Alexander (Alex) Conrad, 8, is one of a kind. He lives with an extremely rare chromosomal deletion, which has unfortunately caused a variety of complex medical issues, including a severe form of scoliosis.
By the time Alex was 2 years old, he’d endured numerous surgeries to fix a variety of physical abnormalities. His 70 degree spinal curvature was the last hurdle the family hoped to face.
“We’d spent so much time in the hospital already,” said Jared Conrad, Alex’s father. “We were really hoping that the scoliosis wouldn’t require more surgery.”
Dr. Klane White, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Seattle Children’s, couldn’t make that promise, but he did have good news for the Conrad family. White is one of a few surgeons in the region using the new technology known as the MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) system. Read full post »
Many kids can relate to the unpleasant experience of growing pains – they come on at night and can cause sharp, shooting, as well as dull and nagging pain. But what people may not know is what causes them, why do they affect some children and not others, and most importantly, when should parents be concerned that they could be something much more serious?
Dr. Suzanne Marie Yandow, chief of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, answers these common questions below.
What causes growing pains?
The direct cause of growing pains is unknown, but they typically present in children 3 to 5 years of age and may persist much later in some cases in kids ages 8 to 12. Some studies have shown that more than one out of three children displays symptoms at some point in their lives, and the symptoms most often arise during periods of rapid growth.
What are the common symptoms?
Growing pains often come on in the evening and at night, and the pain is usually in the muscles rather than the joints. This pain usually presents bilaterally, meaning the pain will occur in both legs, rather than just one or the other. Frequently they are present in the front of the legs or shin area.
Read full post »
The Women’s World Cup is underway in Canada and soccer fans have been tuning in to watch some of the most elite female soccer players in the world compete for the title of world champion. But while most of the attention is on the competition itself, it’s also an opportune time to talk about one of the risks of the sport, concussions, according to Dr. Samuel Browd, a pediatric neurosurgeon and medical director of Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program.
“Soccer is commonly called out as an example of a sport that has a high incidence of female concussion,” Browd said. “And this is for a couple different reasons. One is pure numbers. Many women play soccer causing the sport to have a higher concussion rate. Women commonly get a concussion from heading the ball or from falling and hitting their head on the ground. But another reason is simply due to the way the sport is played: aggressively.” Read full post »
Spring has sprung and spring sports are underway. Children and teens are back on the baseball mound, track and soccer field, and while playing sports is a great source of exercise for kids, they can also cause injury and pain if children try to spring back too fast. To help keep kids healthy and active this season, Dr. Thomas Jinguji, a sports medicine doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital, offers tips for parents and coaches to make sure pain isn’t a part of a child’s season.
With more children and teens participating in recreational sports and organized activities, it’s not surprising that overuse injuries, or damage to a bone, muscle, ligament or tendon caused by stress from repetitive actions, are common. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), half of all sports medicine injuries in children and teens are from overuse. And with longer seasons, more intensity during practices and games and more pressure to succeed, it’s no wonder Seattle Children’s is seeing an increase in these types of injuries. Read full post »
When people think of osteoporosis, most likely, they wouldn’t think about kids and teens. However, Dr. Michael Goldberg, director of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Skeletal Health Program, says osteoporosis is actually a pediatric disorder and childhood is the best time to think about bone health. By thinking about bone health at an early age, individuals can ensure they have strong bones later in life.
“Bones are very much alive,” said Goldberg. “From birth until age 35 you make more bone than you dissolve. From age 35 on, you dissolve more bone than you make. Think of it like needing a bone bank account. You need to make a lot of bone deposits early on; otherwise there won’t be much left when you’re old.”
And the best way to strengthen and build bone is with calcium and vitamin D. Read full post »
The Pac-12 Football Championship Game featuring the Oregon Ducks and the Arizona Wildcats was more than just a football game to 18-year-old Sarah Roundtree, a freshman at the University of Oregon. It was the chance of a lifetime: a shot to win a $100,000 scholarship. The only catch to winning, she had to compete against another individual in a football throwing contest in front of thousands of screaming football fans at the championship game.
What makes Roundtree’s story so incredible isn’t only the fact that she won; it’s her journey to the championship that makes her special. Less than a year ago, Roundtree was at Seattle Children’s Hospital undergoing an operation to fix two 50 degree curves in her spine.
