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The continued growth of Charlotte and the area's surrounding communities has spurred Levine Children’s Hospital, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, to transform the pediatric orthopaedics subspecialty into one of the keystones of its multi-disciplinary team for children’s care, adding a trio of fellowship-trained pediatric orthopaedic surgeons to the staff over the last three years.
These three physicians – Brian Brighton, MD, MPH, Kelly VanderHave, MD, and Brian Scannell, MD – have all completed extensive training at pediatric orthopaedic hospitals, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, respectively. Treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries in children – from fractures and cerebral palsy to scoliosis to osteomyelitis – the physicians' arrival brings 24/7 pediatric orthopaedics coverage to Levine Children's Hospital.
“Before, when a child came to the emergency department needing orthopaedic care, he or she might get an adult orthopaedist, but now every child has the opportunity to be seen by a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon,” said Dr. VanderHave, who joined Carolinas HealthCare System about a year ago. “Previously, it was difficult to accommodate every patient at Levine Children’s Specialty Center. Now that we’ve expanded our program to three pediatric orthopaedists, we can see patients at multiple sites throughout Carolinas HealthCare System.”
Current clinic availability includes a daily pediatric orthopaedic clinic at Levine Children’s Specialty Center at Medical Center Plaza (on the Carolinas Medical Center campus), offering prompt evaluation and treatment from one of our pediatric orthopaedists. Additionally, to improve access to care, the physicians have expanded their clinic practice to multiple satellite locations with weekly clinics at Levine Children’s Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeons Key to Multidisciplinary Pediatric Care Meeting the Community's growing need for specialized care Specialty Centers in Ballantyne, SouthPark, Huntersville and Concord.
The recent expansion of Levine Children’s Hospital’s trauma program ties well into the new 24/7 pediatric orthopaedic call coverage, since orthopaedic surgery works closely with the trauma program. Drs. Brighton, VanderHave and Scannell all have significant clinical expertise in pediatric trauma and work closely to provide coordinated care for children with single and multiple acute musculoskeletal injuries.
Pediatric orthopaedics is also an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team at Levine Children’s Hospital. The three pediatric orthopaedic surgeons practice out of Levine Children’s Specialty Centers physician group alongside pediatric subspecialists in cardiology,infectious disease, pulmonology, neurology and rehabilitation, among other specialties.
“This structure enables us to collaborate and give a comprehensive approach to patient care,” said Dr. Brighton, adding that a spina bifida clinic is another offering, along with weekly fracture follow-up clinics for patients recently seen in the children's emergency department. “When patients have complex disorders or medical issues – whether neuromuscular disorders like Duchenne muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy – we are able to communicate with rehabilitation physicians, neurologists and pulmonologists. In surgery, we often see osteomyelitis, so being able to collaborate with infectious disease specialists through shared appointments, for example, allows for better coordinated patient care. The ability to see multiple doctors at the same appointment allows our team of specialists to best meet the needs of individual patients in a way that is also convenient for families.”
Patients are also the direct beneficiaries of clinical research undertaken by Drs. VanderHave, Scannell and Brighton. In addition to providing excellent trauma clinical care and research, the physicians also conduct clinical research studies in a variety of areas within pediatric orthopaedics. In pediatric trauma, Drs. Scannell and Brighton recently published a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery on severe elbow injuries in children, demonstrating excellent success with treatment methods used at Carolinas Medical Center (1).
Dr. VanderHave was recently involved in a multi-center study evaluating a new surgical procedure for the treatment of slipped capital femoral epiphysis in adolescents (2). "This approach is not performed everywhere, but it’s gaining acceptance and ultimately may allow for better outcomes for patients with severe slipped capital femoral epiphyses,” Dr. Brighton said. When possible, the trio also attempts to be on the forefront of collaborative research with other children’s hospitals across the country. “Most of our research is clinical, which is all about patient care,” Dr. VanderHave said. “Our research impacts patient care and patient care impacts our research. It’s a relationship that goes both ways.”
1. Scannell, B.P., Jackson, J.B., Bray, C., Roush, T.S., Brighton, B.K., Frick, S.L.
The Perfused, Pulseless Supracondylar Humerus Fracture: Intermediate-Term
Follow-Up of Vascular Status and Function. The Journal of Bone & Joint
2. Sankar, W.N., VanderHave, K.L., Matheney, T., Herrera-Soto, J.A., Karlen, J.W.
The Modified Dunn Procedure for Unstable Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis: A
Multicenter Perspective. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. 2013;95(7):585–91.