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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:

Original Publications

  • Mo AZ, Miller PE, Glotzbecker MP, Li Y, Fletcher ND, Upasani W, Riccio Al, Kresko MT, Krengel WF, Spence DD, Garg S, Hedequist DJ. The Reliability of AOSpine Thoracolumbar Classification System in Children: Results of a Multicenter Study. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Feb. 6. PMID:32032218 (DDS) (2020)
  • Murphy RF, Barfield WR, St. Hilaire T, Smith JT, Emans JB, Samdani A, Garg S, Sawyer JR, Pahys JM; Children's Spine Study Group. Prospectively Collected Surgeon Indications for Discontinuation of a Lengthening Program for Early‐onset Scoliosis. Spine Deform. 2020 Feb;8(1):129‐133. Epub 2020 Jan 24. PMID: 31981149. (JRS) (2020)
  • Murphy RF, Williams D, Hogue GD, Spence DD, Epps H, Chambers HG,Shore Bj, Prophylaxis for Pediatric Venous Throboembolism: Current Status and Changes Across Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America from 2011. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2020 Jan 31. PMID: 32011545 (DDS) (2020)
  • Sheffer BW, Villarreal ED, Ochsner MG 3rd, Sawyer JR, Spence DD, Kelly DM. Concurrent Ipsilateral Tibial Shaft and Distal Tibial Fractures in Pediatric Patients: Risk Factors, Frequency, and Risk of Missed Diagnosis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Jan;40(1):e1‐e5. doi:10.1097/BPO/.0000000000001384. PMID: 30969196 (DMK, JRS, BWS, DDS) (2020)
  • Villarreal ED, Wrenn JO, Sheffer BW, Sawyer JR, Spence DD, Kelly DM. Do Patient‐specific of Fracture‐specific Factors Predict the Development of Acute Compartment Syndrome After Pediatric Tibial Shaft Fractures? J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Mar;40(3):e193‐e197. doi:10.1097/BPO.0000000000001410. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31157755 (DMK, JRS, BWS, DDS) (2020)
  • Amoli MA, Sawyer JR, Ellis RT, Seymour J, Spence DD, Kelly DM, Warner WC Jr. Pediatric Patients with Spondylolysis Have High Rates of Vitamin‐D Deficiency. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2019 Winter;28(4):257‐259. PMID: 31886760 (DMK, JRS, DDS, WCW) (2019)
  • Franklin DB 3rd, Hardaway AT, Sheffer BW, Spence DD, Kelly DM, Mulbauer MS, Warner WC Jr., Sawyer JR. The Role of Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Diagnosis of Pediatric Thoracolumbar Compression Fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Aug;39(7):e520‐523. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001316. PMID: 30589678. (DMK, JRS, BWS, DDS, WCW) (2019)
  • Gitajn IL, Reider L, Scharfstein DP, O'Toole SRV, Bosse MJ, Castillo RC, Jevsevar DS, Pollak AN, Beebe MJ, Weinlein JW. Variability in Discharge Disposition Across US Trauma Centers Following Treatment for High‐energy Lower Extremity Injuries. J Orthop Trauma. 2019 Dec 19. PMID:31868766 (MJB, JCW) (2019)
  • Glotzbecker M, Pahys J, Cahill, Sawyer JR, Vitale M, Grzywna A, Miller P. Hemoglobin Levels Preand Post‐Treatment as a Surrogate for Disease Severity in Early Onset Scoliosis. Spine Deform. 2019 Jul;7(4):641‐646. doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2018.11.002. PMID: 31981116 (JRS) (2019)
  • Harris LR, Arkader A, Broom A, Flynn J, Yellin J, Whitlock P, Miller A, Sawyer JR, Skaggs Dl, Choi PD. Pulseless Supracondylar Humerus Fracture With Anterior Interosseous Nerve or Median Nerve Injury‐An Absolute Indication for Open Reduction? J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Jan;39(1): e1‐e7. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001238. PMID 30080770 (JRS) (2019)
  • Hartline J, Nolan V, Kelly DM, Sheffer BW, Spence DD, Pereiras L, Warner WC Jr, Sawyer JR. Operating Room Personnel Determine Efficiency of Pediatric Spinal Fusions for Scoliosis. Spine Deform. 2019 Sep;7(5):702‐708. doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2019.02.003. PMID: 31495469 (DMK, JRS, BWS, WCW) (2019)
