Author: Connor Ertz

The PAO buddy system: Healing through connection

Leigh Lozano and Alyse Scanlon PAO patients Thriving lead image

For people with significant orthopedic hip conditions such as hip dysplasia, a periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is a major surgery that can reduce or eliminate pain, while also increasing hip function. However, the post-op recovery and rehabilitation process can be long and sometimes painful.

“Recovery is an up and down process,” says Ariana Moccia, a nurse practitioner who works closely with patients in the Child and Young Adult Hip Preservation Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s important for patients to be able to share their frustrations and successes with somebody who really understands.” That’s why Ariana and orthopedic hip preservation surgeon Dr. Eduardo Novais have been working to connect prospective PAO patients with others who have already gone through the surgery.

Three of the patients who helped initiate the PAO “buddy system” at Boston Children’s share their experiences.

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Helping your child manage scoliosis and brace-wearing

Managing scoliosis Thriving blog lead image

For children and adolescents who are prescribed a brace to help correct their idiopathic scoliosis, it can be a long road to straightening their curve. Bracing takes commitment and patience, but the end goal is to correct a patient’s curved spine and avoid surgical treatment.

Dr. Michael Glotzbecker, an orthopedic surgeon in the Spinal Program at Boston Children’s Hospital Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center, and Deborah Cranford, a nurse at Boston Children’s who works closely with scoliosis patients, provide insights and tips on how parents can help their children better manage their scoliosis treatment.

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‘There’s always something that can be done’: Finding hope for Caden

lead image Caden Grimm Thriving

“I want the best quality of life for my son — what any parent would want for their child,” says Michelle, mom to 12-year old Caden.

Caden has spent almost half his life struggling to keep up with his peers after a lawnmower accident badly injured his leg at the age of six. The injury disrupted his growth plate, and was having a significant effect on his growing limb, leading him to have knock-kneed alignment in his right leg. The condition was keeping him from fully experiencing the activities a boy his age normally enjoys; from playing baseball and basketball to walking the amusement park with his family.

A growth plate is the area of growing tissue at each end of the long bones in children (such as the femur, tibia and humerus). These plates are where the bone gets longer as one grows.

“It bothered his dad and I, to see him unable to keep up — and it really bothered him,” Michelle, recalls. “One day, Caden came to me and said, ‘Mom, can you help me?’ and I told him, ‘I will do everything in my power to help you.’”

That’s when Michelle began doing research, spending over a month trying to find the best orthopedic surgeon in the country to help correct Caden’s growing leg.

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Study: Children with upper limb differences have better emotional health

Upper limb differences ans psychosocial health

Children born with upper limb differences face unique challenges in life. Conditions can range from failure of fingers to separate to complete or partial absence of a limb, which may make it difficult to perform certain tasks as easily as their peers. Often, parents of children with limb differences worry about how these physical challenges will affect the emotional development of their child. However, recent research from Boston Children’s Hospital has found that children with congenital hand differences have excellent emotional health.

A recent study led by Dr. Donald S. Bae, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the Hand and Upper Extremity Program at Boston Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center, found that while children with upper limb differences exhibit decreased upper limb function, some form better peer relationships and have more positive emotional states compared to population norms.

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