Tag Archives: pediatric orthopedics

A World of Expertise, Locally Grown

By Manny Mendoza

When TSRHC hosted the World Hand Symposium, orthopedic physicians from
 19 countries flocked to the hospital to learn about the latest treatments for upper limb disorders. Why Scottish Rite Hospital?

It’s home to two of the world’s preeminent pediatric hand surgeons, consistently ranks as one of the top pediatric orthopedic facilities in America and is renowned for its groundbreaking research.

flowerSuch locally grown leadership from the TSRHC medical staff plants seeds that encourage ideas and innovations to bloom across the globe, cultivating a brighter future for children with orthopedic conditions in the United States and abroad.

In addition to traveling from overseas to attend medical conferences put on by the hospital, doctors come to TSRHC
 to train with its superior medical team. Last year alone, physicians came from 39 countries. They also wrangle for spots in the world-class fellowship programs at TSRHC, taking some of the hospital’s expertise back home with them. They come here because Scottish Rite Hospital’s commitment to the highest standards has put it on the world stage of pediatric orthopedic care.

And the world has taken notice. In addition to international representatives from the medical community, more than 300 current patients from nearly 60 countries travel to TSRHC to benefit from the hospital’s expert treatment. “We are a destination,” says Chief of Staff Daniel J. Sucato, M.D., M.S. “We help set the standard.”

Sucato’s predecessor, now Chief of Staff Emeritus John A. “Tony” Herring, got the international ball rolling in the 1980s when he began visiting countries such as China and Russia, teaching their doctors the Scottish Rite way and treating their patients with TSRHC’s superior know-how. Last year alone, TSRHC physicians and researchers lectured in 15 countries in addition to training medical personnel across the U.S.

The hospital’s training of domestic and foreign physicians results in better care of children with orthopedic conditions around the world, while also spreading TSRHC’s philosophy of providing superior treatment to children regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

How sought after is the hospital’s expertise? More than 160 physicians, or more than 10 percent of the pediatric orthopedic surgeons in North America, completed their advanced instruction in TSRHC fellowship programs. Internationally, Scottish Rite Hospital fellows have come from 21 countries, representing every continent but Antarctica, with many going on to assume leadership roles at medical institutions in their home countries.

The reach of TSRHC’s research team is equally broad. As a major medical research center, the hospital directs international studies such as leading the International Perthes Study Groupa team of physicians from the U.S. and eight other countries who came together to discover new approaches to Perthes disease, a hip disorder.

In addition, the hospital develops innovative treatments that lead to better outcomes for children with pediatric orthopedic disorders. For example, when the TSRH Spinal System for correcting spinal deformities was introduced, it was the most widely used treatment of its kind internationally. The hospital has also established itself as a global leader in limb lengthening and reconstruction, building on the work of Russian physician Gavril A. Ilizarov. Improving on his original frame, TSRHC orthopedists and researchers have created a series of patented limb-lengthening devices recognized around the world.

The impact of Scottish Rite Hospital’s leadership on the direction of pediatric orthopedics is evident through the high-ranking positions TSRHC physicians hold in esteemed medical associations. Chief Medical Officer
 B. Stephens Richards, M.D., recently led the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). In addition, Richards and Herring are former presidents 
of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), whose archive is housed at TSRHC. Assistant Chief of Staff Lori A. Karol, M.D., is president-elect of POSNA. She will become the first woman to assume the role of president at POSNA’s annual meeting in May.

With its international influence and dedication to education and collaboration, TSRHC has blossomed from its Texas roots into one of the most respected pediatric orthopedic institutions in the world. In that thriving spirit, TSRHC is constantly growing, evolving and reaching skyward, so that children – no matter where they are – can, too.

**This article was feature as the cover story of our Rite Up Magazine – 2015, Issue 1. View an e-mag version for more stories from this issue.

Assistant Chief of Staff Dr. Lori A. Karol Becomes First Woman to Lead POSNA

Dr. Lori KarolDr. Lori A. Karol, assistant chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) and professor of orthopedic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, will become the first woman president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) on Friday at the organization’s annual meeting in Atlanta.

Dr. Karol is a staff orthopedic surgeon at TSRHC and medical director of Performance Improvement and the Movement Science Laboratory at the hospital. In 2011, she won the Arthur Huene Memorial Award from POSNA for published research on clubfoot. She has been the group’s president-elect for 2014-15 and takes over the presidency from Dr. Gregory A. Mencia, director of pediatric orthopedics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Karol earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan and completed her fellowship in pediatric orthopedics and scoliosis at TSRHC in 1991. She joined the hospital in 1994. Dr. Karol is the third TSRHC surgeon to lead POSNA. Dr. J.A. “Tony” Herring, chief of staff emeritus, and Dr. B. Stephens “Steve” Richards, chief medical officer, are past presidents.

