Experts with the Hand Program at Children’s National Health System provide surgical and nonsurgical treatments for hand and upper extremity problems in infants and young adults.
“We help more than 3,000 pediatric patients each year with congenital hand deformities, post-traumatic reconstruction, and sports-related injuries that include acute or traumatic fractures of the wrist, hand, and elbow,” says Emily Hattwick, MD, MPH, pediatric hand and upper extremity surgeon from Pediatrics Specialists of Virginia
who also practices at Children’s National. “Our expertise is in caring for the challenging, less common problems in the pediatric upper extremities, and we have developed a multidisciplinary program to maximize patient outcomes and success during treatment.”
The nationally ranked Hand Program team at Children’s National includes members of the Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery departments. Emily Hattwick, MD, MPH
, Robert Wilson, MD
, pediatric orthopaedic hand surgeons, work alongside Gary Rogers, MD
, a pediatric plastic surgeon with additional training in hand surgery.
The Hand Program also includes pediatric hand therapists, as well as specialists in Neurosurgery, Physical Medicine, Prosthetics, and Physical and Occupational Therapy.
A delicate touch
“Treating a child’s complex injuries or deformity often requires a creative, innovative approach,” Dr. Hattwick says. “When a growing child sustains a fracture, careful attention must be given to how the injury will heal and affect his or her growth plates and joints. A child’s future growth plays a huge part in our treatment approach.”
For children with congenital conditions and chronic upper extremity deformities, Dr. Hattwick typically operates around age 1 to best improve function. Children’s National offers hand and microsurgery options for an array of conditions, including:
- Brachial plexus birth palsy
- Central deficiency/cleft hand
- Congenital dislocation of the radial head
- Congenital radioulnar synostosis
- Duplicate thumb/finger polydactyly
- Finger hypoplasia
- Neuromuscular upper extremity contractures
- Radial club hand
- Trigger thumb
- Ulnar deficiency
In addition to providing consultations, evaluations, and reconstructive treatment mfor complex injuries or physical deformities, Children’s National offers nonsurgical rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy.
“More often than not, I start by offering patients and their families the best nonsurgical options available,” Dr. Hattwick says. “Depending on the level of injury or deformity and the risk for a larger problem developing down the road, corrective surgery may turn out to be the best option.”
Working in conjunction with researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s Department of Genetics, the Hand Program at Children’s National Health System is committed to ongoing research measuring the outcomes of surgical treatment of patients with hand and wrist deformities caused by certain rare diagnoses. Physicians with the Hand Program also conduct educational programs about pediatric hand and upper extremity surgery for Georgetown University, George Washington University, Inova, Howard University, and the Walter Reed Orthopaedic Residency students.
Read more about hand surgery in the winter 2014 issue of Advancing Pediatrics
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