UH Rainbow Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Update
January 31, 2022
Pediatric Orthopaedic Update | Winter 2022
By Raymond Liu, MD and Erin Gill, RN, CCRN
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our faculty had another productive research year, publishing more than 70 Pubmed-indexed articles in 2021. In the past year we have grown our research team with the addition of Bryan Ren as our Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Fellow and Matthew Folkman as our inaugural Pediatric Orthopaedic Research Assistant.
In addition to maintenance of our long-standing single center spinal database, now 30 years old, we continue to be closely involved in multiple study groups, including the Harms Study Group and Pediatric Spine Study Group (PSSG), with Dr. Glotzbecker serving as chair of the PSSG research council in 2021. In 2022, Dr. Glotzbecker is the chair of PSSG. In addition, Dr. Hardesty serves as a research interest group leader in PSSG.
Two multicenter study groups that began at UH Rainbow continue to develop. The Children’s Hospital Investigating Limb Deformity (CHILD) group now has four sites with IRB approval and fully executed data use agreements, and was able to present its first study at the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society annual meeting. Children’s Hospitals Intrathecal Pump (CHIP) continues to grow, adding centers and patients. The study group has enrolled more than 45 patients across all sites. We are already learning more about how to improve the care for children with baclofen pumps across all diagnoses. Dr. Hardesty is also one of the leaders of a national spasticity symposium in early 2022.
Our research team has chosen skeletal maturity as a focal point, as there is a great need to develop better radiographic systems for estimating skeletal maturity. Three of these studies were recognized in 2021 with the Pedrag Klisic Award for Best Basic Science Paper from the European Paediatric Orthopaedic Society, the Best Paper Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, the Jacquelin Perry Award from the Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Association, and the 3rd place Best Paper Award from the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society. We have also developed a free app on the Apple and Android platforms named “What’s The Skeletal Maturity,” which facilitates skeletal maturity estimation using our knee and hip systems, and plan to expand the app to offer every major joint by 2nd quarter of 2022.
Our monthly research meetings, in person when possible, offer the opportunity for students, residents, and fellows to present projects at various levels of completion for feedback. This interactive meeting is a great opportunity for the group to collaborate and keep research projects moving forward. Dr. George Thompson continues to play an active role in mentoring and advising the group on research initiatives.