Tag Archives: TSRHC

Happy Campers – Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Camp

For most kids, summer camp is a time to play games, do arts and crafts and have water balloon fights with friends. The same is true for the kids who attend Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) camp at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; but all the fun and games serve a special purpose for very special campers. CIMT camp is a two-week camp for children with Cerebral Palsy. The campers wear a brace on their dominant side in order to force their non-dominant side to do more work. Allowing them to build up strength and stability. They are able to participate in all the fun, traditional aspects of summer camp, all while exercising and conditioning their non-dominant side to be more active.

Dr. Delgado started this camp in 2011 in order for his patients to have a beneficial summer camp experience. Over the years, the camp has tripled in size and referred patients come from all over Texas to participate in this free program.

A special aspect of CIMT camp is the camper’s personal transformations. At the beginning of the two weeks, campers set goals for themselves. These goals range from being able to complete everyday tasks like tying shoes or shooting a basketball to more challenging goals like doing a handstand. At the end of camp, family members, therapists and camp volunteers are invited to watch the campers put on a talent show to demonstrate their new abilities.

By using summer camp as a playful way to build strength and confidence, the campers at CIMT camp are able to go home with new friends, fond memories and most importantly, a stronger self.

For more information on this camp, please contact Linsley.Smith@tsrh.org.

Learning to Fly – the Alex Milner Story

10497454_10152638375847028_4905323787638588013_oAt age 4, TSRHC patient Alexander was adopted from Romania, where he contracted polio that paralyzed his left leg. Shortly after arriving to his new home in the United States, his adoptive parents brought him to TSRHC for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Thanks in part to the hospital that was founded in 1921 to treat children with polio, this state-champion gymnast has not allowed his paralysis to keep him out of the game or the winner’s circle.

See how Alex has learned to overcome the odds and soar so high, some might even say he’s flying, in Learning to Fly – the Alex Milner Story.

Injury Prevention for Young Gymnasts – A Balancing Act

As a level 9 gymnast at Zenith Elite Gymnastics in McKinney, Addie knows well that an intense training schedule can lead to overuse or more serious injuries. Her sports medicine doctor is Henry Ellis, M.D. and he tells us these problems need to be addressed by specialists who know the pressures of gymnastics.

Addie, age 13

Addie, age 13

“All injuries need to be treated appropriately to prevent more serious injuries that will keep a gymnast from competing,” Dr. Ellis says.

Dr. Ellis and Lorenzo Vite, physical therapist, agree that many injuries may be prevented with a team approach, including a sports medicine specialist, a physical therapist, the parents and the coach. They have worked side-by-side with Addie’s parents to respond to her signs and symptoms proactively.

After years of training gymnasts, like Addie, Lorenzo can guide her and other gymnasts through comprehensive recommendations that go beyond treating an injury. He suggests an in-season strength program, which he believes will reduce the chance of injury, maintain and improve performance.

Here are some myths about strength training in gymnasts:

  • Strength training leads to muscle shortening and stiffness
  • Strength training always causes weight gain
  • All strength training programs look alike

These are simply not true. With a proper analysis of muscle development, joint limitations, and posture, a physical therapist can identify exercises for each gymnast. Working with a gymnastics coach, the physical therapist can design an individualized program to create balance without traditional muscle bulking.

A good program, occurring twice a week for 45-60 minutes should include these components:

  • Stretching and other soft tissue mobility exercises
  • Specific exercises to activate core muscles
  • Dynamic warm-up
  • Strength training circuit using body weight for resistance
  • Overall core emphasis

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

ACL Reconstruction for Very Young Athletes – TSRHC Sports Medicine

At one time, orthopedic surgeons believed that waiting for surgery until an athlete was fully-grown was ideal for kids who had torn their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Henry Ellis, M.D. and Philip Wilson, M.D. have extensively studied the effects of waiting to reconstruct a torn ACL. They have found it’s not always best for some patients. Without a healthy ACL, one of the primary stabilizers for the knee, other tissues inside the joint are at risk for damage.

footballTo determine the right course of care for a very young athlete, our first step is to estimate the number of years of growth left in the knee joint. We do this by looking at the growth plates in an x-ray of the hand to determine the patient’s “bone age.” Only with the “bone age” can, the best treatment plan can be put in place for optimal outcomes.

