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Babies and Clubfoot: Learning the Basics of the Condition

What is a clubfoot? A clubfoot is a congenital foot abnormality. It is one of the most common pediatric orthopedic conditions. The heel tilts in and down, and the forefoot is also turned in. Without treatment, a patient with a clubfoot will walk on the outside of the foot which may produce pain and/or disability. A clubfoot is usually smaller than an unaffected (normal) foot. The calf is also usually smaller on the side of the clubfoot. One or both feet may be affected.

Why does it happen? The exact cause of the clubfoot is unknown. It cannot be prevented, but it is treatable. A child with a clubfoot should still grow and develop normally and be able to walk, run and play sports.

How is it treated? Treatment may involve casting, stretching, bracing or even surgery. The goal of treatment of the clubfoot is to have a functional, pain-free foot with good mobility and strength.

Two non surgical techniques are used in newborns and young infants. The first consists of daily stretching, taping and splinting by a physical therapist and parent. The second consists of weekly cast changes by an orthopedist followed by bracing.

Every child is different. Depending on the patient, the doctor will explain each option to determine the best possible treatment plan.

For more information about clubfoot and becoming a patient at Scottish Rite Hospital, visit scottishritehospital.org/clubfoot.

Our Tips for Non-Weight Bearing Activities

Wheelchair blogEnvisioning a major lifestyle change can be a challenge. Transitioning from being a busy and active young person to being a wheelchair can be tough to visualize. Being in a wheelchair does not mean being inactive, it only means redefining activities. What does your child like to play and how can you change this activity to continue their interest and activity level? This post contains many ideas to help your child to remain active. You and your child can come up with your own activities and games as well.

Important: All activities must be discussed with your doctor before participating. The non- weight bearing status must be maintained at all times.

Adapting Activities

Adapting activities can be easy if you think outside the box. This means making the activity fit your child’s needs by changing different aspects of the activity, including the rules and structure. The same activities can still be fun and challenging for you and your child. Below are some ideas for adapting activities.


  • Allow more bounces in a game (i.e. basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc.).
  • Allow for multiple hits in a sport (i.e. baseball, volleyball, tennis, etc.).
  • Allow different scoring system for points.
  • Vary the passing styles.
  • Reduce or extend time to perform the action for the sport.


  • Use lighter bats or racquets.
  • Use shorter handles on racquets or similar equipment.
  • Change the size or type of ball used for an activity. For example, for tennis, use a lowpressure ball; for baseball, use a softball; and for volleyball, use a beach ball or a balloon.


  • Decrease the size of the court or playing area.
  • Lower basketball nets or hoops.
  • Change the standard boundaries of a game.

Activity Ideas


  • Begin with a smaller basketball and lower hoop. This can help to develop coordination of shooting hoops from a wheelchair.
  • Slowly increase up to a standard size basketball and raise the hoop a little daily or weekly.
  • Play a game of H-O-R-S-E with your child if he or she enjoys being competitive.
  • Make sure your child maintains non-weight bearing status.


  • Tennis can be played from a seated position.
  • Most high schools and parks have tennis courts that are open to the public.
  • Using smaller, lighter racquets with shorter handles and low-pressure tennis balls are ways to modify the game for your child.
  • Remember to be patient with your child when playing tennis in a wheelchair. 5. Make sure your child maintains non-weight bearing status.


  • Start by using a balloon or beach ball with a string tied up horizontally as a ‘net’.
  • Once your child is comfortable with hitting the lighter objects, then he or she can begin using a beach ball or volleyball
  • Make sure your child maintains non-weight bearing status.

Wheelchair Mobility

  • Have your child learn to wheel themselves in the wheelchair.
  • This can be an aerobic workout. Wheeling themselves everywhere they go helps develop strength and provides cardio exercise.
  • You can create games or races to see how far your child can go without getting tired.Consider racing them on a smooth sidewalk or go on family walks in the evening.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the therapeutic recreation department or your doctor for further assistance.

