Patella Dislocation

by Shriners on October 1, 2014

A common injury among athletes, a patella dislocation, otherwise known as the knee cap slipping out of place, causes significant pain and swelling. A direct blow or a quick twist of the leg can cause the patella to dislocate. A dislocated patella often slips sideways and around to the outside of the leg, causing the ligaments holding the patella in place to stretch.

Most dislocations can be put back… into correct positioning by a medical care provider. However, if a patella dislocation reoccurs, it is time to visit an orthopaedic surgeon. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville’s pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, T. Whitney Gibson, D.O., says “After a patella dislocation has occurred more than once, the chance it will happen again rises to 50-60%. Multiple patella dislocations leave the patient in extreme pain, with severe swelling of the knee, and often causing poor balance. It is at this point, we begin looking at surgical options to stabilize the knee cap.”

In order to stabilize the knee cap, the loose ligament allowing the knee to dislocate, the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL), must be replaced. Dr. Gibson explains, “In medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction, we are re-creating the anatomy of the knee. We use the patient’s hamstring tendon and secure it through a hole drilled in the patella and femur, thereby recreating the anatomic medial patellofemoral ligament. This stabilizes the knee cap preventing it from dislocating again and allows patients to return to their active lifestyle.” For six to eight weeks following MPFL reconstruction, patients wear a knee immobilizing brace. This is followed by extensive rehabilitation before returning to normal activities.


Straight from our patients …

by Shriners on September 29, 2014

Thank you olivia's messageThank you


What is Ponseti Casting?

by Shriners on September 24, 2014

Ponseti castingClub foot is a one of the most common birth defects seen in the lower extremity.  It is characterized by the foot being turned to the side. The foot may even appear to be lying on its side with the bottom of the foot facing in towards the middle. Severe forms of clubfoot affect 5,000 babies (about 1 in 735) born in the United States each year. Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Greenville has two physicians who are trained in the non-operative treatment of club foot called the Ponseti Method. David Westberry, M.D., says he practices the Ponseti Method because “casting provides a slow, controlled correction of the clubfoot deformity and helps to avoid the need for extensive surgical releases which can lead to scarring and stiffness of the foot.”

A certified physician initiates the Ponseti Method of serial casting very soon after the baby is born when the baby’s ligaments, joints and tendons are the most flexible. The method includes gentle massage and moving of parts of the foot to stretch the tight or shortened structures slowly into a good position. A long leg cast then holds the foot in place for about a week. During this time, the muscles and ligaments stretch enough to allow a little more correction in the foot’s position. The cast is taken off and the foot is again massaged or stretched and moved into a more correct position. A cast is then reapplied. Dr. Westberry says “the cast is changed weekly for 5 to 6 weeks. After the sixth cast, a minimal surgical procedure is done to lengthen the heel cord tendon. A final cast is left in place for 3 weeks, and then the child is placed in a foot brace, until age four, to maintain the correction and prevent recurrence.”Dr. Westberry

Currently, the Ponseti method is an effective treatment for greater than 90% of idiopathic clubfoot. For most children, the Ponseti Method casting results in a foot which is near normal in shape, is comfortable in a standard shoe, and functions comfortably.


Greenville Makes List of Best Places to Live

by Shriners on September 16, 2014

Greenville makes list of best places to live … and the Greenville Shriners Hospital is listed as one of the reasons why!  The website has ranked Greenville 33rd on a list of America’s Top 100 Best Places to Live.  To read more, visit:

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Nothing Slows Katie Down!

by Shriners on September 10, 2014

Katie swimmingWhen 10-year-old Katie Lyons isn’t in school, she’s most likely swimming laps at the pool trying to improve her stroke and speed. A discovery made one day at the pool in the fall of 2013 changed Katie’s life forever. During routine stretching exercises in practice, Katie’s swim coach noticed her back had a curvature that resembled an S-shape. Katie’s family immediately visited their pediatrician and was stunned to hear the diagnosis of scoliosis. Katie’s mother, Mary Beth, promptly began researching treatment options and quickly felt the weight of the diagnosis of her child. She reached out for advice and encouragement from another mother of a teenager on Katie’s swim team who had also been diagnosed with scoliosis. As a result of their conversation, Mary Beth resolved to bring Katie to Shriners Hospitals for Children–Greenville located four hours from their home. Mary Beth said, “We wanted Katie in the care of doctors who not only treat children, but also treat scoliosis all day, every day.”

