From a child’s hands, imagination becomes creation. Through their hands, children explore the world around them. For thousands of children with hand and upper limb disorders, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been a source of hope and healing. Learn how the Charles E. Seay Jr. Hand Center positions Scottish Rite Hospital as a leader in treating pediatric hand disorders.
Focus on Clinical Patient Treatment and Research
The Hand Center delivers a setting for both clinical patient treatment and clinical research focused on the treatment and care for pediatric patients with hand and upper limb disorders, says Dr. Scott Oishi, the Center’s director.
“Our clinical practice [treats] a variety of children who are either born with congenital hand differences or upper extremity differences, or patients who have had trauma or something happen to them after they’re born,” he says. “There are a lot of patients who come through here and get no surgery at all because all they really need is a lot of encouragement and ability to grow and expand their horizons.”
From treating children with congenital hand abnormalities, such as webbed fingers, reconstructing children’s hands with extra digits, or changing the position of fingers on hands, the Hand Center strives to give children back their childhoods.
Care for Patients Across the Age Continuum
Dr. Oishi and Staff Hand Surgeon Dr. Christopher M. Stutz have the privilege of seeing many of their pediatric patients from the time they’re a few days old until the time they become 18 years old. “We’re able to keep a database of our patients as far as what type of diagnosis they have, what type of surgeries they underwent, and what their outcomes were, based on very good outcome measures,” Dr. Oishi says.
“I think one of the benefits of being a patient here [at Scottish Rite Hospital] is that in our clinic, if we feel you need to have therapy, we have a therapist who is literally steps away from us,” Dr. Oishi adds.
Building Confidence Through Hand Camp
Scottish Rite Hospital patient Mason was born unable to move his left hand. Mason’s father, Randy, says initially no one was able to name the source of the problem. “In the first seven days of his life, we ended up visiting six doctors, a lot of specialists, and we got referred to [Scottish Rite Hospital],” he says. “As soon as we walked in, they were able to identify the issue.”
Dr. Oishi notes that Mason underwent a free functional gracilis muscle transfer, transferring muscle from his leg to his arm.
“He has roughly 40 to 45 percent usage of his left hand already at the age of 7. We could tell that he’s growing and getting more use all the time,” Randy says. “[Scottish Rite Hospital], with the usage of Hand Camp, has given him the confidence to be able to talk about his arm. He’s not embarrassed by his arm; he doesn’t hide his arm from his friends.”
Amy Lake, therapist and co-director of the Scottish Rite Hospital Hand Camp, says the program started in 1995 to bring families together. “A child with a hand difference can go to school, be involved in activities, and never come in contact with another kid with a hand difference,” she says.
Andrea Brown, Hand Camp co-director, says the Hand Camp instills invaluable confidence in the children who attend. Moreover, parents also benefit from interacting with one another, as they receive valuable information to help their children as well.
Trained Fellows Who Deliver Hand Treatment Excellence
Dr. Oishi emphasizes that one of the most important aspects of the Hand Center is the training this team devotes to their clinicians. “We train fellows and trainees that then go out and practice pediatric hand surgery,” he says. “Our Center’s message is really one that Peter Carter, one of our retired hand surgeons here, taught us all — the to-for rule.”
“Either do something to them or you can do something for them,” explains Scottish Rite Hospital Staff Hand Surgeon Dr. Marybeth Ezaki. “We practice that rule every single day.”
Support Those Who Support TSRHC Patients
As a world leader in treating pediatric orthopedic conditions, Scottish Rite Hospital provides the highest level of care for children from birth to age 18, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. To learn more about Scottish Rite Hospital, its mission, and ways you can support continuing research for treatment of pediatric hand disorders, call 214-559-5000 or visit scottishritehospital.org.