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A Letter from Roger Widmann
Pediatric Orthopaedics

A Letter from Roger Widmann

Our Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Chief shares highlights from the past year.

THROUGHOUT THE CHALLENGES of the past year, the dedicated team of orthopaedic surgeons on the Lerner Children’s Pavilion Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Service have continued to provide comprehensive diagnostic, medical, surgical and rehabilitative care to help children with musculoskeletal problems improve their quality of life and achieve the highest level of function.

We routinely perform complex procedures, including complex spinal deformity surgeries and revision spinal surgeries, limb reconstruction and limb lengthening, ACL reconstruction and reconstruction of the multiligament-injured knee, as well as periacetabular osteotomies for severe hip dysplasia and single-event multilevel surgeries for children with cerebral palsy. Our singular focus on musculoskeletal health allows us to provide the highest level of orthopaedic care in an environment that is patient- and family-centric.

One of our great strengths as a service is our multidisciplinary approach to all aspects of complex care

One of our great strengths as a service is our multidisciplinary approach to all aspects of complex care. We frequently collaborate with surgeons on the adult services to share knowledge and technical advances. It is common for us to operate together to achieve the best outcomes for our patients, and we meet monthly to discuss challenging cases. Bolstering our program in pediatric surgical spine this past year was the addition to the faculty of orthopaedic surgeon Jessica H. Heyer, MD. Dr. Heyer is a graduate of the New York University School of Medicine and completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at George Washington University as well as a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She has a particular interest in the management of patients with scoliosis and other spinal deformities.

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Another important aspect of the care we provide to patients with complicated needs involves our team of board-certified pediatricians, who assess all patients prior to an inpatient stay. To that end, I am pleased to share that pediatrician Melanie Prior, MD, has been named Director of Pediatric Complex Care.

Among her many responsibilities, she is helping to bring an enhanced level of coordinated care to these patients and their families, working closely with the surgical teams, pediatric nurse practitioners, pediatric anesthesiologists and subspecialists from HSS and Weill Cornell Medicine, as well as child psychologists and social workers. She will also direct research and quality improvement projects with a focus on complex care.

Our team also maintained an active and diverse program of clinical research in 2021 on topics ranging from scoliosis and flatfoot reconstruction techniques to inflammatory markers of septic arthritis and severe rotational deformities in cerebral palsy. This work is enabled by the unique resources at our disposal as part of a world-class musculoskeletal institution, including access to the latest intraoperative navigation technology, a 3D whole-body imaging suite and the Leon Root, MD, Motion Analysis Laboratory, which allows us to conduct innovative movement research as well as preoperative gait analysis.

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Also critical to our success in advancing pediatric orthopaedic care is our leadership in various national and international study groups. These include Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRiSM), the ROCK research group for osteochondritis dissecans of the knee, PLUTO (Pediatric ACL Understanding Treatment Options) and the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Thank you for your interest in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at HSS. We appreciate the opportunity to share our advances in complex care and welcome you to engage with our various continuing medical education offerings made available through the HSS Education Institute. I encourage you to reach out to me with questions or suggestions.

Roger F. Widmann, MD

Chief, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
Leon Root Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedics

Pediatrics at HSS
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