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news News Tuesday, October 31, 2017 Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:59 AM - Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:59 AM

Spine surgeons focus on collaboration and research for the benefit of patients

Shriners Hospitals for Children are known worldwide for providing high-quality spine care.  Maintaining this level of care requires a commitment to lifelong learning by our providers. Recently, 15 spine surgeons and physicians from the Shriners Hospitals for Children hospital system gathered at our Chicago hospital to share knowledge and discuss ways to improve care for early-onset scoliosis.

With 22 hospitals, many of which are leaders in management of pediatric spinal deformity, Shriners Hospitals for Children has a uniquely high volume of patients with early-onset scoliosis. Topics of the August 2017 event included nonoperative management of early onset scoliosis, including bracing and Mehta (EDF) casting, magnetic growing rods, spinal growth modulation, the impact of Vitamin D levels on scoliosis and scoliosis specific exercises. The surgeons also brought challenging cases for collective discussion and decision-making. The initial groundwork was laid for establishing a Shriners Hospitals for Children scoliosis research group to leverage the organization’s collective experience and case volume.

“This first Shriners Hospital spine surgeons meeting is exciting,” said Graham Fedorak, M.D., “not only because it brings together expertise from across the 22 hospital system, but it also establishes consensus on best practices to improve our outcomes locally.”  Dr. Fedorak   is equally excited about the opportunity to develop research collaborations with other hospitals, as research is an integral part of the three-fold mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children. This research leads to answering questions that are challenging for individual centers to address on their own. “The relative rarity of early-onset scoliosis in particular,” said Dr. Fedorak, “requires that all research be collaborative. Leveraging the experience across our system gives us a unique opportunity to answer challenging research questions, which will ultimately lead to better care of kids with spinal deformity.” The Shriners Hospital spine surgeons group has already begun two projects: an investigation into management of scoliosis in children with osteogenesis imperfecta led by the Portland Shriners Hospital, and an assessment of the impact of peri-operative anemia and blood management in outcomes for spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis led by the Salt Lake City team, Dr. Fedorak and Dr. John A. Heflin, M.D.

Spine surgeons meet in Salt Lake City

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