Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) was founded in 1911 by Charles LeRoy Lowman, as a clinic for children with crippling disorders. The mission then is the same as the mission today; to provide excellence in orthopaedic care regardless of the family's ability to pay. To support this mission, the Orthopaedic Foundation was established in 1917 and it has been an integral support to the care OIC provides today.
The first OIC building was constructed in 1922 on our current downtown property on Flower Street. It was replaced in 1959 by a second hospital, and today a third hospital nears completion on the Westside of Los Angeles. This new state-of-the-art facility is a cooperative effort with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as part of a Master Strategic Alliance to create the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. The site of the first hospital continues as a large outpatient medical center where most of the children are seen. It also houses the Foundation offices and J. Vernon Luck, Sr., MD Research Center.
When Dr. Charles LeRoy Lowman established OIC, he scarcely could have imaged the astonishing strides that medicine would take through the end of the century.
As the only orthopaedic specialist between San Francisco to New Orleans, he saw patients with polio, birth defects such as flat feet, knock-knees, bowlegs and spinal curvatures, chronic bone infections, and trauma residuals. Because the field was so new, he invented many treatments himself including turning a fishpond on the OIC grounds into a therapy pool for children with polio. This therapy pool was in use two years before polio sufferer Franklin Delano Roosevelt utilized the 88-degree waters at Warm Springs, Georgia to treat his polio paralysis. OIC has continued leadership in patient care, education and research throughout its history.
Today, OIC treats children with congenital and acquired orthopaedic disorders in addition to providing expert life-long care for hemophilia. Our surgeons straighten curved spines, correct clubfeet, reconstruct deformed or short limbs, replace torn ligaments, and repair complex fractures. Whenever possible, OIC physicians apply non-surgical techniques and less invasive procedures with the goal of reducing a child's discomfort or time to recovery. Our physicians also coordinate a multidisciplinary approach to complex neuromuscular conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida as well as rare skeletal diseases such as osteogenesis imperfecta and achondroplasia.
The Orthopaedic Hemophilia Treatment Center is world renown for treating patients with severe arthritis secondary to joint hemorrhages. This center receives patients from around the world for joint replacement and reconstruction.
The J. Vernon Luck Research Laboratories have developed materials that allow joint replacement for all patients to last 10 times longer than conventional materials. These materials are now FDA approved and used world wide.
Care for patients with musculoskeletal patients world wide is also advanced through medical education. The Orthopaedic UCLA residency in Orthopaedic Surgery receives the brightest applicants from the best universities. During our 100-year history, the orthopaedic program has grown tremendously and now sees more children with potentially crippling disorders than any other facility in the United States.
OIC has embarked on an extraordinary commitment to advance the quality of orthopaedic healthcare in the 21st century. We have entered into a strategic alliance with UCLA Health System to provide excellence in pediatric orthopaedic care throughout greater Los Angeles and advance musculoskeletal research and education worldwide. A strategic alliance with Los Angeles Unified School District established the Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School. Our physicians, researchers and staff provide assistance in curriculum design and teaching related to health science and exposure to a wide variety of careers in healthcare and research.