address your concerns. We know that a child’s a brace or an artificial limb can impact the whole family — our commitment to family-centered care means that you will be included in team discussions about your child’s care and treatment to make sure the plan works for you and your family.
What to Expect
The first step in our work with your child is an evaluation. This can take 30 minutes to three hours depending on your child’s condition, and we are careful not to rush. Our orthotic and prosthetic specialists will:
- Talk with you about your child’s diagnosis and your concerns
- Observe your child’s mobility (when applicable)
- Check muscle strength
- Determine appropriate body alignment
- Talk about the casting process, which will make a mold of your child’s affected body area, limb or extremity
- Place a fiberglass cast: it feels like a warm blanket, takes about five minutes to set, and is painless
- Remove the cast: it zips off quickly using a plastic channel inserted right into the cast
- Explain all aspects of orthotic/prosthetic treatment and your child’s treatment plan
- Tell you when you can expect your orthosis/prosthesis and the first fitting: the wait time is approximately two to three weeks
- Answer your questions
Depending on your child’s diagnosis and their growth rate, there may be ongoing treatments and follow up with our orthotics/prosthetics team. We do everything we can to help your child remain active and involved in activities and sports when possible.
Our orthotists and prosthetists often work closely with these specialists to treat patients:
For more information on our team, meet our specialists
Make an Appointment
If you have a physician order for orthotics or prothetics, please call our department directly at 312.227.6210 to schedule an appointment.
Your support is important in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please contact the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.