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Our goal in pediatric orthopedics research is to find the best methods for treating orthopedic injuries and conditions in children.

We conduct research as part of the Children's Foundation Research Institute (CFRI), which is a partnership between Le Bonheur, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and Children's Foundation of Memphis. We are committed to discovering the best ways to care for kids.

All of our physician researchers and fellows are members of Campbell Clinic Orthopedics, which has been committed to orthopedics research and clinical care for more than 60 years.

Our research work

  • Spine research: Le Bonheur is a core member of the Chest Wall and Spine Deformity Group, an organization that supports research on VEPTR and has published more than 50 articles related to severe spinal deformity in growing children. Additional spine research includes studies on scoliosis and spinal tumors in children.
  • Trauma research: Le Bonheur is an ACS Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. Our research supports ACS trauma certification and has led to multiple publications on orthopedic trauma including ATV safety.
  • Hip research: As members of the International Perthes Study Group, we are collaborating with physicians and researchers from all over the world to advance the knowledge and treatment of the disease.
  • General orthopedics research: We have a variety of other active studies including upper and lower extremity, musculoskeletal conditions and general orthopedics areas.

Our accomplishments

  • More than 30 active pediatric orthopedics studies
  • Hundreds of published prospective and retrospective studies, case reports, technique papers and presentations
  • Active collaboration with other children’s hospitals and organizations around the country to add to the knowledge base for pediatric orthopedics

Recent publications

Our latest published research includes:

Surgical Treatment of Supracondylar Humeral Fractures in A Freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center is as Safe as and Faster and More Cost-Effective Thank in A Children's Hospital. Rider CM, Hong V, Westbrooks TJ, Wang J, Sheffer BW, Kelly DM, Spence DD, Sawyer JR.. J Pediatr Ortho. 2018 Apr 16. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001171. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 2966498

Occipital Condyle Fractures in the Pediatric Population. Seymour J, Sawyer JR, Warner WC, Kelly DM, Muhlbauer MS. COP. 29(3):214-217, May/June 2018. doi: 10.1097/BCO.0000000000000609

Common Techniques Useful to the Practicing or Training Orthopaedic Surgeon on Call in a Pediatric Hospital. Sheffer BW. COP. 29(3):197-202, May/June 2018. doi: 10.1097/BCO.0000000000000628

Characterization of American Football Injuries in Children and Adolescents. Smith PJ, Hollins AM, Sawyer JR, Spence DD, Outlaw S, Kelly DM. J Pediatr Orthop. 2018 Feb;38(2):e57-e60. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001101.  PMID 29189531

Is There a Correlation Beween Growing Pains and Parent-Child Bed-Sharing? Smith PJ, Moisan A, Sawyer JR, Spence DD, Warner WC, Kelly DM. COP. 29(3):218-222, May/June 2018. doi: 10.1097/BCO.0000000000000610

Liposomal Bupivacaine Mixture Has Similar Pain Relief and Significantly Fewer Complications at Less Cost Compared to Indwelling Interscalene Catheter in Total Elbow Arthroplasty. Thompson KM, Brolin TJ, Smith RA, Azar FM, Throckmorton TW. JSES. 2018 April;27(4):e126-127.

Pre-operative Narcotic Use is Associated With Markedly Inferior Outcomes After Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Clinical and Radiographic Analysis, Thompson KM, Hallock JD, SMith RA, Brolin TJ, Azar FM, Throckmorton TW. Accepted to J of the Am Acad of Orthop Surg-Aug. 2017, publication pending.