“I am immensely honored to be selected to serve as president of POSNA this year, and even more so to serve as the first woman president of our organization,” Dr. Karol said. “When I trained as an orthopedic surgeon, I was the only woman in my program for many years. Now, 40 percent of our newest members are female. POSNA has always been very open and accepting of diversity in its members. I hope my election as president will help open up leadership positions to the young women physicians who are now training in residency programs or are newly in practice. As the mother of three daughters, I want them to have the opportunity to serve as leaders in their careers some day.”

“Dr. Karol is a world class surgeon who cares deeply about the children she treats,” said TSRHC Chief of Staff Dr. Daniel J. Sucato. “Her patient care, teaching and research have improved countless children’s lives and her leadership in the field of pediatric orthopedics is a great example for other physicians to follow. She will make a great POSNA president.”

Dr. Karol is one of almost a dozen TSRHC physicians making presentations at the POSNA annual meeting being held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta from Wednesday, April 29, to Saturday, May 2. With more than 1,200 members, POSNA is the preeminent organization for orthopedic surgeons who care for children in the United States and Canada. Its mission is to improve the lives of children through expert orthopedic care.

“We are very active in education of orthopedic surgeons, in advocacy for our pediatric orthopedic patients and in research to better the treatment outcomes for the children we care for,” Dr. Karol said.

Congratulations, Dr. Karol!

Patients Gear Up for 34th Annual Ski Trip 

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Amputee patients filled the Prosthetics and Orthotics department of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) Saturday morning in eager anticipation of the 34th annual TSRHC ski trip. 14 excited teenage amputees picked out brand new, top of the line St. Bernard Sports jackets for the upcoming trip to Winter Park Colorado. St. Bernard Sports generously donated the ski jackets to our amputees to keep as a warm memento of their ski adventure. American Airlines will fly the teens, along with medical staff and chaperones to The National Sports Center for the Disabled on Monday February 9th. American Airlines has been a proud sponsor of the TSRHC ski trip for the last 10 years.

Crayon Club to Host Educational Evening on Thursday, August 21

Join TSRHC’s Crayon Club for an inspirational Educational Evening on Thursday, August 21.

Enjoy a very special presentation from TSRHC Chief of Staff Daniel J. Sucato, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Daniel Sucato has been on staff at TSRHC since 1998. He serves as Director of the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research. He is a professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Sucato is internationally known for his expertise in pediatric orthopaedics and has delivered dozens of presentations worldwide.

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Location
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
2222 Welborn Street
Dallas, TX 75219

Time
6 p.m. – Reception and Hospital Tours
7 p.m. – Dinner and Program

Please RSVP by August 18 to specialevents@tsrh.org

Crayon Club was established to unite individuals dedicated to improving the lives of children. Together, through volunteerism, education and philanthropy, Crayon Club supports the mission of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. For more information about Crayon Club and upcoming events, visit www.tsrhc.org/crayon-club or follow our Facebook page.

 

Swinging Into Action: TSRHC’s Learn to Golf Program

Saturday, June 7, TSRHC held a Learn to Golf clinic in Denison, Texas. The Learn to Golf Program is a way for TSRHC patients to receive therapeutic treatment while also having fun learning to golf with other patients who share the same passion. Learn to Golf was launched in 1998 by the hospital’s therapeutic recreation department and was built upon the National Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing program.

_STU0009 copy“It’s to introduce our patients who have physical disabilities to the game of golf. So we go around the state and have ten clinics in different locations,” said TSRHC director of therapeutic recreation Dana Dempsey.

Taught by specially trained golf professionals, the patients with physical challenges rotate between three different groups and learn to hit long distances on the driving range, chip onto the green and putt on the green to make their best attempt to get the ball into the hole.

Playing golf has proved to be effective in the treatment for TSRHC patients.

“We’ve had a couple of [participants] report that they haven’t had to have surgery now that they’ve been practicing golf and being involved in golf. So it has both a therapeutic value and then that for just the socialization and fun, feeling good and being able to do something well,” said Dempsey.

After the patients swung through the event, lunch is served and awards are presented. During this time the Junior Golfers and their parents have the chance to get to know one another.

