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Limb deficiency program

Limb deficiency program

Treating pediatric limb deficiencies is a highly specialized area of health care. At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, we believe in collaborating with families to build individualized treatment plans tailored to each child’s individual needs. We take into consideration the child’s age, the severity of the difference or location of amputation, and the child’s ability to participate in the treatment plan. Our primary goal is to assist children and adolescents in achieving optimal independence while at home, school and play.

Children with limb deficiencies may require a wide range of services to meet their physical and psychological needs. To meet these needs, the interdisciplinary limb deficiency program at the Greenville Shriners Hospital was founded more than 50 years ago. One thing that remains constant is our dedication to helping our patients remain positive and optimistic about their future accomplishments and quality of life. Our orthopaedic specialists work side-by-side with physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers to provide wraparound care that’s designed to help children with limb deficiencies feel confident and empowered.

Types of limb deficiencies we treat

Congenital limb deficiencies
A congenital limb deficiency is present at birth, and may be the consequence of a birth defect. The majority of these conditions will not be passed on to subsequent generations. However, a few of these conditions are hereditary, and families typically have concerns about the cause and the possible transmission of limb deficiency conditions.

Acquired limb deficiencies
An acquired limb deficiency means the limb or part of the limb was removed after a traumatic injury or as treatment for other conditions, like cancer. Acquired limb deficiencies may be the consequence of an injury in utero (such as early amnion rupture sequence), trauma (such as a lawn mower accident, or a serious burn), infection (such as meningiococcemia), or of bone cancer (such as Ewings sarcoma).

Treatment options

  • Surgery (epiphysiodesis, femoral shortening, limb lengthening and reconstruction)
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Prosthetics

Why choose us?

Pediatric and adolescent limb deficiency experience and expertise

  • Founded more than 50 years ago, the limb deficiency program at the Greenville Shriners Hospital meets weekly, and sees approximately 25 to 30 children at each session.
  • Dr. David Westberry, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with long-standing interest in the management of children with limb deficiencies, has led the clinic since 2006.
  • Innovative surgical and prosthetic treatment approaches developed in this program have resulted in multiple publications in scientific literature.

Patient-centered interdisciplinary team

  • Pediatric orthopaedic surgeon
  • Motion analysis kinesiologists and bioengineers
  • Physician assistant
  • Occupational therapist (for those with an upper extremity deficiency)
  • Physical therapist (for those with a lower extremity deficiency)
  • Prosthetist
  • Prosthetic technician
  • Geneticist (for those with congenital limb deficiency)
  • Care coordinator

Innovative technologies and advanced treatments

  • Physical therapy: This provides children with the opportunity to learn how to increase their abilities and move toward mobility that’s as independent and comfortable as possible.
  • Occupational therapy: Therapists work alongside children with limb deficiencies to help strengthen their fine motor skills, improve confidence and foster independent functioning.
  • Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) – Southeast, LLC: State-of-the-art POPS department champion an interdisciplinary team approach to treating children with amputations or limb deficiencies. Patients are given comprehensive evaluations by a physician, a prosthetist/orthotist, an occupational or physical therapist and a social worker. The POPS team works with the patient and family to build a treatment plan, consulting with orthopaedic surgeons regarding surgical options, as needed.
  • Motion analysis center: Clinical motion analysis is used to help understand acquired or congenital disorders, or complex neuromuscular conditions that affect gait.
  • Genetic counseling: Our hospital works with internationally recognized Greenwood Genetics Center to offer comprehensive genetic counseling to all families of children with congenital limb deficiencies.

Unparalleled specialty care that addresses the unique physical and psychological needs of every child

  • The clinic’s format favors open, frank discussion of the issues faced by the child with a limb deficiency, which can be most helpful to parents faced with an unusual medical condition who must make difficult treatment choices for their child.
  • Meet other children and families with similar conditions at the clinic, providing the opportunity for support from others with relatable journeys.

Outcomes excellence

Surgical outcomes*

  • Surgical site infection rating: 0.15%
  • Average length of stay: 2.7 days
  • Unplanned re-admissions: 2.5%

Patient and Family Experience
Recipient of the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for Patient Experience in 2017, 2016 and 2014. This award is given to hospitals scoring at or above the 95th percentile as compared to other hospitals nationwide for a one-year period.

In 2018 for Overall Patient and Family Experience Satisfaction, we ranked in the 93rd percentile, 98th percentile, and 99th percentile, respectively, for Ambulatory Surgery, Inpatient Services and Outpatient Services respectively among pediatric service peers.

*Source: 2018 Quality Data