Meet Laila

by Shriners on November 14, 2014

LailaGiving your mom or dad a hug comes naturally for most children. But kids with Brachial Plexus Palsy can wrap only one arm around their parent, leaving the other arm stuck between them. Brachial Plexus Palsy is a condition affecting the movement and sensation of the arm and hand. Most children with this condition cannot extend their arm out to the side or reach up.

Brachial Plexus Palsy occurs if a newborn’s nerves are stretched, compressed or torn during the birthing process. That’s exactly what happened to Laila. Laila began coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville at just three months old. Her mother explains, “When Laila was born, the doctors told us she would have Brachial Plexus Palsy. Laila was completely unable to move her left arm.” At six months old, doctors injected Botox into Laila’s shoulder. With the treatment, she was able to move her arm to shoulder level. A significant improvement, but Laila still could not wrap both arms around her mother.

At almost two years old, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Zlotolow performed a tendon transfer on Laila’s shoulder. Following several weeks in a cast that kept her arm bent at a 90 degree angle and pointing straight up, Laila was able to begin occupational therapy and transition into a splint. During one of her occupational therapy sessions at the Greenville Shriners Hospital, Laila’s mom exclaims, “She’s only been out of a cast for two days, and I can’t believe how much more range of motion she has in her shoulder.” Now, with almost a full range of motion, Laila will be able to dress herself and fix her hair. But what her mom is excited for most, the first time Laila wraps her arms around her mother in a hug.

Brachial plexus palsy can be diagnosed through a physical examination. Treatments offered by Shriners Hospitals for Children vary and depend upon the severity of the condition and degree of nerve damage.

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MALThe clinical mission of  the Greenville Shriners Hospital’s Motion Analysis Laboratory is to carefully observe and measure the way our patients move, to understand how and why they move differently from children without movement problems, to recommend treatments, and to evaluate how well those treatments improve their function.

In the movement analysis laboratory, specialized cameras measure the movement of highly reflective balls placed on the patient’s feet, legs, arms, and torso.  Other sensors on their skin tell which muscles are pulling.  Force plates in the walkway measure how the ground is pushing on the patient.  A pressure platform might also be used to tell how the ground force is spread over the bottom of the patient’s foot.  All of these walking data are combined with information gathered during a detailed interview with the family and in a careful physical examination of the patient.  An experienced, multidisciplinary team comprised typically of physicians, engineers, physical therapists and kinesiologists meets to review this information and to recommend treatments, including bracing (orthoses), physical therapy, medications, or surgery.

The teaching and research missions of the laboratory complements this clinical goal.  This environment offers an excellent opportunity for physicians and other clinicians to explore relationships between observed movement problems and their underlying causes.  The data collected in the laboratory also provides the basis for objective clinical research that ultimately finds its way into the medical research literature.

Roy Davis, Ph.D., Director of the Movement Analysis Laboratory at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville says the motion labs are an integral part of the care provided at the hospitals, “Shriners Hospitals for Children is an internationally recognized leader in clinical movement analysis.”  Dr. Davis says, “Together, the 13 Movement Analysis Laboratories of Shriners Hospitals for Children represent the largest network of clinical movement analysis laboratories in the world.”

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Greenville Shriners Hospital Motion Lab:

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2014 Guardian of Excellence Award Winner

by Shriners on November 5, 2014

2014-guardian-emblem---hi-resShriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville is proud to announce for the 2nd year in a row, it has received the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award(SM) for our excellence in In-patient satisfaction.

The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in Patient Satisfaction and is a health care industry symbol of achievement. Fewer than 5% of all Press Ganey clients reach this threshold and consistently maintain it for the one year reporting period.

According to Greenville Shriners Hospital Administrator Randy Romberger, the award represents an important recognition from the industry’s leader in measuring, understanding and improving the patient experience. 2014-guardianaward

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Hero Next Door

by Shriners on November 5, 2014

Irene Moore“I’m doing my part to help the children by putting a smile on their faces. It makes me feel good to be part of such a special place.” That’s the driving force for 84 year-old Irene Moore, which has motivated her to volunteer at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville for the past 44 years. Irene has volunteered in a variety of positions within the hospital including comforting children in the cast room, escorting families and children to the outpatient clinic, and most recently greeting families at the front desk.