_STU0054 copyJunior Golfers receive specialized training from golf and allied health care professionals, a rules book and starter golf equipment. In addition, the hospital may assist patients in finding golf instructors in his or her area who provide further golf lessons and programs.

Watch a news clip from the recent Learn to Golf Clinic from Texoma’s KXII Local News Station.

The next golf clinic will be held June 14 in Lewisville at Lake Park Golf Course. For more information about Learn to Golf, please visit http://www.tsrhc.org/Learn-to-Golf.

West Texas A&M Students Help Design New Prosthetic

Young, energetic students at West Texas A&M are making great steps forward in both their chosen field of engineering and in helping their fellow Texans.  A group of four students spent a full semester working on a prosthetic hand designed for patients with Symbrachydactyly (a common hand and foot disorder).

The Idea

TSRHC collaborated with West Texas A&M engineering professor, Dr. Emily Hunt, with the idea of designing a new prosthetic hand.  Guided by Dr. Dwight Putnam of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the students took up the project eagerly and were aided through this special project by Dr. Hunt and her 10-year-old daughter Aly who has Symbrachydactyly.

The Design

TSRHC Pediatric Orthopedics

The base design came from a prosthetist from South Africa who posted the design online for any who wished to download for free.  From there, the students worked the design carefully, using common tools including bungee cords, fishing line, and a 3-D printer.  Aly tested drafts of the design and gave the students feedback, helping them understand the needs and preferences of the patients who will actually use the prosthetic.

The design functions through simple muscle movement.  When Aly bends her wrist, the fingers close, when she straightens it, the fingers open.  Aly said it is easy to use and finds it very helpful.  What is even more impressive is that the hand can be produced for a mere $15!

The Human Element

The West Texas A&M students who worked on the project said it was a truly unique and inspiring project.  Engineering students rarely get to work on something that has such a significant impact on actual people with specific needs.

Working with the hospital, Dr. Hunt, and Aly, added a human element that increased the value and importance of their work.  Receiving instant patient feedback and suggestions helped them identify problems, improve the design, and ultimately become more successful engineers.  It was an experience they aren’t likely to forget and their work is sure to bless the lives of thousands of patients to come.

Photo Credit: Sean Steffen – Amarillo Globe News

TSRHC Leads the Charge on Perthes Disease Research

While TSRHC is known across the globe for its excellence in pediatric orthopaedics, it is also recognized for groundbreaking research. The studies TSRHC staff participate in allow physicians worldwide to better understand various orthopaedic conditions.

One particular research study focuses on Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD), a condition that affects the femoral head or the “ball” part of the hip joint. In Perthes Disease, the blood supply to the femoral head is disrupted and all or part of the femoral head dies from the lack of blood flow.

A History of Research

Twenty years ago, Tony Herring, M.D., started a large, prospective multi-center study with the purpose of understanding the outcomes of pediatric patients with Perthes Disease. Participating institutions treated patients with five different methods: non-surgical treatment, which included bracing and physical therapy; surgical treatment, which included femoral or pelvic osteotomy; and observation. Herring and his colleagues published their findings in the 2004 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Herring, along with Dan Sucato, M.D., M.S., led the efforts to invite the patients from the study who were treated non-operatively back to TSRHC for a clinical, radiographic and functional evaluation.

“The results of this study gave us the unique opportunity to review the long-term outcomes of patients who were treated with non-operative intervention. We found that the majority of these patients complained of increasing pain and dysfunction. This was the first study to document these findings at 20-year follow-up,” said Sucato. These results were published last year in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Sucato was recently awarded the Angela Kuo Memorial Award, a $30,000 grant, from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) at the 2013 POSNA Annual Meeting. This grant will be used to fund the third part of this study, which will review the clinical, functional and radiographic outcomes of patients originally treated with surgery. At this time, 18 patients from across the nation have participated in the follow-up study.

Follow-up Study for the Future

One of these patients, Jaclyn Davidson, age 30, recently visited TSRHC for an evaluation with Sucato and Harry Kim, M.D., M.S. Davidson was originally treated with pelvic surgery when she was 7 years old.

“Having the opportunity to evaluate patients like Ms. Davidson after 20 years of follow-up allows us to keep learning about the long-term effects of treatment patterns for Perthes Disease. We are grateful for their time and efforts. The results of this data will help us improve treatments for our current patients with Perthes Disease,” Sucato noted.

As the study moves forward, TSRHC staff will continue to learn more about the condition and how to better treat patients who are affected by it.

To learn more about the disease and the multicenter study research for current patients with Perthes Disease happening at TSRHC, please visit: www.perthesdisease.org.