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Gillette Children’s Makes its Presence Known at POSNA Conference

Gillette physicians and researchers at the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America (POSNA) Conference.

Gillette physicians, advanced practice providers, and researchers at the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America (POSNA) Conference in Nashville, TN.

More than a dozen Gillette physicians, advanced practice providers, and researchers are at the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America (POSNA) Conference in Nashville this week. The goal is to gather with hundreds of other experts in the field to share our research, learning and expertise in pediatric orthopedics to bring back the latest and best research findings to help our patients achieve their best outcomes. More than 170 presentations are being given during the conference. 

Gillette is undeterred in finding innovative solutions for bone and movement conditions and focused on some of the toughest challenges in pediatric healthcare. Our teams bring all their knowledge to create new possibilities for children with bone and movement conditions, which is why it’s important to attend and learn at events such as POSNA. 

Here are a few highlights from Gillette experts during the first day of the conference: 

Tom Novacheck, MD 

Dr. Novacheck, an orthopedic surgeon, Chair of the Cerebral Palsy Institute and Medical Director of Integrated Care Services, moderated a more than three-hour committee with lots of research findings on neuromuscular orthopedics that ran the gamut. 

The session was a mixture of scientific presentations and discussions on the pathophysiology of cerebral palsy. A variety of topics were covered by experts in the field associated with spastic cerebral palsy as well as the effects of neurotoxins.

Besides fielding questions from the audience of nearly 100 people and facilitating the panel of speakers, Dr. Novacheck gave an introduction on muscle function and hypertonia in cerebral palsy.  

Mark Gormley, MD 

Dr. Gormley, Medical Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, participated in a debate on the efficacy of botox (Botulinum Toxin), a treatment for muscle spasticity — overly tight muscles caused by disrupted communication among the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. 

Injected spasticity medication blocks messages sent from nerves to the muscles that tell the muscles to contract. The physical medicine and rehabilitation physician said that spasticity is reduced when these messages are blocked, increasing comfort and improving function.  

Mark Dahl, MD 

Dr. Dahl was a speaker during a committee focused on lower extremity care. The discussion covered the relevance of knee height asymmetry, evaluation of an injured physis using functional MRI and the use of extramedullary internal lengthening techniques in children. 

The limb lengthening and deformity expert discussed the benefits of guided growth plates to prevent fracture in congenital tibial dysplasia. The talk was based off Gillette research in a paper published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2020. Further follow up to the research indicates that minimally invasive surgery is more successful than a major operation, Dr. Dahl says.  

Jennifer Laine, MD 

Dr. Laine, Medical Director of Research, was an invited speaker during a POSNA trauma session designed to share excellence in care to pediatric trauma patients. It focused on the outcomes of specific fractures and the processes implemented to achieve outstanding results. Scientific presentations allowed an interactive discussion about the latest findings in trauma care, with an emphasis on value and efficient care for patients and families.  

Dr. Laine, an orthopedic surgeon, spoke about outpatient management of ankle fractures. Among the adolescent population who come through the emergency department, she said that outpatient surgery is a good option for most patients who suffer this injury. Citing research studies, she said outpatient surgery is less expensive, the time in the healthcare setting is shorter, and the outcomes are very similar compared to inpatient cases. However, a good plan of action is paramount before the patient is discharged. Follow-up and clear instructions for the patient and their family will help facilitate successful recovery. 

Andrew Georgiadis, MD 

Dr. Georgiadis and other Gillette researchers (including Laine; Walter Truong, MD, and Chantel Burkitt, Ph.D.) presented research on “Virtual Reality as an adjunct to pediatric cast removal: a randomized controlled trial.” 

Auditory and visual stimulus can cause anxiety and pain in children. So a team of Gillette researchers decided to explore using virtual reality during pediatric cast removal. In the study, researchers looked at children ages 4-12 years old who were getting a cast removed for the first time. A survey was administered, and patient heart rates were monitored continuously throughout the cast removal process. The randomized clinical trial found that pain was equivalent between VR and noise-cancelling headphones, but both parents and children reported decreased anxiety during the cast removal process. As a result, virtual reality is now an option that Gillette offers patients who are having a cast removed.