Scott, now 13 years old, had his ACL reconstructed by Dr. Ellis, a TSRHC pediatric orthopedic surgeon, when he was 10. In athletes like him, with several years left to grow, the surgeon must carefully protect the growth plates. This way, the knee is stabilized, but the legs can continue to grow normally. If adult procedures are incorrectly used on young knees, the legs may end up different lengths or the injured leg may become bowed.

Now, Scott is back in action on the football field with no complaints and no concerns.  Good luck to Scott and the Bulldogs!

To learn more about growth plates, check out Dr. Ellis’ comments in an earlier post, “Have you ever thought about how bones grow?”

For information about pediatric sports medicine and surgical options, please visit our website at scottishrite.org/sports.

Triathlons for young athletes: Three times the fun – TSRHC Sports Medicine

Did you know that triathlons were “born” in the United States in the 1970’s? This relatively new phenomenon in sports has evolved to attract younger and younger athletes over the years.

UntitledThirteen year-old Caitlin, a prior patient of Shane Miller, M.D. and multi-sport athlete, is gearing up for her third triathlon. She certainly won’t be the youngest at the upcoming North Texas Kids Triathlon in Arlington. The event will include athletes as young as five years old.

With athletes this young competing, it’s good to know the medical team of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children sports medicine experts, led by Dr. Miller, have already begun discussing race-day logistics and confirming safety plans for young athletes, like Caitlin.

Next to safety for the athletes, Dr. Miller says the top priority for kids participating in distance events, like The North Texas Kids Triathlon, is for them to have fun. Caitlin tells us, this event meets the mark. From the pre-event pep rally to the post event celebration, there is no shortage of fun. The September 20th event co-presented by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Sports Medicine and Academy Sports is sure to be a great day.

Good luck to all the young triathletes!

If your young athlete is interested in participating, find more information and register here.

For information about TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, please visit our website at scottishritehospital.org/sports.

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Celebrating the Gift of Gratitude – TSRHC Celebrates 20 Years of Treasure Street

TSRHC’s signature event was started 20 years ago by a family with one goal – giving back.

On a crisp spring evening in 1996, Dallas residents Dee and Dodge Carter gathered close friends and family around their dining table with a mission in mind. They were exploring ways to give back to TSRHC’s Tuberous Sclerosis Complex clinic, where their daughter, Nicole, was being treated. That intimate brainstorming session led to a small gathering at the hospital later that year, where guests donated a “treasure” to be auctioned on behalf 
of the clinic. Treasure Street was formed and would ultimately become the hospital’s signature fundraising event, benefiting all TSRHC patients. This year hospital friends, patients and staff celebrate the event’s 20th anniversary and perhaps the greatest treasure of all — the gift of gratitude.

October 23, 1993, a date Dee can rattle off like her phone number. It was the day 11-month-old Nicole was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic disorder that causes noncancerous (benign) tumors to form in the vital organs of the body, primarily the brain, heart, kidney, skin and lungs.

“We were at Children’s Medical Center when the doctor gave us the diagnosis,” Dee recalls. “He let us process it a little bit and then told us about the TSC clinic at Scottish Rite and said, ‘You need to get her over there.’ ”

The first Treasure Street was held in 1996 and this group has been there from the beginning. L to R: TSRHC President/CEO Robert L. Walker and his wife, Pat; Dee and Dodge Carter; TSRHC Trustee Harold Carter and his wife, Bitsy; Margaret and Syd Carter; Lark Montgomery and her husband, TSRHC President Emeritus and Foundation Executive Chairman J. C. Montgomery, Jr.

Mauricio Delgado, M.D., TSRHC director of Neurology, founded the hospital’s TSC clinic in 1990, along with former Children’s and TSRHC neurologist E. Steve Roach, M.D. Although pediatric orthopedics is the specialty, TSRHC treats certain related neurological disorders. The hospital’s TSC clinic was one of the first clinics of its kind in the country and has served as a national model for those that followed.

“The complexity of this disorder led us to organize 
a dedicated TSC clinic where we could gather relevant clinical information through a standardized approach,” explains Delgado, who became Nicole’s physician.

The clinic played a key role in creating a national database of TSC patients, which is overseen by a national organization called the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

The hospital’s TSC clinic also conducted a landmark study with the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, which isolated two causative genes associated with the condition.