Valgus Hindfoot Deformity Secondary to Neonatal Intravenous Infiltration: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Villareall ED, Konofaos P, Kelly DM. J Craniofac Surg. 2018 Jan;29(1):e80-e83. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000004108. PMID: 29135726

Top Ten Journal Articles for Residents Beginning a Pediatric Orthopaedic Rotation. Walker K. COP. 29(3):193-196, May/June 2018. doi: 10.1097/BCO.000000000000062

Tobacco Use Predicts a More Difficult Episode of Care After Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty.  Wells DB, Holt AM, Smith RA, Brolin TJ, Azar FM, Throckmorton TW. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2018 Jan;27(1):23-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2017.06.033. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28747276

How to Survive Your First Night on Pediatric Call. Wells DB. COP. 29(3):190-192, May/June 2018. doi: 10.1097/BCO.0000000000000625

How Precise are Clinical Height Measurements in Scoliosis Patients? Woon RP, Skaggs DL, Sanders J, Garg S, Sawyer JR, Fletcher N, Andras LM. COP. 29(3):223-225, May/June 2018. doi: 10.1097/BCO.0000000000000612

Orthobiologics in Pediatric Sports Medicine. Bray CC, Walker CM, Spence DD.Orthop Clin North Am. 2017 Jul;48(3):333-342. Epub 2017 Apr 14. Review. PMID: 28577782.

Management of the Relapsed Clubfoot Following Treatment Using the Ponseti Method. Hosseinzadeh P, Kelly DM, Zionts LE. . J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017 Mar;25(3):195-203.  doi: 10.5435?JAAOS-D-15-00624.  PMID: 28195983.

What's New in Pediatric Orthopaedics? Kelly DM, Weiss J, Martus JE.  J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017 Feb15;99(4):353-359.  doi: 10.2106/JBJS.16.01192.  PMID: 28196040

Factors that Predict Instability in Pediatric Diaphyseal Both-Bone Forearm Fractures. Kutsikovich JI, Hopkins CM, Gannon EW 3rd, Beaty JH, Warner WC Jr, Sawyer JR, Spence DD, Kelly DM. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2017 Aug 2.doi: 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000480. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28777160.

Reliability of Radiographic Assessments of Adolescent Midshaft Clavicle Fractures by the FACTS Multicenter Study Group. Li Y, Donohue KS, Robbins CB, Pennock AT, Ellis HB Jr, Nepple JJ, Pandya N, Spence DD, Willimon SC, Heyworth BE, Function after Adolescent Clavicle Trauma and Surgery (FACTS) J Orthop Trauma. 2017 Sep; 31(9):479-484. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000877. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 28471918.

Changes in the Treatment of Pediatric Femoral Fractures: 15-year trends from United States Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) 1997-2012Naranje, SM, Stewart M, Kelly DM, Sawyer JR, Jones TL, Beaty JH, Warner WC Jr. . J Pediatr Orthop. 2016 Oct-Nov;36(7):e81-85. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000633. PMID:26327403.

The Classification for Early-onset Scoliosis (C-EOS) Correlates With the Speed of Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) Proximal Ancho Failure. Park HY, Matsumoto H, Feinberg N, Roye DP, Kanj WW, Betz RR, Cahill PJ, Glotzbecker MP, Lumann SJ, Gar S, Sawyer JR, Smith JT, Flynn JM, Vitale MG.  J Pediatr Orthop. 2017 Sep;37(6):381-386.  doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000682. PMID: 26566066.

Adolescent Clavicle Nonunions: Potential Risk Factors and Surgical Management. Pennock AT, Edmonds EW, Bae DS, Kocher MS, Li Y, Farley FA, Ellis HB, Wilson PL, Nepple J, Gordon JE, Willimon SC, Busch MT, Spence DD, Kelly DM, Pandya NK, Sabatini CS, Shea KG, Heyworth BE. . J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2017 Aug 22. pii: S1058-2746(17)30389-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2017.06.040. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 28844421

Complications and Radiographic Outcomes of Posterior Spinal Fusion and Observation in Patients Who Have Undergone Distraction-Based Treatment for Early Onset Scoliosis. Sawyer  JR, de Mendonca GM, Flynn TS, Samdani AF, El-Hawary r, Spurway AJ, Smith JT, Emans MB, St. Hilaire TA, Soufleris SJ, Murphy RP.. Spine Deformity. 2016 Nov;4(6):407-412.  doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2016.08.007. PMID: 27927569.

