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Pediatric Orthopaedic Division Chief Report | Winter 2022

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Pediatric Orthopaedic Update | Winter 2022

By Michael Glotzbecker, MD

Despite another year of adapting our practices for COVID, care of children with musculoskeletal injuries has started to feel a bit normal. I am extremely proud of our group’s commitment to pediatric clinical care and research, which has continued (and grown!) even with all the challenges faced through the recent health crisis.

Michael Glotzbecker, MDMichael Glotzbecker, MD

As children returned to school and sports, we certainly saw an increase in orthopaedic injuries associated with these activities. At the same time, we realized the importance of access for families and pediatricians. With the initiation of same-day pediatric injury clinics, we now offer 5 day a week same-day or walk-in appointments for children who require pediatric orthopaedic care. The program has grown rapidly and will continue to expand as we develop sites in different geographic areas around northeast Ohio.

Academically, our group has remained active and continued to be incredibly productive. With our research nurse, Erin Gill, guiding the group, the addition of a research coordinator, and a newly funded research fellow position, our research infrastructure has expanded. We are involved in numerous multicenter research groups and hold leadership positions within them. We present regularly at national meetings and published more than 70 articles in 2021. Additionally, our faculty participate in a robust mentoring program with students and residents who are empowered to drive, present, and write for many projects.

To complement our strong Case Western Reserve University residency program, we have fellows in our program who are an integral part of our pediatric orthopaedic team. By offering a broad spectrum of pediatric subspecialty care, trainees are exposed to a wide range of complex pediatric orthopaedic conditions. We look forward to continuing to build our fellowship program as we work to train pediatric orthopaedists of the future.

We continue to strive to be at the leading edge of pediatric ortho care. By offering regional leading care in limb deformity with Dr. Liu (President of the Limb Lengthening Research Society), low dose imaging solutions (EOS imaging on Rainbow main campus), Spinal deformity correction (including treatment of all spinal conditions from early onset scoliosis through adolescence and incorporating vertebral body tethering and apifix), and advanced care for young athletes, we will continue to provide the very best pediatric care for our patients.

We certainly have missed some things through the pandemic. I am proud and happy to be part of a group that feels as much like family as it does like work. While holding weekly indications and research meetings on Zoom, we lost some of that weekly interaction that makes our job so much fun. As we have started to gather for pot luck breakfast meetings, outdoor research meetings, and visiting professor dinners, we have regained that personal interaction between faculty, students, residents, and fellows that is so critical to what we do. This gives me incredible hope as we move forward -- carving out the new normal, expanding upon our group’s already strong potential, and striving to provide the very best in pediatric care.

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