Children with spina bifida develop a wide variety of congenital and acquired orthopedic deformities. Among these are hip deformities such as contracture, subluxation, or dislocation. Patients may also have problems with the knee joint, such as knee flexion or extension contracture, knee valgus deformity, or late knee instability and pain. In addition, rotational deformities of the lower extremities, either internal or external torsion, are common as well. This paper will review both the overall orthopedic care of a patient with spina bifida and provide a focused review of the diagnosis and management of the above deformities. In addition, this paper will review the incidence, etiology, classification, and prognosis of spina bifida. The use of gait analysis and orthoses will be covered as well. The forthcoming Part II will cover foot and ankle deformities in spina bifida.