Conditions

Limb Differences

At The Center for Limb Differences, we provide care, offer support and recommend resources to benefit your child from birth through age 18. We also offer prenatal consultations. 

An evaluation should be made as soon as possible after your child’s birth or amputation. We can discuss a treatment plan and provide information about resources and other support services available to your child and family. Our team also can provide second opinions. 

Patients generally visit the center three to four times a year. Your child’s schedule depends on circumstances unique to him or her. We’ll assess your child at each visit on things like orthopedic condition, growth and developmental needs. 

The Center for Limb Differences specializes in helping infants, children and teens with hand, foot and limb differences. We were established in 1946 as the nation’s first program to focus exclusively on the needs of children with limb differences. 

We help young patients who were born with a limb difference or who underwent an amputation due to a disease or an accident. Our team’s primary goal is to help your child to become as independent as possible in all areas of development. 

Contact Us:
616.840.8005 
800.668.6001 

Center for Limb Differences
/ Your Experience

Who We Serve

Young patients come to us for a wide variety of conditions, including:

Congenital limb differences (occurring at birth):

• Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD) 
• Neonatal brachial plexus palsy 
• Limb length differences 
• Congenital short femur 
• Absence or hypoplasia of the radius, ulna, tibia or fibula (hemimelia) 
• Humeral deficiencies 
• Amelia/phocomelia 
• Foot differences and hand differences 
• Radial club hand 
• Arthrogryposis 
• Caudal regression/lumbosacral agenesis

Limb differences associated with syndromes:

• Thrombocytopenia & absent radius (TAR) 
• Cornelia de Lange 
• Poland 
• Holt-Oram 
• Vertebral anomalies, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheoesophageal fistula and/or esophageal atresia, renal & radial anomalies and limb defects (VATER/VACTERL)

Amputations due to:

• Cancer 
• Vascular condition 
• Accident 
• Disease 
• Post limb-salvage procedures

/ Meet the Team

The Center for Limb Differences is a founding and ongoing member of the Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics. As a patient, your child will be under the care of a comprehensive multidisciplinary team specializing in helping children with orthopedic conditions.

Team leadership is provided by physicians who specialize in orthopedics and treating children with limb differences:

• Michael Forness, DO, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specializing in limb differences
• Lisa Maskill, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and upper extremity orthopedic specialist in limb differences

Depending on your child’s needs, his or her treatment team may include:

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    A care manager who partners with you and your caregivers to help you adjust to your injury and prepare to return home.

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    Physical therapists to evaluate your strength, mobility and level of independence, then provide rehabilitation.

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    Occupational therapists to help you resume independence with daily activities, such as brushing your teeth, getting dressed, doing laundry and grocery shopping.

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    Registered dietitians to evaluate your nutritional needs and monitor your food intake.

/ FAQs

Resources 

CLD Handbooks
We’ve developed a series of handbooks as part of our commitment to education. Titles available for purchase include:

  • Children with Limb Differences (birth to 5 years)
    • Children with Limb Differences (6 to 12 years)
    • Adolescents with Limb Differences
    • Children with Limb Differences: A Handbook for Teachers
    • Children with Hand Differences: A Guide for Families
    • Guia Para Familias de Ninos con Extremidades con Diferencias
    • Your Personal Best (This is geared to young amputees for use under the guidance of physical therapists. The fun format offers several levels of exercises and guides the child through the healing process.) 

Complete this Center for Limb Differences order form and fax or mail to the address listed on the form. 

Helpful Handouts
Below are handouts that provide positive strategies for children and teens who may cope with teasing or self-esteem challenges. Click on a title for a downloadable link.

Teasing Happens: How to Make Friends
Teasing Happens: What To Do
Teasing Happens: Tips For Teachers
Teasing Happens: Tips For Parents
Teasing: Books For Children
Tips for Encouraging Self Esteem in Teens With Disabilities 

Resources for Parents, Peers and More
American Childhood Cancer Organization
Amputee Coalition of America
Amputee Coalition of America – Support Groups
Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics
Family Resource Center on Disabilities
Federation for Children with Special Needs 

Recreational and Camping Information
Disabled Sports USA
National Sports Center for the Disabled
Wilderness Inquiry

Camps:

American Camp Association
Children’s Oncology Camping Association International
Easter Seals 

Still have questions? Feel free to contact us.

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