Use of a Core Reamer for Resection of a Central Distal Femoral Physeal Bone Bridge: A Novel Technique with Three-Year Follow-up.Sawyer JR, Kelly DM.   Accepted to Am J of Orthop. May 2017

Perioperative Pain Managment in Pediatric Spine Surgery. Sheffer BW, Kelly DM, Rhodes LN, Sawyer JR. Orthop Clin North Am. 2017 Oct;48(4):481-486. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jul 15. Review. PMID: 28870307.

Benign Natural History of Spondylolysis in Adolescence With Midterm Follow-up. Sousa T, Skaggs Dl, Chan P, Yamaguchi KT, Borgella J, Lee C, Sawyer JR, Moisan A, Flynn JM, Gunderson M, Hresko MT, D'Hemecourt P, Andras LM. Spine Deform. 2017 Mar;5(2):134-138. doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2016.10.005.  PMID: 28259265.

Reliability analysis of Cobb angle measurements of congenital scoliosis using x-ray and 3D-CT images. uchi R, Tsuji T, Cahill PJ, Flynn JM, Flynn JM, Glotzbecker M, El-Hawary R, Heflin JA, Imagama S, Joshi Ap, Nohara A, Ramirex N, roye DP Jr, Saito T, Sawyer JR, Smith JT, Kawakami N. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. [Epub ahead of print on 9/15/15]. 2016 Jan;26(1):53-7.  doi: 10.1007/s00590-015-1701-7. PMID: 26377663.

The Risk of Curve Progression and Surgery In African Americans With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Taylor L, Astur N, Jones TL, Perake V, Moisan M, Warner WC Jr, Sawyer JR, Kelly DM. Spine Deformity. 2017 July;5(4):250-254. PMID: 28622900

Adolescent Spondylolysis: Management and Return to Play. Warner WC Jr, de Mendonca RGM.  Instr Course Lect. 2017 Feb 15;66:409-413.

Complications After Surgical Treatment of AIS. de Mendonça RG, Sawyer JR, Kelly DM. Orthop Clin North Am. 2016 Apr;47(2):395-403.

Retrospective: Impact of child safety restraint status during motor vehicle collisions (MVC) in predicting type and severity of bone fractures and other trauma UTHSC IRB# 14-03310-XM. Chris Loftis, JRS, Trey Eubanks, DMK. J Pediatr Orthop. 2016 Jan 11.

Comparison of Two Post-Operative Bowel Regimens in Children with Scoliosis Repair. Rhodes LN, Loman DG,  Bultas MW. Orthop Nurs. 2016 Jan-Feb;35(1):13-7.

Complications Related to the Treatment of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Roaten J, Spence DD. Orthop Clin North Am. 2016 Apr;47(2):405-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2015.09.013. Review.

Cervical Spine Trauma Immobilization Protocols in Young Children: How Often are These Protocols Followed? IRB#14-03323-XM 8/13/2014. WCW, Eric Weldy. COJ Volume 2, 2016.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Treated with Simultaneous Translation on Two Rods (ST2R) with Preoperative, Postoperative and Follow-up Evaluation by EOS 3D Imaging: A Pilot Study. De Mendonça RG, Hong VY, Flournory JM, Sawyer JR, Kelly DM. COJ Volume 2, 2016.

Fracture of the Medial Humeral Epicondyle in Children: A Comparison of Operative and Non-operative Management. Biggers M, Bert T, Moisan A, Spence DD, Warner WC Jr, Beaty JH, Sawyer JR, Kelly DM. Journal of Southern Orthopaedic Advances. Fall 2015 Vol 24. No. 3. 188.

The Limping Child: A Systematic Approach to Diagnosis. Naranje S; Kelly DM, Sawyer JR. Am Fam Physician. 2015 Nov 15;92(10):908-16.

The Classification for Early Onset Scoliosis Predicts Timing to VEPTR Anchor Failure. Park HY, Matsumoto H, Feinberg N, Roye DP, Kanj WW, Betz RR, Cahill PJ, Glotzbecker MP, Luhmann SJ, Garg S, Sawyer JR, Smith JT, Flynn JM, Vitale MG. J Pediatr Orthop. 2015 Nov 13.

 *updated September 2017