Staff at the Greenville Shriners Hospital lovingly call Irene “Frisky” because of her positive outlook and determined spirit. You can find Irene up at 5:00 AM to get the morning started off right with a 5-mile bike ride. Another one of her past times is meeting her need for speed on a jet ski at her lake house which she rides alone frequently during the summer months.

Irene, a retired receptionist and member of Daughters of the Nile, a supporting organization of the Shriners Hospitals, says by volunteering she’s fulfilling not only her dream but also the wishes of her husband, longtime Shriner of Hejaz temple who passed away a few years ago.

Having dedicated literally thousands of hours of time to serving as a volunteer throughout the past 44 years, Irene Moore was recently nominated for the Heroes Next Door award. She was chosen as a recipient and will be honored at a ceremony. The award is presented by Greenville Forward, an organization that’s part of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

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Meet Adolfo

by Shriners on November 3, 2014

Adolfo2“My feet looked a little bit like balls. They were curved under and I had to balance on the sides of my feet to walk,” describes Adolfo Julian. The fifteen year old is now overcome with joy as he looks at his perfectly shaped feet. Julian exclaims, “It’s hard to believe! It makes me so happy. Doctors at the Greenville Shriners Hospital did everything they could to fix my feet. Now I can play soccer.”

In extreme pain with limited ability to walk, when Adolfo first came to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, he was expecting the doctors to tell him that both of his feet would need to be amputated. Adolfo says, “I was surprised when Dr. Mendelow came in and said he thought he could fix them.” After serial stretch casting for several weeks to help get the feet in a better position, Adolfo had surgery on his right foot. Greenville Shriners Hospital pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Michael Mendelow, M.D., reconstructed Adolfo’s foot by realigning bones to reshape the foot and multiple tendon transfers to rebalance the muscles.

Soon after the right foot healed, the left foot received the same treatment. Just six months after his second surgery, Adolfo says, “Dr. Mendelow is an amazing doctor and surgeon. He did everything he could to fix my feet and he got them straight! Now I can run and do whatever I want. My feet support me and don’t hurt. That’s all I ever wanted.”

Adolfo before treatment:

Adolfo after treatment:

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Happy Halloween!

by Shriners on October 30, 2014

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Halloween Safety Tips

by Shriners on October 24, 2014

Halloween 2014 safety tips

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Tone Management Program

by Shriners on October 21, 2014

Each year, Shriners Hospitals for Children cares for thousands of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders affecting movement, muscle tone, and coordination. CP is the most common disorder affecting children up to five-years-old. Children with CP can exhibit a wide range of symptoms that can be mild or severe. Signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 18 months of age. “Parents often note their child is not achieving normal developmental milestones such as smiling, sitting, crawling, or walking,” describes David Westberry, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. He says, “Babies with cerebral palsy can either have very little muscle control or be especially rigid and may sometimes favor one side of their body over the other.” When a child has muscles that are rigid, otherwise known as spasticity, they have stiffness and movement difficulties. Greenville Shriners Hospital knows that patients with spasticity need a wide-range of care and services in order to thrive. This is why the hospital’s Tone Management Clinic offers a clinic setting where patients can be evaluated and treated, all in one location, by a team of specialists.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville’s Tone Management Clinic is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of five physicians with specialized training in pediatric orthopaedics, neurosurgery, neurology, physiatry, and genetics. The physicians are supported by occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, registered nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, Motion Analysis Laboratory representatives, and an intrathecal Baclofen therapy specialist. The treatment plans that are developed in this very comprehensive clinic are individualized for each patient’s special needs. Examples of these plans of care can include recommendations for oral baclofen, baclofen trials to determine appropriateness of a baclofen pump placement, Botox injections, orthopaedic surgery, stretch casting, and physical and occupational therapies.

Dr. Westberry says, “Each child’s mobility and subsequent quality of life can be improved through the coordination of their comprehensive care. One of the strongest arguments for traveling to a Shriners Hospitals for Children is that, once there, the orthopaedic and rehabilitation services provided are comprehensive, negating the need for families to travel all over town to see specialist after specialist.”