Katie came for her first appointment at the Greenville Shriners Hospital a week after the discovery of scoliosis. Katie has an s-curve with a 20 degree curve at the top and a 26 SONY DSCdegree curve on the bottom. The first appointment can be an emotional time for the family dealing with a new diagnosis. Katie and her family experienced a rollercoaster of emotions that stemmed from anxiety at wearing an orthotic or brace to correct scoliosis and prevent the curvature from worsening while adjusting to everyday activities. Mary Beth vividly remembers, “She had a hard time walking with it and as we walked through the lobby together to get an x-ray, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, ‘I can’t do this mom.’” With the help and encouragement of Prosthetics and Orthotics staff, Katie’s outlook quickly changed. “I think the encouraging attitude of everyone there has set the tone for Katie’s attitude.” Katie’s first appointment also included popcorn and snacks, a favorite movie, a game of air hockey, and a visit from Santa Clause. “I think the overall atmosphere of the hospital made a huge difference right from the get-go. The Greenville Shriners Hospital is not intimidating. It doesn’t feel like a hospital and for children, who don’t know what’s going on to begin with to enter a place and find it warm and welcoming, not to mention fun, is awesome,” said Mary Beth. At the end of the day Katie said, “This was my best day all year.” katiefitMary Beth said now “She is rocking her brace! There is very little she cannot and does not do with it on. Often, I will pull up at her school or a friend’s to see her playing soccer or football or running and you can’t even tell she has a brace on.” Katie will continue to be monitored by physicians to make sure the brace continues to hold and the use of the EOS machine which produces a 3-D full body image and puts out 90% less radiation than a typical x-ray. “The doctors and staff at Shriners are there because they love children and are passionate about finding ways to help them. They all have a wonderful, kind way of dealing with both the patients and the families.”

Katie says, “I want to show other kids that a brace doesn’t have to stop them. They can still have fun while wearing their brace.”Katie Katie Katie

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Meet Olivia Stamps

by Shriners on August 29, 2014

Olivia Stamps

Olivia Stamps

When Olivia began to learn to walk, she walked on her tip-toes, without putting her heels on the ground. Olivia’s family doctor suggested she be taken to see a neurologist. He suspected cerebral palsy, and at age 2, Olivia was taken to Shriners Hospitals for Children, where the diagnosis was confirmed. Her specific diagnosis was spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which causes stiffness and tightness in both legs.

Olivia’s doctors at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, tried several treatment options, including casting, stretching and botox treatments. As time progressed, more movement and ability problems developed — she could not walk with her feet flat on the floor or stand still. Her condition prevented her from being able to enjoy age-appropriate activities.

She received a gait analysis in the facility’s motion analysis laboratory, which provided detailed data on her walking pattern and assisted her medical team in determining the best course of treatment. Olivia’s mother says, “The Motion Lab was pivotal in her treatment. The staff is amazing and Olivia just loved looking like a robot!”

After reviewing the data from Olivia’s analysis, her team recommended surgery to lengthen her heel cords and hamstrings. After surgery at age 7 and rehabilitative therapy, Olivia has a perfect walking gait and can run, dance, jump on a trampoline, ride a bicycle and keep up with her peers. The spunky ten year old says her favorite part about being able to walk with flat feet is the shoes she gets to wear, “Before surgery I could not wear normal shoes, but now, I’m a shoe shopaholic!”

Olivia, was chosen as a 2013 national ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children because of her unique story of strength and courage. She spent the year traveling across the country, speaking at events, and helping to raise awareness about Shriners Hospitals for Children.

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Auxiliary Awards 18 Scholarships!

by Shriners on August 25, 2014

The Greenville Shriners Hospital is proud to announce the Auxiliary of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville has awarded 18 educational scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year! The Auxiliary stocks and staffs the only gift shop, the Sunshine Shop, inside the hospital. All monies made from the sale of store items goes towards a scholarship fund for patients and former patients wishing to further their education. This year, the Auxiliary awarded 18 scholarships worth $1,500 each.

Since 1941, the Auxiliary of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville has been an integral part of the volunteer program. In fact, in order to become a member of the Auxiliary, you must be a full-time hospital volunteer. In 2013, Auxiliary members volunteered more than 10,000 hours of service at the hospital. They help staff in all areas of the hospital including the surgical waiting room, clinic, radiology, family library, front desk, hospital tour guides, and at all special events. Volunteering and fundraising are the top priorities of the Greenville Shriners Hospitals’ Auxiliary. The hospital’s Auxiliary concentrates their fundraising on two major projects: The Luella Schloeman Educational Fund and Socks for Sweet Soles.

The Auxiliary of the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville is proud to announce the 18 recipients: Hannah Billingsly, Jacob Blount, Kathryn Borum, Logan Brandon, Leah Byers, Matthew Byers, Rachel Davis, Destiny Dunn, Claire Ecrement, Tray Garris, Ethan Gentry, Erin Hardee, Nathan Honeycutt, Daniel Looper, Nicholas Morey, Jessica Sanders, Shelby Stroud, and Jennifer Timberlake.  To date, nearly 1,000 children have received a scholarship ($1,500 each) to college from the Auxiliary.