“The financial support from Treasure Street played a critical role in our genetic testing,” says Steven Sparagana, M.D., who joined TSRHC in 1994 and became director of the TSC clinic in 2001. “Now we know the mechanism by which the disease occurs.”

In TSC, that mechanism is a mutation, or change, in one of two genes, TSC1 or TSC2. When either of these genes carries a mutation, it is unable to inform the body how to grow correctly, which affects proper development and function in children with TSC.

“This condition is complex and it exhibits differently in every patient,” Sparagana explains. “An accurate diagnosis is key and from there, finding a cure remains our ultimate goal.”

“There’s so much that we’ve come to know about the disease, but there’s still so much that is unknown,” Dodge explains. “There’s a huge level of comfort in knowing that you’re with the experts at Scottish Rite, because it’s not just the patients the hospital cares for, it’s the families as well.”

Funds from Treasure Street continue to meet the needs of the TSC clinic, in addition to supporting the hospital as a whole. Twenty years, thousands of guests and $11 million in gross proceeds later, the event has exceeded 
all expectations.

“We never dreamed it would come this far,” Dee says. “We’re so grateful for the generosity of the community and our friends. The success of the event speaks to them, and to the hospital. It’s touched so many lives.”

The Carters explain that Treasure Street is a celebration of the hospital and those who support it, like Dee and Dodge’s parents.

“They’ve been with us from the beginning,” Dee says. Her mother, Bitsy, and father, Harold, a TSRHC trustee, are active on the Treasure Street board, as are Dodge’s parents, Margaret and Syd. Dee and Dodge are also grateful for the involvement of friends like longtime event board members Kammy and Andy Fleck.

“Part of the joy now is that we have a host committee that is comprised of our kids,” Dodge says. “So, the families involved in this event have gone full circle and now we’re establishing a foundation for the future.”

“It’s the little things we’re grateful for, too,” Dee says. “Nicole has never been afraid to go to Scottish Rite and that means so much, to bring your child to a place where they aren’t afraid to be.”

It’s that gratitude for the small things that has culminated in big things, like celebrating the 20th anniversary of Treasure Street this fall on Thursday, Oct. 15. There will be fabulous food, live music and, of course, treasures to bid on at both silent and live auctions. But as the Carters know firsthand, there are some treasures upon which you cannot put a price.

“What can you do for an institution like Scottish 
Rite that does everything it can to help your child?” Dodge asks. “You can’t repay that. But our goal from the beginning has been to tell people about the hospital and it’s a story we feel blessed to tell.”

**This article was featured as the cover story of our Rite Up magazine.

Waiting until August to prepare for fall football in Texas is a mistake for young athletes – TSRHC Sports Medicine

Dr. Shane Miller, TSRHC sports medicine pediatrician, warns parents about the serious risks of returning to Texas football poorly prepared.

football“Though heat illness prevention practices have greatly improved in Texas schools, I worry about the kids that sit on the couch all summer playing video games in the air-conditioning. They show up to pre-season training out of shape and poorly prepared for the heat,” he says.

To manage heat from the environment and from activities, the body must be in balance. Most athletes need guidance from adults to make good choices throughout the year, especially in the summer.

Tips for parents and coaches who want to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses in young athletes in all sports:

  • Encourage healthy sleep habits
  • Keep healthy food options in the house
  • Limit consumption of caffeinated and sugary beverages
  • Encourage drinking water throughout the day
  • Encourage physical activity throughout the summer
  • Encourage acclimating to the heat BEFORE training begins
  • Notify athletic trainers of fever or changes in medical history

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 10.45.16 AMAdditionally, coaches can help reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses with these tips:

  • Encourage frequent and adequate rest and water breaks, every 15 – 30 minutes
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat illness
  • Insist on proper conditioning, it takes 10-14 days to adapt to heat
  • Avoid practice from 12:00 – 4:00 pm when the Texas sun is most intense
  • Follow league guidelines for practice schedules
  • Respond to temperature and humidity warnings

To learn more about proper hydration for young athletes, see our PDF. For information about TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, please visit our website at scottishritehospital.org/sports.



Is water enough for your young athlete today? – TSRHC Sports Medicine

Water is the “go-to” drink to keep young and growing athletes hydrated for optimal performance. However, sometimes water just isn’t enough to replace electrolytes lost through sweating.

