The Department of Orthopedics at Nationwide Children’s is committed to innovation in care, research and education. We offer specialized care from fellowship-trained faculty in the following key areas: hand and upper extremity, hip reconstruction, limb-lengthening, orthopedic-oncology, spine, sports medicine and trauma.

Whether it’s a baby with a congenital condition or a teenager with a sports-related injury, our team specializes in diagnosing, evaluating and treating problems of the musculoskeletal system in children of all ages.

As a high-volume center, we average 2,400 surgical procedures and 59,000 outpatient visits per year. Additionally, our limb deficiency program is one of the highest volume programs in the United States.

At Nationwide Children's, we are committed to changing outcomes not just for the children we see today but also for the children of tomorrow. We drive this commitment through research and quality innovation in addition to our highly competitive fellowship program.
Kevin E. Klingele, MD
Chief of Orthopedics

In 2016, the department reached a significant milestone by going more than 1,100 days without a single surgical site infection in spinal fusion operations. This three-plus year streak is just one example of how dedication to quality is improving outcomes for patients in a very tangible way.

Areas of research range from identifying radiographic indicators of hip labral avulsion to using MRI to define norms for the pediatric patellofemoral joint; from using soft constraint directed therapy for infants and toddlers to gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

As a high volume orthopedic program with a dedicated orthopedic trauma block in a Level 1 trauma center, orthopedic fellows gain a breadth and depth of experience that uniquely equips them to practice pediatric orthopedics.

Allan Beebe, MD, director of Orthopedic Trauma, leads the team in a nontraditional surgical management process. An operating room, orthopedic surgeon and surgical support staff are dedicated to treating the orthopedic cases that come in through the Emergency Department every day, streamlining the clinical management of trauma patients. In cases where extremity trauma is severe, the orthopedic team includes experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery, micro-vascular reconstruction and limb reconstruction and salvage. More patients are transferred to Nationwide Children’s for inpatient orthopedic care than to any other pediatric hospital in Ohio.

41,052 Clinic visits in 2015
2,530 Surgical cases in 2015
1 Fellowship/residency programs
9 Number of surgical faculty
Straightening Chloe’s Spine

Since kindergarten, Chloe has worn a plastic shell around her torso for 23 hours a day to keep her early-onset scoliosis in check. As she grew taller, however, the curve of her spine worsened, raising one side of her back.

As the curve worsened into a question mark shape, Chloe’s parents considered another option. Though initially skeptical about surgery, Chloe’s parents Angela and Chris decided it would be best for their daughter to avoid the risk of her internal organs being crowded as her condition progressed.

In October 2015, Magnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC®) growing rods were surgically implanted into Chloe’s spinal column to minimize the progression of her scoliosis.

“As soon as she sat up in the hospital bed, she sat up straighter and taller,” Angela says.

“When braces don’t sufficiently keep a patient’s spine from curving, the MAGEC rods may be appropriate — especially if the patient is young and his or her spine still has years to grow,” says Dr. Beebe, who performed Chloe’s surgery.

Fewer Surgeries for Scoliosis Patients

A common surgical treatment for early-onset scoliosis is the implantation of growing rods or expandable titanium ribs. The devices are lengthened as the child grows, helping to straighten the spine. Traditionally, lengthening involves surgery under general anesthesia every six months. MAGEC rods can be lengthened without an invasive procedure. As she grows, the rod implanted in Chloe’s spine will be lengthened — not through additional surgeries like traditional implanted rods — but through a quick office procedure with an external remote control, requiring no incisions

During an office visit every two months, the remote control is placed over Chloe’s spine and then manually activated, causing a magnet inside the rod to rotate and lengthen the rod.

The first MAGEC rod implantation was done at Nationwide Children’s in June 2015. Since then, ten implantations have been done, enabling more patients to straighten their spines with fewer surgeries.

Depending on how the curve in her spine progresses, Chloe, now 10 years old, may have the rods removed in her adolescence or she may keep them into adulthood. For now, she is thrilled to have shed her back braces. Two braces dotted with butterflies, and another featuring Scooby Doo, now occupy spots on her bedroom wall.

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