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Research

Orthopaedic surgeons at CHAM are leading surgical innovations in scoliosis treatment using advanced image guidance technologies and bloodless techniques. Our orthopaedics team has, for example, used a single posterior incision and spinal osteotomies to correct a curve of greater than 90 degrees in a 10-year-old girl. Within three months of the six-hour surgery, she was enjoying a normal, active childhood. 

Innovation is at the heart of all we do. Patients come here because they know we can give them what others cannot. Our passion for research and innovation mean that we consistently provide leading edge care that is as safe as possible and achieve results that are beyond parents’ expectations. 


Led by Jacob F. Schulz, MD, Director of Pediatric Orthopaedic Research, we are currently focused on research to:  

Change the Way Children with Scoliosis Receive Life-Changing Treatment  
Our team is at the forefront of scoliosis research, which has allowed us to pioneer novel treatment approaches. Traditionally, children with scoliosis have been treated with open surgery, in which a surgeon opens up a large section of the back, separates many back muscles and then places instrumentation and bone grafts along the spine to straighten the curvature. Our orthopaedic surgeons now can accomplish all of that through three tiny incisions in the back.

Address the Link Between Scoliosis and Pulmonary Hypertension
Working closely with CHAM’s pediatric cardiology team, our orthopaedic group has produced innovative research on the fact that adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients are at increased risk for pulmonary hypertension. Ours was the first study to document evidence of pulmonary hypertension in this patient population and its subsequent reversal after corrective surgery.

Minimize Intraoperative Radiation Exposure
We are also conducting experiments to lower the radiation exposure of various intraoperative imaging modalities used to guide complex procedures, including minimally invasive scoliosis surgery. Our objective is to dramatically reduce radiation exposure for both the patient and surgeon, without compromising the precision that these imaging systems provide.  To do so, we are also assessing the accuracy of non-radiation imaging modalities (magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI) as a potential alternative to computed tomography (CT) scans.

Our results indicate that with our ultra-low radiation dose protocols, image quality and accuracy is similar to that with the standard protocols, which contain a higher radiation dose. This work is vital, as excessive radiation exposure can be correlated to developing cancer later in life. 

Increase the Safety of Spine Surgery
Using the O-arm—an advanced intraoperative imaging technology—and novel imaging protocols, CHAM surgeons are achieving 99 percent pedicle screw insertion accuracy and dramatically reducing radiation exposure.

Advance Knowledge and Care of Patients with Perthes Disease
Our team also participates in the International Perthes Study Group (IPSG). IPSG is a group of more than 45 pediatric orthopaedic surgeons and researchers seeking to provide current, objective information to patients with Perthes disease, their families and the medical community. 

Active Clinical Trials

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