Mavs Launch New Health and Wellness Resource for Aspiring Young Athletes

TScreen Shot 2017-03-07 at 2.07.40 PMhe Dallas Mavericks are back for the summer of 2017 with Mavs Basketball Academy, which includes Hoop Camp presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors, Elite Camp, Overnight Camp, Dance Camp and a new Health Program presented by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Mavs Basketball Academy (MBA) is dedicated to bringing the excitement of the NBA to the DFW community and is the #1 source for professional basketball and dance training for all skill levels.


The new Health arm of MBA will provide resources and training clinics utilizing the sports medicine experts from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, North Texas’ authority on sports health and injury prevention.  The goal is to educate young athletes and dancers, their parents and coaches on current recommendations for safe participation, proper training, recognizing and responding to injuries and sports injury prevention during MBA activities throughout the year.

“As pediatric sports medicine specialists, we are passionately committed to preventing injuries that keep young athletes out of sports. We share a vision with the Mavs Academy that children will be healthy and active well into their adult lives,” said Henry B. Ellis, M.D. pediatric sports medicine surgeon at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. “This partnership will impact the future of many young and growing athletes.”


Registration is open now for both Mavs Basketball Academy Hoop Camps and Elite Camps, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.  MBA Summer Camps provide kids ages 8-18 the fundamentals of the game, the opportunity to meet new teammates, learn sportsmanship and have plenty of fun, coached by the best coaching staff in the NBA. Throughout the summer, campers will receive visits from Mavs players and coaches, and each participant will receive a goodie bag including a pair of Mavs Game Tickets to a 2017-2018 preseason game.

Hoop Camps are a week-long, Elite Camps are 3 days a week and both begin June 5th and run through the beginning of August.

Mavs Basketball Academy is also bringing back Overnight Camp for a 2nd season, slated for June 11-15, at the University of Texas at Arlington.  This 4-night camp includes meals at the UTA cafeteria, boarding in university dorm rooms and the opportunity to meet a Dallas Mavericks player and front office staff.

The Mavs Dance program, also in its second year, is led by the ever-popular Dallas Mavericks Dancers.  The Mavs Dance Program is the top choice for dance instruction in the metroplex. Children of all skill levels will learn the fundamentals and exercises that helped form the best dance team in the NBA.

Camp will place special emphasis on self-confidence, technique, fitness, and most of all, fun.  Campers will receive a Mavs game ticket to a 2017-2018 pre-season game, Mavs Dancer poster and a camp t-shirt.  They will also have the opportunity to dance during halftime at a Mavs pre-season game.

The Mavs Dance program will be held 3 days a week, are located in Dallas, Plano, Grapevine and Allen, and run from June 14th through July 28th.

For more detailed information including summer schedule, locations and to register for camps, visit mavs.com/basketballacademy or call 214.747.MAVS.

Mavs Basketball Academy is sponsored by: Scottish Rite Hospital, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Nike and Lexus.

Get to Know our SRH Staff: Pedro Rodriguez in Volunteer Services

Meet Pedro, an Evening Volunteer Coordinator who has been working in our Volunteer Services department for the past 3 years. Our Evening Volunteer Program is designed to provide a group activity for inpatients, siblings and family members during the weeknight evenings. Volunteers provide fun and recreation to keep the children’s minds off of their medical care and provide family-oriented activities while they’re at Scottish Rite Hospital.

Get to know Pedro in our Staff Spotlight below.

Pedro, pictured third from the right, with volunteers at Treasure Street.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Hmm…that’s a tough one; there are so many things I love about it. I love getting to hang out and  play different games and do different crafts with our inpatients. It’s great seeing them laugh, smile and forget whatever has brought them to our hospital, even if it’s just for two hours. I love how our volunteers, no matter how busy their lives become, always make time to make huge impacts in our inpatient lives. I literally could not do what I do without them.

What’s your favorite thing about the hospital?

How inviting it is. People who work and volunteer here really do go the extra mile for our patients and their families.

What skills do you need for your job?

I think for my job, you need to be creative, outgoing, jovial, patient, have the ability to laugh at yourself and stay pretty calm. I think for the most part I hit all of those, although sometimes I can be an upside down duck.

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here?

I had my first job at 13. I worked at a country club as a waiter at the pool. I also worked at Starbucks, but I can’t recommend anything, not much of a coffee drinker. Most of my family is in the medical field in some form or fashion, I think with that influence and wanting to work with children brought me to Scottish Rite Hospital.