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Meet Cyntell

by Shriners on October 15, 2014

CyntellIt wasn’t Cyntell Logan’s curving spine that was pressing on her lungs that hurt her worst. It was the bullying she received at school. At eleven-years-old, Cyntell was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. “I noticed as she was getting dressed one morning that her back was twisting,” said Cyntell’s mother, Vonuya. She took Cyntell to her pediatrician who was quite concerned about the curvature and referred her to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville for treatment. When pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Michael Mendelow, M.D., evaluated Cyntell, he discovered her curve had already progressed to a dangerous 103 degrees. In fact, her spine was already curved so much her breathing function was restricted. Dr. Mendelow says, “Without surgery to straighten and fuse her spine, Cyntell’s spine would continue to curve more and more, causing progressive restriction on lung function, as well as increasing change in body shape, physical appearance, and self-image.”

By the time Cyntell was referred to the Greenville Shriners Hospital, her misshapen back was not just noticeable to her parents; the hump on her right side was also obvious to her peers at school. “I was bullied badly. It took away any positive thoughts I had,” says Cyntell. Her mother recalls, “The bullying took away all of my daughter’s confidence. She never wanted to do anything anymore.”

At the Greenville Shriners Hospital, Dr. Mendelow performed a successful life changing surgery to straighten fifteen-year-old Cyntell’s spine. With rods, hooks, and screws in place, Cyntell’s curve was straightened to 42 degrees. Following the surgery, physically, Cyntell’s shoulders and hips were now even and her back was flat.

The surgery not only made a difference in her appearance; it also made a difference in her outlook in many ways. Cyntell explains, “Before my surgery, I did not have an outlet for my emotions. Through my recovery, I discovered a whole new side of myself. I found out I like writing poetry, music, and singing.” With her newfound confidence, when Cyntell returned to school, she discovered that many other kids at her high school also had scoliosis, but had been hiding it to avoid bullying. “Cyntell began telling the other kids about her journey. She explained what she went through, and the kids began treating her like a celebrity! She’s on top of the world now,” says her mom.

Poised, articulate, and exuding confidence, Cyntell sums up her experience saying, “Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville and Dr. Mendelow really changed my life. At the hospital I met other children with the same condition, I was healed, and I got my confidence back. Greenville Shriners Hospital is so different from anything you can imagine. They welcome you with open arms. You feel safe. This hospital gives you love.”

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Patient Ambassador Wins Homecoming Queen

by Shriners on October 13, 2014

Logan4We would like to congratulate patient Logan Hopper. Logan was named her high school’s Homecoming Queen! Logan says the Greenville Shriners Hospital isn’t just a place where she feels at home; it’s a place that has changed her life.

Logan was born three months early and weighed just one pound and fourteen ounces. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) early on and because of her small size at birth, spent four months in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Logan began receiving treatment here at the Greenville Shriners Hospital for her diagnosis of quadriplegic CP with bilateral foot deformities when she was two years old. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders affecting movement, muscle tone, and coordination. Signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 18 months of age. Logan had been diagnosed at four months. “Parents often note their child is not achieving normal developmental milestones such as smiling, sitting, crawling, or walking,” describes David Westberry, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. He says, “Babies with cerebral palsy can either have very little muscle control or be especially rigid and may sometimes favor one side of their body over the other.”Logan

Greenville Shriners Hospital knows that patients with CP need a wide-range of care and services in order to thrive. Therefore, early interventions for Logan consisted of Botox injections in her muscles, wearing orthotics, physical and occupational therapy, and a visit to the Motion Analysis Laboratory in 2008 where her gait (walking pattern) was measured and evaluated by an interdisciplinary team to develop the optimum care plan for her individual needs.  After surgery when she was eleven to have her hamstrings lengthened and toes fused, she was fitted for AFOs (leg braces) at the hospital.

Today, Logan no longer walks on her toes and is able to engage in the kinds of activities that she used to watch from the sidelines. She enjoys karate, modeling, and is an enthusiastic participant in Miracle League sports. “I don’t walk on my toes anymore,” she says, “so I can walk and run faster and I don’t get tired as easily. Shriners Hospital changed my life!”

The right interventions at the right time is the key to helping a child thrive. In Logan’s case, she credits the hospital for more than her physical progress. “I used to cry every night because my legs were so tight they hurt. Not anymore!” she says, smiling.

Logan may have been born small, but she definitely dreams (and achieves) big. Her future plans include learning to drive a car and college. Her career goal…radiology, of course!

Logan5Logan3

 

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