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Category Archives: Research & Innovation

2016 – A Year In Review

2016 was a wonderful year for the hospital. Take a look at some numbers from the year.

*Numbers reflect total patients treated during our fiscal year, October 2015 – September 2016.

Dyslexia Stat Foot Disorder StatHand StatHip StatLL Stat

Spine StatSports Stat

Prosthetics Stat


Additional Milestones from 2016

  • We celebrated the hospital’s 95th birthday in October. We’re proud to have treated 269,019 patients since 1921.
  • Groundbreaking_blogOn October 19, we broke ground on our second facility in Frisco, with plans of opening in Fall of 2018. The five-story, 345,000-square-foot structure will be strategically located to fulfill a growing need for patient care in the rapidly expanding North Texas area. The campus will offer clinics and day surgeries for children with orthopedic issues and will be anchored by our Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine.
  • We started seeing patients in our Fracture Clinic in Plano. This clinic is unique because patients do not need a doctor referral to be seen.
  • We launched our electronic medical records system in the fall. Have you set up your MySRH account?
  • Our signature event, Treasure Street, raised more than $1.1 million for the patients at Scottish Rite Hospital.
  • For the second consecutive year, the National Research Corporation (NRC) recognized the hospital’s dedication to excellent patient care with two Path to Excellence Awards. The hospital was also one of two institutions to receive recognition for Most Improved Facilities – Children’s Hospitals, based on improvement over last year’s award-winning inpatient performance scores.
  • Our research and clinical team were busy in 2016 with: 141 active research projects, 172 medical abstracts presented, 89 medical articles published and 119 appearances as guest medical speakers.

Thanks for supporting the hospital this year, we look forward to 2017!

Spine Experts Attend International Congress for Early Onset Scoliosis

The International Congress for Early Onset Scoliosis (ICEOS) is an annual meeting in which Scottish Rite Hospital has a consistent presence. The 10th annual ICEOS meeting took place in Holland on November 17 and 18. The conference brings together orthopedic surgeons and other medical professionals from around the world to discuss the challenging and complex characteristics of Early Onset Scoliosis.

Various research abstracts from the hospital have been selected to be presented from our doctors and researchers, including work from Dr. Brandon Ramo, Chief of Staff Dr. Dan Sucato, Assistant Chief of Staff Emeritus Dr. Charles Johnston, and researchers Johnny Zhang and Dong Tran, M.S. Representing the hospital are Drs. Ramo and Johnston, as well as research coordinator Dong Tran, M.S.

image1The ICEOS meeting is unique because of its primary focus. Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS) refers to a pediatric patient who is diagnosed with scoliosis under the age of ten. Cases can vary from severe to mild; however, it is a topic that is passed over in larger conferences. Dr. Brandon Ramo, medical director of ambulatory care at Scottish Rite Hospital and a member of the 2016 ICEOS faculty, states how important this meeting is for furthering the research of EOS. “The ICEOS meeting brings together a very small community of orthopedic surgeons and other physicians from around the world who are focused on a rare group of patients with tremendously complex, challenging disease processes,” said Ramo. “Since the condition of early onset scoliosis is a rare topic, it often gets marginalized or left out in larger meetings. This venue provides the opportunity for information sharing and presentation of research findings in a more intimate setting to a like-minded group of doctors dedicated to these unique patients.”

Like many of the other conferences that our medical staff attends throughout the year, ICEOS provides another opportunity for our doctors and researchers to present their work on an international stage. At this conference, a few of the research topics submitted by Scottish Rite Hospital include: effectiveness in casting of non-idiopathic scoliosis, the growth of the spine in a patient with EOS and curve progression in girls with idiopathic scoliosis. With Early Onset Scoliosis being the core of this meeting, it brings more discussion and groundbreaking innovation back to our hospital to ultimately give our patients back their childhood.


Doctors Head To Prague For 51st Annual Scoliosis Research Society Meeting

The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) is an international society that puts on an annual conference to bring together leading spine surgeons and researchers from around the world. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the progress made towards the treatment of spinal deformities and to learn from top professionals in the field.

The 51st Annual Meeting will be held in Prague from September 22 to September 24 and include presentations from top professionals who treat spinal deformities at all levels and in all ages. The annual meeting and course consist of more than 125 presentations, which will cover an array of topics.

Every year, Scottish Rite Hospital is well represented at this conference and it provides our physicians with the opportunity to present the hospital’s finest work and showcase it on an international stage. From the thousands of abstracts submitted this past February, over ten of our studies were accepted for either podium or poster presentation at this year’s SRS meeting. The presentation topics include pediatric spine deformities, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, bracing in AIS, and several others.