“I want to thank you for the scholarships that I was given to help me graduate from college. When I was chosen to receive the scholarships, I promised that I would do everything I could to deserve them. I know that all of you work hard to provide these scholarships and I want you to know that your efforts were not wasted on me. I maintained a 4.0 GPA and in May 2014, I graduated from Tri-County Technical College with Highest Honors.” – From: David Morgan Rose II

“I want to thank you for the scholarship and your support. I got it last year and was thankful to get it again. I have had over 28 operations and the reason I can enjoy life today is because of Shriners. I am attending the University of Illinois and will be studying advertising. This school is the #1 school in the nation for people in wheelchairs. They focus on helping students like me get the fullest out of their college years.” – From: Katy Borum

“Thank you so much for granting me a scholarship to aid in continuing my education. I appreciate all of the hard work it took to raise the funds.”  – From: Jacob Blount

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Welcome Dr. Gross!

by Shriners on August 22, 2014

GrossThe longest continuously practicing and operating pediatric orthopaedic surgeon in the state of South Carolina has joined the medical staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville.  Recently retired following forty-nine years as a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Richard Gross, M.D., says, “I love working with children. The Greenville Shriners Hospital has such a friendly atmosphere and does amazing work.”

Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Gross earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He then completed his general surgery residency at Ireland Army Hospital, followed by an orthopaedic surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Hospital, and a pediatric orthopaedic residency at Carrie Tingley Hospital.

The recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, Dr. Gross is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, Orthopaedic Overseas, and the America Orthopaedic Association.

Dr. Gross is married and has two children, two step-children, and four grandchildren. He will be working at the Greenville Shriners Hospital for one week each month.

Together, Dr. Gross, along with fellow Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville pediatric orthopaedic surgeons David Westberry, M.D.; Peter Stasikelis, M.D.; T. Whitney Gibson, D.O.; and Michael Mendelow, M.D.; operate with more than a century of experience.


Bears Offer a Unique Patient Experience

by Shriners on August 20, 2014

DSC_0972At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, we know that sometimes it’s the small things that can make a big difference in helping a child heal. That’s why our care extends beyond the patient to involve the family as well. We call it family-centered care and it permeates all we do. Our unique patient experience addresses not just the child’s medical needs, but his and the family’s emotional needs as well. That’s where Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville’s Bear Club comes in.

The Bear Club is a positive program that helps alleviate some of a child’s apprehension surrounding a hospital stay and helps patients focus on something other than their surgery. After all, alleviating stress is an important part of the healing process. Greenville Shriners Hospital Child Life therapist, Elaine Hardin says, “When I greet families who are coming in for surgery, both the parents and child are very anxious and nervous. But after the patient gets to pick out their Build-A-Bear™ they have a smile on their face. You can see them relax.”

The Bear Club’s premise is simple: Every patient who comes into our hospital for surgery is welcomed with a brand new Build-A-Bear™, outfit of choice, and an authentic Build-A-Bear™ birth certificate. After their initial surgery, if the child requires additional surgical procedures, they can choose a new outfit to go with their bear.

Like all treatment provided by Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, from clinic appointments to prosthetics and orthotics to surgery, the Bear Club  is for all surgical patients, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. The Bear Club is a wonderful way to send every child the message that Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville is where they are not only cared for, but loved as well. At the Greenville Shriners Hospital it’s one more way we send our “Love to the rescue.”

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Conner Stroud“Never give up on your dreams. Don’t let anything get in your way” is the motto fourteen year old Conner Stroud embodies. Conner dreams of being a tennis star. Being born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD) in both legs, Conner could have been left sitting court side. PFFD is a condition where the end of the bone closest to the hip is too short, leaving Conner’s feet attached to his legs without ankles, femurs or knees. After consulting with surgeons at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, his parents made the decision to have both legs amputated when he was just two years old.

After surgery, the Prosthetics and Orthotics department at the hospital made Conner his first set of legs. Along with his prosthetic legs, the hospital also made him a set of very short legs, known as stubbies. The stubbies were to protect the ends of his legs while he was running around the house. After using the prosthetic legs for about a year, Conner decided they slowed him down too much. Wanting speed, he chose to wear the stubbies all the time.  Shriners Camp

Encouraged by his parents not to let anything stand in his way, Conner began playing tennis. Soon he was playing against able-bodied kids in local tournaments, even winning his first doubles match and several single matches. As he began winning, he also began inspiring others. Conner says, “You just need to have a positive attitude, have fun, and not worry about missing a shot.” Over the years, Conner has won several awards for his determination and inspiration on and off the court. He won the Peggy Gold Spirit Award, the Hal Southern Boy’s 12 Sportsmanship Award, and was named the Middle School Male Outstanding Player in North Carolina.

As he has become older, his competitors have gotten a lot taller and faster than he, so he is beginning to play wheelchair tennis. Conner won in the first wheelchair tennis tournament he played. Conner has attended several professional tournaments and has even been able to hit with many professional tennis players including Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, and John Isner. This past summer, he was invited to the U.S. Open and was able to meet his favorite player, Rafael Nadal.

ConnerSome of his biggest cheerleaders are his doctors, nurses, and staff at the Greenville Shriners Hospital. They hope to see Conner competing one day in the U.S. Open himself, in the wheelchair division. Conner and his family say they love the Greenville Shriners Hospital and say, “We have always felt very comfortable at the hospital and are pleased with the excellent care Conner has received and continues to receive.”

Conner is currently ranked the #1 Junior Wheelchair Tennis Player in the United States! He is ranked #21 in the World!

Conner has been a Patient Ambassador for the Greenville Shriners Hospital for more than seven years. Here are some photos of Conner through the years.