What is your favorite hospital-related Special Event?

I’m definitely a little biased. With the support I get from my team and the volunteers, the Evening Volunteer Program has created four hospital special events; Drive-In Movie Night, Back-to-School Carnival, Inpatient Night Parade, and our fundraising SPIKE Volleyball Tournament. Last year was our inaugural year and we raised $3,600 for Scottish Rite Hospital!

Inaugural SPIKE Volleyball Tournament hosted by our Evening Volunteers

Inaugural SPIKE Volleyball Tournament hosted by our Evening Volunteers

What’s your favorite…

  • Place to travel: Anywhere that my friends and family are.
  • Type of food: Tacos- All day, every day!
  • TV show: Who has just one? Definitely something a few seasons in so I can binge.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Telekinesis and Teleportation- you know, save on transportation.

What’s your spirit animal?


What is something people don’t know about you?

I played the violin for four years

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Anything 90’s


To learn more about our Volunteer Program and how to apply, please visit scottishritehospital.org/volunteer.

Backpack Safety Tips

Backpacks are a popular and practical way for children and teenagers to carry school books and supplies. Compared to shoulder bags, messenger bags or purses, backpacks are better because the back and the abdominal muscles support the weight of the backpack. When a backpack is worn correctly, the weight is evenly distributed across the body so shoulder, neck and back injuries are less common.

Backpack SafetyIf a backpack is too heavy or is used incorrectly it can cause muscle joint strain and cause back pain. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children do not carry more than 10-15% of their body weight in their backpacks. For example, if a child weighs 80 pounds, a backpack should not weigh more than 8 to 12 pounds. Although backpacks can lead to poor posture when they are not worn correctly, heavy backpacks do not cause scoliosis.

Problems Backpacks Can Pose

Many different things can lead to back pain. These include increased participation in sports or exercise, poor posture when sitting and long periods of inactivity. Some children can have back pain because of a heavy backpack. When a heavy backpack is placed incorrectly on the shoulders, the force of the weight can pull a child backwards. The child then compensates by bending forward at the hips or by arching the back. This can cause shoulder, neck and back pain.

Wearing a backpack over just one shoulder, may cause a child to lean to one side. This may result in shoulder, neck or back discomfort. Backpacks with tight, narrow straps can dig into the shoulders, causing numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms. Also, a heavy backpack can cause increased risk of falling by putting the child off balance.

Choosing the Right Backpack

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps
  • Two shoulder straps
  • Padded back
  • Lightweight backpack

Injury Prevention

  • Always use both shoulder straps.
  • Pack light (10-15% of child’s weight)
  • Remove unneeded items
  • Lift properly by bending at the knees and grabbing the pack with two hands.

Adapted from American Academy of Pediatrics information on Backpack Safety, 11/2015: http://tinyurl.com/7oozzls

Karen’s Moment – Volunteer Services

02_FEB_Karen and George_BLOG

Whether it’s greeting patient families or helping behind the scenes, more than 1,000 volunteers contribute to the mission of Scottish Rite Hospital. Volunteers, like Karen are there every moment, supporting and caring for our patients like a good friend.

This month, we will be giving you a deeper look at our Volunteer Services department on our Facebook page. Join us for volunteer stories, flashbacks and interesting facts. For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/volunteer.

A Look Inside PRiSM for Parents of Young Athletes – Sports Medicine

Scottish Rite Hospital recently co-hosted the fourth annual Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRiSM) meeting. The two-day conference included discussion of various clinical cases and medical professionals were able to share innovative ideas for research to provide better care for young athletes. Co-chair of the Program Committee for PRiSM and Assistant Chief of Staff at Scottish Rite Hospital, Philip Wilson, M.D. lined up over 75 presentations by physicians, physical therapists, movement science experts, and even an expert in veterinary pathology.

