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Peter Smith

Peter A. Smith, MD

  • Orthopaedic Surgery
Languages Spoken:
  • English

Peter Smith, M.D., grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and used to observe the work of his father, who was an orthopedic surgeon. His grandfather was also a doctor. After medical school in New York, Dr. Smith moved out to the Midwest, and completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Chicago. During a training stint at the Shriners Children's Chicago, he fell in love with the field of pediatric orthopedics and felt lucky to come back to work here, where he has spent his whole career.

Shriners Children's has always kept busy with the care of children from Chicago and all over the world, many with complex challenges. There is great opportunity to teach and learn, and we do research to improve understanding and care of the conditions in the children that we treat. Shriners Children's Chicago has a small enough staff that everyone knows each other. The spirit that infuses the hospital was set by Dr. Edward Millar, who Dr. Smith worked with and led the hospital for 20 years: We take a personal interest in each child who comes here. Their problems are our problems. Through surgery, medications, therapy or whatever means we know, we want every child's life to be the best it can possibly be.


Dr. Smith has treated children with just about every pediatric orthopedic condition, including cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders, arthrogryposis, clubfoot, and skeletal dysplasia. He has a special interest and leads Shriners Children's Chicago in the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare genetic disorder causing brittle bones. Shriners Children's Chicago was the first to treat these children with a surgery to reinforce the bones with implanted rods, and is still a leader in this complicated surgery to improve quality of life. Dr. Smith has served as a visiting professor to teach and perform this surgery all over the world. At the OI clinic, there is a multidisciplinary team to improve all aspects of care to improve bone health, with a heavy reliance on nutrition, physical therapy and medication. The team has published a book outlining clinical care and research in osteogenesis imperfecta and continues to lead in this area.

Dr. Smith enjoys exploring the engineering aspects of orthopedics, and has been fortunate to participate in research and clinical care with talented engineering professors. He is the clinical director of the motion analysis laboratory, where Shriners Children's has provided the latest cameras and computers to measure how children walk, and create plans to improve the gait of children with cerebral palsy and other conditions. The team has published many research articles and several books on gait in cerebral palsy, clubfoot and osteogenesis imperfecta, and continues to perform studies in these areas. Most doctors at the hospital use the gait lab in their decision making. A recent project is to develop a way to combine the experiences and patient data from the gait labs of many Shriners Children's hospitals across the country in order to discover the very best way to treat each individual patient depending on the measurements we obtain.

With Dr. Gerald Harris, Dr. Smith has worked to develop a clinically useful motion analysis system to evaluate the complex motions of the foot and ankle during gait. They are now using this system routinely to make decisions in the care of children with complex foot deformities.

Over the past ten years, Dr. Smith has used newer techniques to look at information across many centers to improve care in cerebral palsy and osteogenesis imperfecta. The team recently presented information about hip surgery in cerebral palsy gleaned from SHONet, funded by Shriners Children's, and they have published several articles about rodding and mobility in children with osteogenesis imperfecta from the Brittle Bone Disease Rare Disease Research Consortium, funded by the National Institute of Health.

From his work at Shriners Children's, Dr. Smith developed an interest in the care of children in underserved areas internationally. He has helped with clinics and surgery in India, China, Lithuania, and Colombia.

In 1992, Dr. Smith led a team of doctors and nurses to work with a local charity treating children with orthopedic conditions in Buga, Colombia. This became a long-term commitment to return every six months to run a charity clinic and surgeries for children from all over Colombia, which they have honored to the present day. For the past 28 years, Dr. Smith has served as president of the Silver Service Children's Foundation which is the modest charity they have set up to run the trips along with Casa de Colombia charity in Cali, Colombia. This effort and partnership has been one of the most rewarding of his career. The organization now includes over 100 doctors and nurses from all over the United States who have volunteered.

Pediatric Care


More About Me

Board Certifications
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery - General
Education and Training

Medical Education
New York University
New York, NY

University of Chicago Medical School
Chicago, IL

University of Chicago Medical School
Chicago, IL

Newington Children's hospital
Hartford, CT

Leadership and Memberships
  • President, Silver Service Children's Foundation
  • Medical Advisory Board, Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation
  • Founding Member, Gait and Clinical Motion Analysis Society
  • Director, Osteogenesis Imperfecta Clinic Shriners Children's Chicago
Editorial Positions
  • 2010-Present: Reviewer, Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics
  • 2010-Present: Reviewer, Gait and Posture
Awards and Honors
  • 2004, Elected American Orthopedic Association
  • Caballero Colombian Orthopedic Association
  • Albert Gallatin scholar, New York University Medical School
  • Phi Beta Kappa Stanford University
Providers Academic Works And Presentations Accordion Title
  • Lecture: 13th Annual Mimi Cameo Covert Memorial Lecture, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery - How Motion Analysis Informs Treatment in Cerebral Palsy (9/19/2016)
  • Lecture: Pediatric Grand Rounds, UIC, Chicago, Illinois - Osteogenesis Imperfecta: What's New in Diagnosing and Treating Brittle Bone Disease in Children (10/22/2020)
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America - A Multicenter Study of Rodding Surgeries in Osteogenesis Imperfecta (2020)
  • SHOnet study Shriners National Research Meeting - Blood Loss in Neuromuscular Hip Surgery (2021)
  • Lecture: Resident Teaching Rounds, Shriners Children's Chicago - Orthopedic Treatment in Underserved Regions (2021)


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