The treatment of any medical condition is an attempt to alter
the natural history of that condition. If treatment is to be offered,
it must alter the natural history in a positive way. The focus of
our research efforts over the years has been twofold: first, to
examine the natural history of various pediatric orthopaedic conditions
in order to learn their adult consequences and, second, to evaluate the
long-term outcomes of various treatment methods applied to childhood
disorders in order to learn if the natural history had been favorably altered.
This has been possible because of a good record-keeping system,
started by Arthur Steindler, and a stable population base. This
report will give brief highlights of some of these and related studies
in the hope of elucidating the adult consequences of the natural
history and treatment outcomes of childhood disorders. These studies provide
the foundations for current treatment recommendations.