The goal of orthopaedic interventions is to improve the functional health of patients, particularly physical function. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) commissioned a work group to construct functional health outcomes scales for children and adolescents, focusing on musculoskeletal health. The work group developed scales assessing upper extremity function, transfers and mobility, physical function and sports, comfort (pain free), happiness and satisfaction, and expectations for treatment. Parent and adolescent self-report forms were developed and tested on 470 subjects aged 2-18 years. The POSNA scales demonstrated good reliability, construct validity, sensitivity to change over a 9-month period, and ability to outperform a standard instrument, the Child Health Questionnaire physical functioning scale. They were useful for a wide variety of ages and diagnoses. They appear to be ideally suited for orthopaedic surgeons to assess the functional health and efficacy of treatment of their patients at baseline and follow-up.