Stories about: Orthopedic Center

Breaking down the facts about fractures

Learn all about fractures in children.

Thousands of children, adolescents and young adults come through the doors of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Orthopedic Center every year with the same diagnosis – fracture. Whether on the wrist or the ankle or anywhere in between, a fracture can be painful and restricting to an active child or teen.

What is a fracture?

A fracture is a bone that is partially or completely broken. There are two types of fractures:

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Experiencing how spinal fusion treats scoliosis before surgery day

Scoliosis patients and families look on as a nurse presents inside a simulation hospital room
The Spinal Program at Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center has partnered with the Simulator Program to offer a unique simulation experience to patients who will undergo surgical treatment for scoliosis, a procedure called spinal fusion, this summer.

“In my experience, patients do better when they are well prepared for surgery,” says Dr. Michael Glotzbecker, a pediatric spine specialist and surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, who performs dozens of spinal fusion surgeries each year to treat children with scoliosis.

That’s why Glotzbecker teamed up with Brianna O’Connell, a child life specialist and program lead of simulation programs for patients and caregivers at the Boston Children’s SIMPeds Simulator Program, to create an immersive day for patients and their families to experience spinal fusion well ahead of surgery day.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Superheros, specialists and sidekicks

service dogSporting a Superman sock on her left foot and Batman on her right, Bella Burton, a 12-year-old from Woburn, Massachusetts, listens intently to her orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Karlin. Lots of people mix up their socks, he tells her. “You should really stand out from the crowd. Wear unmatched shoes.”

She chuckles and pretends to ponder his advice. Ultimately, Bella decides against Karlin’s fashion tips.

The exchange is typical of Bella and Karlin, says her mother Rachel.

The pair first met in 2007 at the Boston Children’s Hospital Orthopedic Center when Bella was just a toddler. Genetic experts suspected Bella had Morquio syndrome, a rare birth defect whose symptoms include abnormal bone and spine development and possible heart and vision problems.

As Bella underwent genetic testing, Rachel and her husband Ed faced a flutter of uncertainty. “We were so new to Boston Children’s, and Bella’s diagnosis wasn’t confirmed.”

Genetic testing confirmed Bella did have Morquio, which meant she needed a slew of additional specialists — in clinical genetics, pulmonology, cardiology, neurology and more.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

All in the family: Returning to the dance floor

osteochondritis dissecansKristina Peitzch jokes that with four daughters her family keeps the local dance school in business.

It started with Jessica, now 13.

Jessica fell in love with ballet when she was 3. A few years later, Danielle followed, then Madison and finally Abigail. Going to the studio on a nearly daily basis is a family affair.

But when Jessica was 9, she started experiencing mysterious ankle pain. Dancing felt a little less enjoyable.

“It was random at first and seemed to happen more with activities like gym class or ballet,” says Kristina. The pain would disappear for a few weeks, so Kristina attributed it to growing pains.

Over time, Jessica’s ankle pain became more frequent, and she would complain about it several times a week.

Kristina mentioned it to her daughter’s pediatrician, who ordered an x-ray of her ankle. It didn’t show an injury or fracture, so Kristina continued to treat Jessica’s ankle pain with an occasional Advil.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment