Orthopaedic Surgery

The only specialized practice of its kind in Central California, the Orthopaedic Surgery Department at Valley Children’s performs nearly 2,500 orthopaedic procedures and sees nearly 30,000 outpatient cases annually. From infants to young adults, the team treats all aspects of children’s orthopaedic needs on an inpatient and outpatient basis. 

Our board-certified pediatric orthopaedic surgeons specialize in the treatment of conditions such as congenital deformities of the upper and lower extremities, spinal disorders, sports related injuries and neuromuscular diseases. Children’s bones are still developing, and pediatric orthopaedic surgeons know how to accommodate growth while repairing problems. 

Our orthopaedic surgeons are experts at treating young patients whose growth plates are not yet closed. Sports injuries are common among children and adolescents. Valley Children’s pediatric orthopaedic surgeons have extensive experience in treating young athletes and employ sport-specific treatment to get athletes back to play as soon as possible. The practice was one of the first in the nation to implement an “urgent clinic” that allots additional time and resources to handle anticipated influxes in pediatrician referrals and unscheduled appointments. 

These include traumatic injuries from simple falls on the playground to major motor vehicle collisions. Based on experience, the practice developed the concept that they could predict – and therefore better prepare for – increases in patients who require immediate attention. 

We also provide pediatric orthopaedic consultations at the Modesto Pediatric Subspecialty Center and the Merced Pediatric Subspecialty Center for children and adolescents in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced Counties.

Services Offered & Conditions Treated

Pediatric Orthopaedic Disorders

  • Kyphosis
  • Congenital scoliosis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylolithesis
  • Spinal deformity 
  • Idiopathic scoliosis 
  • Birth defects
  • Foot deformities (clubfoot, etc.)
  • Infractions 
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Congenital hand problems
  • Limb deformities
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Reconstructive surgery for cerebral palsy
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Thoracic insufficiency syndrome
  • Brittle bone disease
  • Short stature
  • Loose joints

Sports Injuries

  • Sports medicine
  • Fractures
  • Strains
  • Ligament injuries requiring surgery, including: ACL, PCL, MCL, chronic knee dislocation and sports injuries of the knee
  • Arthroscopic surgery for the:
    • Knee
    • Shoulder
    • Ankle
    • Elbow

Most Advanced Technology & Treatment

MAGnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC): The MAGEC spine-lengthening procedure at Valley Children’s is performed on children with early-onset scoliosis. FDA-approved in February 2014, the MAGEC Spinal Bracing and Distraction System is the only noninvasive, distraction-based technology available worldwide for these young patients. The innovative treatment improves severe curvature of the spine and avoids the need for repeated, invasive, spine-lengthening treatments. Conventional growing rods require eight to 10 spine-lengthening surgeries during a child’s growing years. After the initial surgery, the painless MAGEC device enables surgeons to straighten the spine gradually and noninvasively. The first patient in Central California to undergo this innovative magnetic treatment received it at Valley Children’s Hospital, under the care of Valley Children’s pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Michael Elliott. Read more about the first Central California patient to receive the MAGEC treatment.

Titanium Rib (VEPTR): The titanium rib procedure at Valley Children’s is done on children with scoliosis or thoracic insufficiency syndrome. This technology controls spinal deformity while growing with the child. Dr. Michael Elliott performed the first Titanium Rib (VEPTR) procedure at Valley Children’s Hospital, the first of its kind in Central California. The Titanium Rib is primarily used on children with early onset scoliosis and thoracic insufficiency syndrome. The device is a titanium rod curved to fit the back of the chest and spine and is placed in an up and down position. The Titanium Rib is designed to grow with the child, not only helping to correct a child’s spinal deformity, but also allowing for the development of the child’s chest and lungs.

Physician Referral Guidelines

Pediatric Orthopaedic Referral Guidelines

Multidisciplinary Services

  • Emergency Department: Our surgeons work in conjunction with Valley Children’s trauma team for orthopaedic cases brought to the Emergency Department.
  • Rehabilitation: Our Rehabilitation team provides rehabilitation services following surgical procedures for orthopaedic disorders (such as cerebral palsy) and sports injuries.
  • Anesthesiology: Provides a regional anesthetic in combination with a general anesthetic for orthopeadic procedures.
  • Genetics: Works with Valley Children’s geneticists to treat patients diagnosed with brittle bone disease, short stature and loose joints.
  • Hematology: Works with our hematologists to treat hemophelia patients that have fractures or broken bones.
  • Charlie Mitchell Children’s Clinic: Collaborates with pediatric primary care physicians to provide care for complex chronic conditions such as cerebral palsy.
  • Radiology & Medical Imaging: Provides plain film X-ray and CT scan services for orthopaedists.
  • Neurology: Our orthopaedic surgeons work in conjunction with our neurologists for patients with neuromuscular diseases.


Our Specialists

David Ebenezer, MD

Michael Elliott, MD

Jill Fiebele, MD

Joseph Gerardi, DO

Kerry Loveland, MD

Jon Oda, MD

Gary Arends, Jr., DO

Thu-Ba LeBa, MD