SRS Group

Chief of Staff, Dr. Dan Sucato, sees tremendous value in the quality of work that is presented at these international conferences. “The Scoliosis Research Society is, and has been, a critically important international meeting for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. It is an opportunity for us to showcase our research seeking to improve the lives of children with scoliosis and allows us to collaborate and network with surgeons and spine care providers throughout the world. We continue to have significant leadership positions within this prestigious organization, a true reflection of the hospital and the talented staff”.

As part of the conference, the SRS also gives several awards, which recognize the best paper and poster, submitted each year. Dr. Karl Rathjen, Dr. Dan Sucato, and their respective teams, have been nominated for an award. Dr. Rathjen is nominated for the Louis A. Goldstein Award, which is given to the best clinical research poster at the conference. His poster, Clinical Indications Associated with Abnormal MRIs in a Pediatric Spine Deformity Practice, shows that while pain was the most common reason to order an MRI, it was not a predictive factor of an abnormal MRI. Additionally, Dr. Dan Sucato has been nominated for the Hibbs Clinical Award for his paper with researcher, Johnny Zhang, titled Improvement in SRS22R Pain Scores after Surgery for AIS. This award is given to the best basic science and clinical papers at the conference and the nominees are selected to present their papers.

Scottish Rite Hospital continues to be recognized around the world for its groundbreaking research. The SRS, and many of the other international conferences, provide an opportunity for our doctors and researchers to not only showcase the hard work that happens here at the hospital, but it also allows them to further their education in order to provide top notch patient care.

Scottish Rite Hospital Announces New Patents

Our Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction has recently received two new patents. The patents are related to critical components of the TL-HEX external fixation device (pictured at Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 12.11.22 PMright), which is used for patients undergoing limb lengthening and reconstruction treatment. The device has the capability to perform multiple corrections to the bone simultaneously, including lengthening, rotation and compression.

With these recent innovations to the device, the hospital now has more than 25 patents. That number is expected to grow with the hospital’s ongoing research initiatives. These advancements reflect how Scottish Rite Hospital’s research efforts continually improve treatment methods for children with orthopedic conditions here and around the world.

For more information on our Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction, please visit scottishritehospital.org/cellr.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children: Patient Care, Education, & Research

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children opened its doors in 1921 and over the last 95 years it has become one of the top pediatric orthopedic hospitals in the country. Ortho Group Photo 2016_FinalAt the core of our mission are three main pillars: patient care, research, and education. The outstanding patient care provided at the hospital is shown each and everyday through the interactions our medical staff has with all of our patients and families. The research conducted is designed to treat the entire child and his/her specific needs. The hospital is the training ground for the next generation of world-class pediatric orthopedic physicians through the fellowship program. It is the superior patient care, the groundbreaking research, and education of physicians that makes Scottish Rite Hospital such a special place.

Scottish Rite Hospital is a unique institution because of its many resources when it comes to innovation and research. The success of the hospital and its top of the line patient care is closely tied to the collaborative relationship with UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). Monday Night Conference_26All of our medical staff hold faculty appointments in various departments at UTSW, including Orthopedic Surgery and Pediatrics. It is a strong, working relationship in which Scottish Rite Hospital has become one of the top research institutions in pediatric orthopedics. The research at Scottish Rite Hospital is regulated by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at UTSW, which serves as the governing body for over 100 of our clinical research studies. Additionally, Scottish Rite Hospital welcomes several UTSW orthopedic residents to complete pediatric rotations throughout the year. These residents work closely with our medical staff and research department to gain experience both hands on in clinic and surgery, as well as with various research studies.

Scottish Rite Hospital is internationally known as a premier research and teaching hospital. Since research is at the forefront of providing the best patient care, it is necessary to have an environment where learning is ongoing and teaching is an everyday practice. The hospital provides several areas for medical staff, fellows, residents and all other staff to continue their education through weekly/monthly conferences, symposiums, visiting professorships and much more. An extraordinary aspect of Scottish Rite Hospital is the Dorothy & Bryant Edwards Fellowship in Pediatric Orthopedics and Scoliosis.


This program provides the fellows an opportunity to work with some of the most experienced pediatric orthopedic staff in the country. The yearlong fellowship includes becoming a member of the patient care team, high-level surgical experience, and the opportunity to work closely with the research team on a topic of their choice. Even through the fellowship, research is at the core of the curriculum. The fellows are required to complete at least one scientific manuscript at Scottish Rite Hospital and will have the opportunity to present their work at the annual Brandon Carrell Visiting Professorship. This conference, hosted by the hospital, is an annual course designed for pediatric orthopedic surgeons and others with an interest in pediatric orthopedic practices to keep up-to-date on the latest in groundbreaking research. The hospital welcomes a visiting professor each year, along with other medical professionals, who will present on their current research projects. It is another opportunity for our medical staff to discuss and debate various techniques, which facilitates ongoing education for all.