If your young athlete answers yes to any of these questions, he or she may need more than water:

  • Are you going to be playing in a high–intensity activity, lasting longer than an hour?
  • Do you feel salt on your skin after activity?
  • Do you see salt on your clothes after activity?
  • Are you going to be participating in back–to–back events or tournaments?
  • Are you going to be playing in hot or humid conditions, either indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you have a hard time drinking extra fluids on practice and game days?

UntitledAll of these are reasons to supplement a water hydration plan with sports drinks or salty snacks. Incorporating these throughout the day ensures optimal safety, health and performance during each practice and game.

The sodium in these items helps to keep water in the body, replaces lost electrolytes and also stimulates thirst. Thirst encourages the athlete to drink more fluids than he or she may do naturally.

Here are some suggestions to have on hand:

  • Sports drinks
  • Broth-based soups
  • Vegetable or tomato juice
  • Pretzels or salty crackers
  • Pickles
  • String cheese
  • Yogurt

Talk with your young athlete about when to reach for these salty snacks; enjoying them too often can lead to other problems. Your child’s pediatrician or sports dietitian can help design a nutrition plan that’s right for your young athlete.

To learn more about the best ways to hydrate, take a look at our PDF on hydration for young athletes.

For information about TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, please visit our website at tsrhc.org/sports.

Stop Overuse Injuries Before They Stop You – TSRHC Sports Medicine

UntitledThere are two types of injuries. Acute injuries, which occur suddenly and typically with a single event; and overuse injuries, which are caused by a gradual wearing down over a period of time. With overuse injuries, body tissues become inflamed with repetitive stresses caused by actions like running, jumping and throwing. In some cases, these actions/stresses cause permanent changes and damage. The stress may come from forceful impact with the ground, stretching of sensitive tissues in growing bones or overstretching of soft tissues around the joints. To protect the tissues, resting from the stressful activity is a must, and sometimes other treatment is required. Philip Wilson, M.D. says, “With the right action plan, overuse injuries and long-term complications can be avoided.”

Tips for all young athletes to prevent overuse injuries

  • Focus on proper form. Seek advice from experts to learn proper form. More importantly, stop practicing when fatigue leads to changes in form.
  • Recognize warning signs of overuse injury: pain, swelling and poor form. When these things happen, immediately take a break.
  • Keep a balanced training schedule. Each week, save a day or two for rest. Or switch to different activities that emphasize different body parts and training intensity levels.
  • Participate in more than one sport. Changing movements and training patterns helps to reduce the risk of injury as well as assist with overall athletic development.
  • Know your sport and the risks associated with it. Sports like baseball, volleyball and running are more likely to cause overuse injuries than contact and cutting sports like football, soccer and lacrosse (acute injuries are more common with these).

For information about TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, please visit our website at tsrhc.org/sports.

TSRHC Patient Autumn-Rose Encourages Others to Dream Big

After years of hip pain, Autumn-Rose and her mom knew something wasn’t quite right. Through her years of running track at Coronado High School, Autumn-Rose had experienced pain so intense in her hip that sometimes she couldn’t even walk. Doctor after doctor, every answer was different and no one seemed to be able to resolve the issue. Finally, a Lubbock orthopedist diagnosed Autumn-Rose with hip dysplasia and referred her to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children where Chief of Staff Dr. Daniel Sucato performed surgery in January 2012.

ARDream Big

Autumn-Rose did not let this obstacle hold her back. After surgery, she quickly returned to the activities that she loves, like running track, cheering for both her school and a competitive squad, and competing in beauty pageants. She was crowned Miss Limestone County Outstanding Teen and won the Miss South Texas Outstanding Teen pageant.

Autumn-Rose chose to make the most of her days in the spotlight at beauty pageants by empowering other young people. She used her platform, “Dream Big: Overcoming Medical Hardships,” to talk about her experience with hip dysplasia and encourage others to dream big and live fearlessly.

_WAT1972Looking Ahead

Autumn-Rose will attend Sam Houston State University in Huntsville this fall, majoring in forensic chemistry. She has made the cheer squad and will cheer for the Sam Houston Bearkats at their football and basketball games. This summer she took time off from Miss Texas to be a counselor at Ceta Canyon Christian Church Camp.