Shaping the Future of Orthopaedic Health

Dr. Afshin Aminian - Medical Director, Orthopaedic Institute

CHOC Children's Orthopaedic Institute

CHOC Children’s opened its doors in 1964 with one mission: to nurture, advance and protect the health and well-being of children. For more than 50 years, we have never waivered from our mission—continually expanding our services and facilities to meet the growing demand for state-of-the-art pediatric health care.

One vital component of our mission is research, which allows us to offer more treatment options for children where conventional therapy has failed, or for children with conditions for which no standard therapy is available.

The field of pediatric orthopaedic medicine is exploding, with advances promising to dramatically improve the lives of children.

It is no longer an issue of IF children who cannot use their body in traditional ways can access the world. It is a matter of WHEN and HOW—and the answer depends on clinical and research advances.

Research at the CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute is vital to advancing clinical care in the field of orthopaedics. Our strong research focus in neuroengineering, robotics, exercise physiology and functional genomics positions CHOC to forge new discoveries in treatment and rehabilitation.

Meet Our Researchers

Meet our visionary pediatric orthopaedic surgeon researchers and learn how they are advancing care and changing lives.

Afshin Aminian MD

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and researcher Afshin Aminian, MD, is driven by one goal: to “give children with movement challenges a life without limits.

Dr. Aminian sees patients with a wide array of conditions, from rare genetic disorders and neuromuscular diseases to scoliosis and fractures. All have one challenge in common: problems with simple movement in their daily activities.

“We know every one of these young patients has a dream – to be up and out on the playing field, running around and having fun with their peers,” says Dr. Aminian. Learn more.


Francois Lalonde MD

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and researcher Francois Lalonde, MD, leads CHOC’s hip disorder program, so it comes as no surprise that one of his long-term research projects involves Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

“In this condition,” explains Dr. Lalonde, “the blood supply to the femoral head—the ball-shaped head of the thigh bone—is interrupted. This causes the head of the bone to collapse. The body will absorb the dead bone cells and replace them with new bone cells, eventually reshaping the femoral head. Learn more.


Jessica McMichael MD

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and researcher Jessica McMichael, MD, specializes in the care and treatment of fractures, and a variety of pediatric musculoskeletal disorders, including limb and foot deformities, and cerebral palsy.

“At CHOC Children’s, I have the opportunity to combine my first love, trauma care, with my second love, pediatric limb deformity, in both my clinical practice and my research work,” Dr. McMichael says. “It’s a stimulating environment to help advance the care, and the safety of this care, for our pediatric orthopaedic patients.” Learn more.


Samuel Rosenfeld, MD

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and researcher Samuel Rosenfeld, MD, has gained a national reputation for excellence in pediatric neuromuscular diseases, specializing in spina bifida, muscular dystrophy (MD), scoliosis, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, spasticity and other pediatric neuromuscular diseases, and rehabilitation.

One of Dr. Rosenfeld’s key accomplishments is the creation of a multidisciplinary clinic at CHOC Children’s for the treatment of children with MD, spina bifida and spasticity. He directs CHOC Children’s Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic, the only pediatric program in Orange County designated by the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help families understand and manage muscle disease. Learn more.


John Schlechter DO

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and researcher John A. Schlechter, DO, runs an extremely busy sports medicine and arthroscopy practice at the CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute, yet still finds the time to publish extensively on his biomedical studies and clinical outcomes research. His work has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Journal of Children’s Orthopedics, Current Orthopaedic Practice, Spine, and Arthroscopy.

“My focus is on fracture care, sports medicine and other orthopaedic conditions affecting children and adolescents,” Dr. Schlechter says. “The goal with our research is to improve treatment approaches in these active young people.” Learn more.


Carl Weinert MD

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and researcher Carl R. Weinert, MD, is a pioneer in the field, establishing the first ever pediatric orthopaedic practice in Orange County. In addition to 40 years working in his clinical practice, Dr. Weinert has done extensive research in a variety of areas as well as trained hundreds of orthopaedic and pediatric residents, medical students, nurses, physical therapists and pre-med college students at the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Weinert’s research interests include developing effective, minimally invasive treatment alternatives for benign bone tumors and bone cysts, designing new surgical instruments for improving the treatment of fractures, especially elbow fractures, and advancing the treatment of clubfoot and other congenital foot deformities. Learn more.

A Donation to Research is an Investment in the Future

CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute is committed to the advancement of pediatric orthopaedics and discovering the best treatments, medications and technologies for our patients through innovative research projects.

Your heartfelt gift funds visionary, life-changing research projects. The future starts with you.

We invite you to become part of this movement to fund current and future research necessary to advance pediatric orthopaedic care.

To donate, please click below or call the CHOC Children’s Foundation at 714-509-8690 and ask for the Orthopaedic Institute Gift Officer.

Donate Today

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