Fellowship Programs:

It is through our strong relationship with UT Southwestern Medical Center, accompanied by the continuous learning environment, which has established Scottish Rite Hospital as a leading research institution for pediatric orthopedics. Research continues to be the engine that drives important clinical decision making to improve the care by finding new and better techniques to treat our patients.

2016 LLRS Annual Meeting: Dr. Karl E. Rathjen Appointed President of the Organization

The Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society (LLRS), an association for the study and application of the methods of Ilizarov-North America, is holding its 25th Annual Scientific Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina on July 22 and 23. The LLRS is an organization dedicated to researching new treatment for limb reconstruction, limb lengthening, extremity deformity correction, and complex fracture treatment. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is represented at the meeting by Karl E. Rathjen, M.D., David A. Podeszwa, M.D., John Birch, M.D., Alexander Cherkashin, M.D., Mikhail Samchukov, M.D., and current fellow, Connor Green.

Dr-Karl-RathjenAssistant Chief of Staff, Dr. Karl E. Rathjen, has served as the Vice President of LLRS for the past calendar year and was recently appointed President of the organization for the year 2016-2017. At the 2016 annual meeting, Rathjen will be co-leading the two-day meeting, while several of the hospital’s doctors and fellows will be presenting their work.

Drs. David Podeszwa, Alexander Cherkashin, and fellow, Connor Green, have the opportunity to discuss several topics to the LLRS group, which encompass some of the cutting edge research happening within the hospital’s Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction (CELLR). CELLR focuses on improving the lives of patients with different leg length discrepancies and limb deformities. Co-directed by Dr. David A. Podeszwa and Dr. Mikhail Samchukov, the center has more than 20 United States and International patents and continues to be recognized as one of the top centers in this field. The Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society Annual Scientific Meeting is another opportunity for our doctors and researchers to showcase the work of Scottish Rite Hospital to other institutions from across the country.

Russian Medical Leaders to Visit Scottish Rite Hospital, Advance Partnership

Dr. Alexander Gubin, director of the Russian Ilizarov Scientific Center for Restorative Traumatology and Orthopaedics, and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Gubin, a neurologist, will visit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children from July 24-27, part of a growing relationship between the center and Scottish Rite Hospital.

The hospital co-hosted the center’s International Scientific and Practical Conference in June, the first time that the center has collaborated with an outside institution to organize the annual meeting. It was attended by 500 medical professionals from 31 countries and marked the 45th anniversary of the center, the 65th anniversary of the development of the Ilizarov technique and the 95th birthday of the late Professor Ilizarov.


L to R: Drs. Birch, Gubin and Podeszwa in Kurgan

Gubin’s vision is to open up the center to the world, starting with this ongoing exchange with Scottish Rite Hospital. Since the 1990s, the hospital has developed a number of patented modifications to the original Ilizarov technique resulting in a series of devices known as the TRUE/LOKTM External Fixation System. Gubin is interested in integrating these advances into the treatment of limb differences at the center, located in Kurgan, Russia.

Elizabeth Gubin, who practices at Kurgan Children’s Hospital, will be studying Scottish Rite Hospital’s treatment of patients with cerebral palsy. She is setting up a cerebral palsy center in Kurgan and will meet with hospital neurologists and observe clinical visits and procedures.

Alexander Gubin visited Scottish Rite Hospital and other Western institutions that employ the Ilizarov technique before deciding to collaborate with the Dallas hospital. Hospital researchers Mikhail Samchukov, Alex Cherkashin and Marina Makarov are former leaders of the Ilizarov center and worked directly with Ilizarov himself. Though the relationship goes back many years, a formal exchange of physicians was established in 2014. Two Russian orthopedic surgeons from the center have already visited Scottish Rite Hospital. Dr. David Podeszwa, the newly appointed co-director of the hospital’s Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction, went to Russia in 2015.

The collaboration also includes two limb lengthening/reconstruction studies, with plans to expand cooperative research. The center will continue to send its physicians to Scottish Rite Hospital for training, and hospital orthopedists, researchers and fellows will have the opportunity to visit the center in Russia.

DSC00096Drs. Samchukov, Cherkashin, Podeszwa, Makarov and John Birch lectured and moderated panels at the Russian conference, and Samchukov, Birch and Cherkashin (pictured left) were awarded honorary professorships for their contributions to the Ilizarov technique, the only three North Americans to receive the prestigious distinction at the meeting.

While in Kurgan, Cherkashin and Samchukov also met with an international group of surgeons at the annual TRUE/LOKTM Hex Summit to get their feedback on the Hex device developed at Scottish Rite Hospital. Dr. Podeszwa participated in a press conference on state television.