The attendees represented more than 75 children’s hospitals, universities and major medical centers across the country and beyond. Here are some topics that were discussed this weekend:

  • Injury Prevention – We continue to see injuries in young athletes that are preventable. Though we work hard to identify the best ways to treat these injuries, our organizations must continue to share messages about how to prevent these. Read more here.
  • Osteochondtritis Dissecans (OCD) – A small group of attendees spent an entire day discussing current research and future plans for studies to improve the treatment of OCD in the knee, the group is known as Research in Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee (ROCK), you can learn more about OCD and this group here.
  • Movement Science and Return to Sports – There is agreement across the country that returning to sports after an injury is an important decision that is not based on time, we must look at how the body has recovered and whether or not it is ready for the multi-direction movements in sports. Evidence based functional tests are recommended. At Scottish Rite Hospital, we use several including the Y-Balance Test, watch a video here.
  • Sports Concussions – As we learn more and more about concussions, experts continue to emphasize early recognition and medical clearance for returning to sports. Presenters shared survey results that show we have more work to do to help parents, coaches and young athletes to be confident with their knowledge and ability to recognize signs and symptoms of concussions. Learn more about sports concussions here.

Scottish Rite Hospital Staff Chuck Wyatt, R.N., C.P.N.P., R.N.F.A., Amanda Fletcher, R.N., C.P.N.P., R.N.F.A and Lorenzo Vite, P.T.

You can read more about PRiSM and see a full program list on their website. Many of our sports medicine staff members attended and volunteered to help make the weekend a success. Events like these help us develop our team to provide outstanding care to young and growing athletes.

For information about injury prevention and pediatric sports medicine, please visit our website at scottishritehospital.org/sports.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Andria, age 14 of Leonard

Andria_BlogAndria, age 14 of Leonard (a little town northeast of McKinney), has been a prosthetics patient at Scottish Rite Hospital for a year and a half. Andria was a passenger in a car accident that ultimately took her leg. She is an active teen and is taking a heavy load of science classes at school. Her goal is to become a doctor: either a surgeon or possibly an anesthesiologist. She has her sights aimed at attending Texas A&M University and going on to medical school. Andria is excited about the ski trip and seeing all of the snow in Colorado. This will be her first trip on an airplane and the first time she has traveled outside of Texas. Andria is looking forward to meeting new friends and having a great time. She did admit that she likes her sleep but says that she will be up and ready to hit the slopes every morning!

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

February 2017 will mark the 36th anniversary of the annual Amputee Ski Trip, held each year at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colo. Fourteen teenage patients with limb differences receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Jeremiah, age 16 of Dallas

Jeremiah_Blog2Jeremiah, age 16 of Dallas, has been a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children since 2006. Due to the development of osteosarcoma in his bones, he had to have his leg amputated, and he now wears a full-leg prosthesis. Jeremiah is proud to be a cancer survivor. He enjoys being active and likes to play basketball with friends outside of school. He wants to be a mechanical engineer when he grows up. Last year, Jeremiah had two firsts on this trip: flying on an airplane and snow skiing. This year, he’s looking forward to reconnecting with old friends from the trip and learning more from his ski instructor from last year. Jeremiah enjoyed last year’s trip and is excited to go back!

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

Jeremiah_BlogFebruary 2017 will mark the 36th anniversary of the annual Amputee Ski Trip, held each year at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colo. Fourteen teenage patients with limb differences receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.

Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Miranda, age 17 of Frisco

Miranda_blogMiranda, age 17 of Frisco, has been a patient at Scottish Rite Hospital since 2012. She is missing the fibula bone in her left leg and wears a lower leg prosthetic. Miranda enjoys babysitting and watching her favorite TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. This will be Miranda’s second time on the Amputee Ski Trip. Miranda is excited to make new friends who also wear prostheses. She also looks forward to seeing her instructor who helped her learn how to ski. Last year, Miranda had the chance to meet former Scottish Rite Hospital patient Patience Beard on the Amputee Ski Trip. Patience inspires her because she cheers and snowboards, all with her prosthetic leg. Miranda can’t wait to get back on the slopes at this year’s trip.

About the Annual Amputee Ski Trip

Miranda_BlogFebruary 2017 will mark the 36th anniversary of the annual Amputee Ski Trip, held each year at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colo. Fourteen teenage patients with limb differences receive practical recreational therapy, while also having the opportunity to grow, build confidence and bond with others similar to them.

For more information, visit scottishritehospital.org/amputee-ski-trip.