The management of the profoundly deaf child with a cochlear implant poses a special challenge, particularly when total ossification of the cochlea is present. In this setting, insertion of an electrode array into a child’s cochlea is often difficult. Our experience supports the feasibility of partial insertion of a multichannel implant into the basal turn of an ossified cochlea. Five children with ossified cochleae who had undergone partial implantation of a multichannel electrode were compared with the performance of matched controls who had full insertion of multichannel implants. No dramatic differences were detected during a 6- to 18-month follow-up period on selected test measures. These preliminary results suggest that active electrode number may exert a limited effect on performance with a cochlear implant. Drilling out the basal turn of an ossified cochlea in conjunction with partial insertion of a multichannel implant appears to be an acceptable surgical and rehabilitational alternative for placement of a cochlear implant prosthesis in children with complete cochlear ossification.