On the morning of Tuesday, July 26, Dr. Gubin will talk about the Ilizarov center in the 21st century in the Scottish Rite Hospital auditorium. Also on the program are presentations by Dr. Birch on the evolution of the Ilizarov technique at the hospital, and Dr. Podeszwa on the development of collaborations between the Ilizarov center and Scottish Rite Hospital.

Scottish Rite Hospital: The Leader in Treating Hand Disorders

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.

23rd Annual International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST)

July 13 – 16, 2016
Washington, D.C., USA

The International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), an annual conference sponsored by the Scoliosis Research Society, includes spine surgeons, allied health professionals and researchers from across the globe to discuss new and innovative spine techniques. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is being represented at IMAST 2016 by orthopedists Dr. Dan Sucato and Dr. Steve Richards, researcher Dr. Hong Zhang, and research coordinator Dong Tran. Among hundreds of submissions from institutions across the country, the work of our doctors and researchers has been selected for two podium presentations.

Sucato 2012 - 2x3“IMAST is a slightly different meeting than some of the other spine meetings we participate in because innovative and newer techniques are the focus of the meeting with ‘outside the box’ presentations and discussions”, says Sucato. Scottish Rite Hospital continues to be seen on the national stage. The opportunity to showcase our work is tremendously fulfilling, however, knowing that it can directly affect the care of a child makes it that much more rewarding.

The first presentation was authored by Eray Kilinc M.D., Dong-Phuong Tran, M.S., and Charles Johnston, M.D., analyzes 120 AIS (Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis) patients with specific types of curve patterns of the spine. The objective of the study is to understand whether there is a significant difference between using more vs. using less implants to correct the curve. By using less implants, the research has shown that although the results show that fewer screws achieve slightly less overall curve correction, overall satisfaction scores for both patients with more screws and less screws were similar.

Charles Johnston, M.D., Kelly Jeans, M.S., Dong-Phuong Tran, M.S., and Anna McClung, R.N.,B.S.N., authored the second selected presentation. This study evaluated EOS (Early Onset Scoliosis) patients who have undergone growing rod treatment. The objective was to assess whether children with EOS were able to keep up with their peers based on a graded exercise test. The study builds on earlier research, which has shown that children who have undergone extensive treatment are thought to have limited capacity regarding physical activity. The study included 12 patients who were tested while walking at a self-selected speed over-ground and then during a graded exercise test. In conclusion, our researchers discovered that patients with EOS are not only able to keep up with their peers while walking around their communities, but they also have the capacity to exercise.

For more information on our research initiatives, please visit scottishritehospital.org/research.

Excelling in Spine Research – #ScoliosisAwarenessMonth

Spinal conditions, such as scoliosis, can take many forms and vary in severity. Since the 1970s, our hospital has been an advocate for and leader in research and treatment of spinal disorders in pediatric patients. Discover why the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research at TSRHC remains the nation’s premier center for spinal deformity research.

Center for a Team of Talent Collaborations

The purpose is to bring a number of different talented people in various disciplines to the table to try to answer the unanswerable questions we have in spine deformity today.

“There are a lot of treatment strategies — I call it tools in your toolbox — and we pick the right tool for each individual patient and case,” adds staff orthopedist Dr. Amy McIntosh. “But the beautiful thing about [TSRHC] and the Center for Excellence in Spine Research is all of the tools are available.”

Along with talent and tools, there’s another important T in the equation: the team approach that lies at the heart of the center’s mission and vision. Whether they’re being treated by physicians, nurses, or in-clinic orthotists, TSRHC patients receive only the best from the professionals working in these disciplines to provide treatment for scoliosis.

Putting Orthopedic Experts on the Research Front

The addition of Dr. Carol Wise as director of basic research has further advanced TSRHC’s research aims. Indeed, Wise was one of the first researchers to identify a gene for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. “The end result we’re hoping for,” Dr. Wise says, “is to cure this disorder — to treat it non-invasively so that we’re not taking children into surgery to correct a deformity of their spine.”

Treatments as Personal as Patients Themselves

Because each patient who comes to TSRHC is a distinct individual, no two treatment options are the same. However, what does remain the same is the unparalleled level of care that the TSRHC team dedicates to each patient.

Overall, Dr. Sucato says, the TSRHC team aims to prevent scoliosis from intensifying, thus preventing intensive treatments. But when surgeries are required, the team dedicates itself to making them as safe as possible: “The most important thing we do is we ask, ‘What are the important clinical questions we have for our patients? What are the answers that we don’t have today that we can research today so we have a better answer for tomorrow?'”‘

Watch this video below to learn more about our Center for Excellence in Spine Research: