Kayla L. – BASIS Phoenix

BASIS Phoenix Senior Kayla L.

Pediatric Orthopedics: Studying Complications Following Spinal Fusion

Project/blog link: Pediatric Orthopedics: Studying Complications Following Spinal Fusion
BASIS Advisor: Amy Anderson
Internship location: Dr. Richard Shindell's Pediatric Orthopedic Office
Onsite Mentor: Richard Schindell, MD, Dr. Richard Shindell's Pediatric Orthopaedics

Project Abstract

Scoliosis is a spinal disfigurement characterized by a curve in the in spine that is greater than 10º. This disorder affects approximately 3% of the population and is most commonly found in children. There are few causes including chiari malformations and other underlying spinal deformities. Curves above 50º require a surgical treatment referred to as spinal fusion. Although the chances are small, patients undergoing this surgery can have complications following or during the surgery, such as failure of spinal fusion, death, loss of spinal function, neurological damage and many others. By defining a complication as an unexpected consequence of the surgery (thus eliminating “pain” as a so-called complication), I expect to see that most complications reported following the surgery have some sort of relation to a known pre-surgical problem such as other deformities or diseases rather than chance complications. To collect data I will observe patient visits to Dr. Richard Shindell's pediatric orthopedic office, and do research to find data online to see if complications following spinal fusion relate to pre-operative conditions. Because a large number of pediatric spinal fusions are done each year, it is important to study complications that can follow, and how they possibly can be limited, as well as what precautions doctors already take to ensure a safe and smooth experience for children and family.

Pediatric Orthopedics: Studying Complications Following Spinal Fusion