Pediatric Focus - Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

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News from Lurie Children's

March, 2013

Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

Lurie Children’s Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine cares for more than 30,000 children each year. We provide a range of services for children with bone, joint, muscle, ligament, tendon and nerve (musculoskeletal) disorders. The division is ranked 10th in the nation for pediatric orthopaedics by U.S.News & World Report and is one of the top pediatric orthopaedic programs in the country. The division is led by John Sarwark, MD, who has more than 25 years of experience in the field, and is board certified in orthopaedic surgery. The Division works with specialists in all pediatric areas to care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.

Concussion on the Rise

In 2011, Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, introduced new legislation mandating that all state school boards work with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) to develop clear guidelines to educate coaches, student athletes and their parents about the dangers and treatment of concussions and head injuries. The IHSA has approved a new policy regarding return to play guidelines after a student-athlete has been diagnosed with a concussion. While some children lose consciousness briefly at the time of injury, it is important to know that the majority of concussions do not involve any loss of consciousness. Read more symptoms and return to play guidelines.

Research: Ongoing Study to Help Shape Strategies to Prevent Overuse Injuries in Athletes

Sports-related injuries are a serious concern for physically active children and adolescents. Previous research, including research conducted by Lurie Children’s with Chicago Public High Schools, showed neuromuscular training (NMT) reduced sports-related injuries in female athletes by up to 88 percent. However, NMT is not well-studied in males or younger age groups. The Knee Injury Prevention Program (KIPP®) at Lurie Children’s is building on this initial research by implementing their own study on sports-related injuries and physical fitness among 5th-8th grade students in Chicago Public Schools. The study began
with the new school year in 2011 and recruited 5th-8th grade sports coaches and their athletes. Coaches and their groups were split into two groups, with one group implementing a 10-minute KIPP warm-up before practices and games. This ongoing study is led by Cynthia LaBella, MD, the Medical Director, Institute for Sports Medicine at Lurie Children’s and hopes that results of this study will help shape overuse prevention strategies in these young school-based children engaging in physical activity

Bone Health - a Multidisciplinary Approach

As one of only seven free-standing pediatric centers in the nation with a dedicated Bone Health Program, and the only pediatric bone health program in Illinois, our multidisciplinary team collaborates to develop the best, most comprehensive treatment plan for a patient. The team includes Craig Langman, MD, Head of Kidney Diseases, Joseph Janicki, MD, Attending Physician in Orthopaedic Surgery, Meghan Kostyk, APN, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Orthopaedic Surgery, a radiologist, and nutrition support. Bone health in children is important because bones grow throughout childhood, increasing not only in length but in density. In fact, bone mass normally increases by 50 percent in adolescence. Bone mass typically peaks between the ages of 16 to 25 years, levels off, and then goes through a gradual decline throughout adulthood. Children and adolescents who do not have optimal bone mass can develop juvenile osteoporosis, a potentially serious disease that results in an increased risk of fractures. Likewise, there is a greater risk for osteoporosis and fractures in adulthood. Read more about criteria to be a candidate for the program, our evaluation process and treatment protocol.

Brachial Plexus Palsy Benefits from Immediate Intervention

Treatment of brachial plexus palsy begins with diagnosis, usually by an obstetrician or pediatrician. At Lurie Children’s, evaluation is performed by a multidisciplinary team including Erik King, MD, Attending Physician, Orthopaedic Surgery, Shubhra Mukherjee, MD, Attending Physician, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Tord Alden, MD, Attending Physician, Neurosurgery, and Arthur DiPatri, MD, Attending Physician, Neurosurgery, along with radiology physicians and rehabilitation specialists. Most infants with brachial plexus palsy recover complete function spontaneously during the first few months of life. Unfortunately,
some children do not and are left with arm weakness. Treatment may include a regimen of stretching, botulin toxin injection to rebalance overactive muscles, splints and in some cases, surgery.

Ponseti Method for Clubfoot Treatment Boasts 95 Percent Success Rate

One in 1,000 babies each year is born with clubfoot. In this condition, the infant's foot is pointed down and to the inside. The causes of clubfoot are unknown, but it appears that abnormal muscles on the inside of the foot and lower leg tend to pull the foot in too tightly during fetal development. The condition has a tendency to run in families. One non-surgical and successful treatment for clubfoot is the Ponseti Method, which was developed by Igancio V. Ponseti, MD, over 50 years ago at the University of Iowa. This highly effective manipulative technique is practiced by Rebecca Carl, MD, a pediatric non-operative orthopaedic physician at Lurie Children’s. Read more about this treatment plan and its 95 percent success rate.


To make an appointment in the division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, please call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®)

AAOS Meeting

John Sarwark, MD, Co-Chairs Annual AAOS Meeting

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) is meeting in Chicago March 19 - 23 where more than 30,000 members and affiliated healthcare professionals take advantage of exhibits and learning opportunities.

Annual Report

Lurie Children’s.
Building - for Kids.

Lurie Children's online annual report takes a look back at the most momentous year in our history, including the opening of our new hospital and highlights in patient care, medical milestones, key recruitments and more. Through interactive highlights and video, the online report illustrates how our new facility has furthered the hospital’s mission.

Lurie Children's Blogs

Life Inside Lurie Children's

A unique look at the people, places and moments that happen inside the hospital.


Karen Sheehan, MD, a general pediatrician and a pediatric emergency medicine specialist, offers insights on injury prevention, safety and wellness.

Upcoming Webinars

Chest Wall Deformities in Children
Wednesday Apr. 17, at noon

Thromboembolism in Children
Thursday Apr. 25, 8 a.m.

An Update on Pertussis
(Archived webinar; original broadcast Jan. 8, 2013)

Evaluation & Management of Pediatric Hoarseness
(Archived webinar; original broadcast Jan. 23, 2013)

Using the New Screening Guidelines to Promote Cardiovascular Health
(Archived webinar; original broadcast Feb. 26, 2013)

Exercise Induced Dyspnea - Is it Asthma?
(Archived webinar; original broadcast Wed. Mar. 20, 2013)


Ranked in all 10 specialties by U.S.News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals
U.S.News & World Report ranks Lurie Children’s among the top ten children's hospitals nationwide.
Other Locations
Ann & Robert H. Lurie
Children’s Hospital of Chicago
225 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Outpatient Center in Lincoln Park

Lurie Children’s at Cadence Health

Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights

Outpatient Center in Glenview

Outpatient Center in Lake Forest

Outpatient Center in New Lenox

Outpatient Center in Westchester

Lurie Children’s Pediatrics - Uptown


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© 2013 Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

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