Stick the landing on safety when it comes to trampolines and kids

Stick the landing on safety when it comes to trampolines and kidsIt’s hard to argue with the simple pleasure that comes with jumping up and down on a trampoline, but it’s also impossible to ignore the significant health risk it poses.

A growing number of medical professionals — including yours truly — are discouraging the use of backyard trampolines, if not pushing for an outright ban on them, at least when it …Continue reading →

Father’s Day: Dad shares story of his adopted daughter’s journey through Larsen syndrome

On this Father’s Day, I find myself reflecting back to 2010 and how this dream of fatherhood became a reality. Libbie was in China and my wife, Julie, and I were still looking for airline tickets, waiting on a date from the U.S. Consulate. Three weeks later we were approaching the Civil Affairs building in Zhengzhou, and I could feel myself getting nervous and …Continue reading →

Why it doesn’t always take a brain surgeon to explain brain surgery

As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I help children with a wide range of neurological conditions. It can be a challenge explaining diseases and illnesses that affect the brain to families. That’s why when I came across Isabelle’s video on YouTube, I thought, I couldn’t have said …Continue reading →

Why broken bones in kids and teens need special treatment

Why broken bones in kids and teens need special treatment

Since kids are still growing, special care needs to be taken.

Summer means kids of all ages are out riding bikes and scooters and bouncing on trampolines. But warm weather also brings injuries, and that often means broken bones.

If your child falls or is injured, it’s important to understand that treating broken bones in kids is different. Their bones are more flexible, so when they break, the fracture patterns aren’t the same as you’d see in an adult’s bones.

The right treatment for kids depends on the location and type of break. Some breaks will heal well with limited care, but others will need surgery to heal …Continue reading →

Break dancing after a spinal fusion: Jadyn hasn’t slowed down one bit

Break dancing after a spinal fusion: Jayden hasn't slowed down one bit

Jadyn enjoys hip-hop and break dancing.

I’ve been an orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for a long time. Our Orthopedics team is a very dedicated group, and we make every effort to make each patient comfortable, from kids with broken bones to patients who need complex surgeries.

Jadyn, age 13, is a great example of one of these complex cases. She had quickly progressing scoliosis, and her curve was too large for a brace. We had to prepare …Continue reading →

Why it’s important to customize the form and fit of a scoliosis brace

Many families are preparing for school and fall sports. As part of these preparations, you might be arranging physicals for your kids. During the exam, your child’s doctor may tell you he or she has signs of scoliosis.

I’m an orthotist, and for the last 17 years, I’ve worked with patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. An orthotist is a person who makes braces for most any part of the body, including back braces for kids with scoliosis. But I don’t do teeth, I leave that to the orthodontists!

Scoliosis usually is diagnosed when a child is between the ages of 10 and 15, and most …Continue reading →

Navigating the twists and turns: How we helped our daughter manage scoliosis

It was nearly three years ago, but I still remember the day. Our pediatrician’s nurse called to tell me that Mary, my oldest daughter, had scoliosis. I remember feeling scared and very emotional. I actually was in tears at one point. It was hard to imagine what the future might hold.

Fast forward to 2012, and I realize that call was the beginning of a rollercoaster ride. Now I really don’t like rollercoasters, but thanks to the specialists at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the ride actually has been OK. As a family, we’ve learned to handle the ups …Continue reading →

My advice for kids living with scoliosis: Just be yourself

My name is Mary, and I have scoliosis. I was diagnosed with it a few years ago. I wear my brace during the day now, but I used to wear one at night. Wearing a brace has affected my life in many ways, but don’t worry. You can still be the same you even with scoliosis.

I’m 14 years old and a freshman at Hampshire High School, in Hampshire, Ill. Let me tell you a little about myself. I love to read, and I love cats. I have one cat named C.C., and she is the cutest thing ever!

During this past school year, I got a daytime brace. Don’t be afraid to tell your teachers and …Continue reading →

Why kids with ACL injuries need special treatment

It’s already been a tough spring for the Brewers, with two players lost for the season to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Knee injuries are just as frustrating for young athletes. One of the first things my patients often say to me is, “When can I play again?”

The ACL is the ligament that helps keep the knee stable. It’s one of the four main ligaments in the knee joint that connect it to the shin bone, known as the tibia, and thigh bone …Continue reading →

Broken bones are like real estate: It’s all about location

Our warm weather is bringing everyone out of hibernation. Kids in our neighborhood are riding bikes and scooters, and it’s great to hear the squeak of our neighbors’ trampolines again. But warmer weather also brings injuries, and that often means broken bones.

It’s important to understand that broken bones are like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location. As an orthopedic surgeon, I always try to reassure parents. Care and …Continue reading →