“Looking back at the past year, I can’t believe I’m where I am today,” said Roundtree. Read full post »
In honor of the New Year, we’re taking a look back at some of our most popular and memorable blog posts from 2014. Below is a list of our top 10 posts. Here’s to another great year of health news to come. Happy New Year!
Lung Liquid Similar to One Used in Movie “The Abyss” Saves Infant’s Life, Doctors Encourage FDA Approval of Clinical Trials
Two doctors at Seattle Children’s went the extra mile to save Tatiana, one of the sickest babies they’ve ever seen. They got FDA approval to use a long-forgotten drug and are now inspired to help make this drug available to save more lives.
Visit with Macklemore Helps 6-Year-Old Heart Patient Recover
AJ Hwangbo was a happy-go-lucky 6-year-old without a worry in the world until mid-November when he developed a life-threatening heart condition. While specialists at Seattle Children’s Hospital helped AJ heal physically, the young boy struggled to bounce back emotionally. But, AJ’s joyful spirit returned after hospital staff arranged for him to meet his hero – local artist Macklemore. Read full post »
Four years ago, Makenna Schwab, 12, and her mother Melissa Schwab began brainstorming ways they could give back to Seattle Children’s Hospital, their home away from home throughout Makenna’s childhood.
“I wanted to give back to the hospital that gave so much to me,” said Makenna. “Because of Seattle Children’s, I can walk and live independently.”
In 2011, Makenna decided to raise money for Seattle Children’s by selling lemonade and cookies. She raised more than $6,700 that first year, but the Schwab family didn’t want to stop there, and a yearly tradition was born.
In 2012, Makenna collected 650 new toys for Seattle Children’s. She wanted to cheer up kids who had to spend the holidays in the hospital. The following year she wanted to do even more. She sold 530 dozen donuts, and collected more than $7,500 for the hospital. Read full post »
Drs. Burton, Lockhart and Quitiquit (left to right)
Treating an athlete with a sports inquiry can present a unique challenge to a sports medicine doctor. How do you get a young athlete back into the game as soon as possible, but as safely as possible? It’s a question that can be a difficult one to bridge with an athlete eager to get back to play, especially if it means missing time on the field or court. Parents, coaches, and teammates are all counting on them! But that’s what gives Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Drs. Monique Burton, John Lockhart and Celeste Quitiquit an edge. They’ve all been there.
As former Division I athletes, the trio knows what it’s like to suffer an injury, to push through pain, to the feel pressure of coaches or peers and the feeling of isolation that can come with an injury.
“We not only have the medical training to treat young athletes as pediatricians and sports medicine specialists, but as former Division I athletes who have dealt with our own injuries, we have a perspective that many people might not have,” said Lockhart, who was a wrestler at the University of Illinois. “Name almost any injury, or the vast majority of what we see, and I bet I’ve been through it – concussions, back pain, broken bones, knee problems, torn ligaments. I understand what it feels like when I’m helping one of my patients make a challenging decision, like to have surgery or not. I’ve been in their position making the same decisions.” Read full post »
You may remember Kat Tiscornia from September of last year when she shared her experience of battling Ewing sarcoma and becoming “Titanium Girl.” Kat, now a sophomore at Mercer Island High School, asked On the Pulse if she could share an important message with those who cared for her at Seattle Children’s. We think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we did.
Thank you. It’s just two simple words. In some languages it’s just one, gracias or merci for example. I was brought up to say thank you all the time. Thank you to my teachers, my coaches, my bus driver and the store clerk behind the counter. Are these two words really enough though? What if it’s a big thank you? What if the people you want to thank are the reason you are standing here today?
In March 2013 I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. I was at Seattle Children’s Hospital when I first met my oncologist, Dr. Doug Hawkins. I will never forget that day. He had to deliver the worst news of my life. However, as he told me that I had a cancerous tumor in my leg, his voice was full of compassion, patience and honesty. He was honest about how hard this journey I was about to embark on was going to be. I remember being very scared that day, but I never felt hopeless. He had a plan for me and I trusted him. Thank you, Dr. Hawkins. Read full post »