  • Heyworth BE, Pennock AT, Li Y, Kalish LA, Dragonetti B, Ellis HB, Nepple J, Willimon C, Spence DD, Pandya NK, Kocher MS, Edmonds EW, Wilson P, Busch M, Sabatini C, Bae DS. Two‐Year Functional Outcomes of Operative vs. Non‐Operative Treatment of Completely Displaced Midshaft Clavicle Fractures in Adolescents: Results from a Prospective, Multicenter, Level 2 Study (2019 POSNA Annual Meeting‐Best Clinical Paper). JPOSNA, November 2019. (DDS)(2019)
  • Hosseinzadeh P, Obey MR, Nielsen E, Andras L, Kiebzak GM, Mignemi M, Sawyer JR, Albanses S, Flynn JM. Orthopaedic Care for Children: Who Provides It? How Has It Changed Over the Past Decade? Analysis of the Database of the American Board Of Orthopaedic Surgery. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Mar;39(3):e227‐e231. PMID: 30358690 (JRS) (2019)
  • Hung CW, Vitale MG, Samdani Am, Matsumoto H, Smith JT, Sturm PF, Sponseller PD, Luhmann SJ, St. Hilaire T, El‐Hawary R, Sawyer JR. Outcomes of Primary and Conversion Magnetically Controlled Growth Rods Are Different at Two‐Year Follow‐up. Spine Deform. 2019 Sep;7(5):829‐835. doi: 10.1016/j.jspd.2019.01.002. PMID: 31495485 (JRS) (2019)
  • Kaushal N, Chen C, Agarwal KN, Schrader T, Kelly DM, Dodwell ER. Capsulotomy in Unstable Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis and the Odds of AVN: A Meta‐Analysis of Retrospective Studies. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Jul;39(6):e406‐e411. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001359. PMID: 30994581 (DMK) (2019)
  • Kelly DM, Sawyer JR, Murphy R, Perchik J. Radiation Exposure in Adult and Pediatric Patients with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Journal of Orthopaedics. J Orthop. 2019 Mar 22;16(4):320‐324. doi: PMID: 30976147 (DMK, JRS) (2019)
  • Matsumoto H, Hyman JE, Shah HH, Sankar WN, Laine JC, Mehlman CT, Schrader T, Kelly DM, Rosenfeld SB, Janicki JA, Thacker MM, Trupia E, Mcquire MF, Kim HKW; International Perthes Study Group. Validation of Pediatric Self‐Report Patient‐Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Measures in Different Stages of Legg‐Calve‐Perthes Disease. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 July 16. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001423. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31318732. (DMK) (2019)
  • Murphy RF, Barfield W, Corrigan C, Anari J, Sawyer JR, Pediatric Spine Study Group. Evolving Trends in the Inpatient Care of Early Onset Scoliosos. Spine Deform. 2019 Nov;7(6):1022. (JRS)(2019)
  • Murphy RF, Plumblee L, Barfield WB, Murphy JS, Fuerstenau N, Spence DD, Kelly DM, Dow MA, Mooney JR 3rd. Septic Arthritis of the Hip‐Risk Factors Associated With Secondary Surgery. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2019 May 1;27(3):321‐326. doi:10.5435/JAAOS‐D‐D018‐0058 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30520802 (DMK, DDS) (2019)
  • Nielsen E, Andras LM, Hosseinzadeh P, Mignemi M, Sawyer JR, Flynn JM, Albanses S, Skaggs DL. Changes in Pediatric Spine Surgery Patterns Over the Last 10 Years Among ABOS Part II Candidates. Spine (Phil Pa 1976). 2019 Jun 27. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000003072. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 3126126 (JRS) (2019)
  • Obey MR, Lamplot J, Nielsen Ed, Andras LM, Mignemi M, Sawyer J, Glynn JM, Albanses SA, Hosseinzadeh P. Pediatric Sports Medicine, A New Subspecialty in Orthopedics: An Analysis of the Surgical Volume of Candidates for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Part II Certification Exam Over the Past Decade. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Jan;39(1):371‐e76. PMID: 30363045 (JRS) (2019)
  • Richardson SM, Dove JH, Beaty JH, Sheffer BW, Spence DD, Warner WC Jr, Sawyer JR, Kelly DM. Flexible Intramedullary Nailing of Femoral Shaft Fractures: Closed Versus Open Reduction. J
    Pediatr Orthop B. 2019 Oct 22. Doi: 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000685. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31651747 (JHB, DMK, JRS, BWS, DDS, WCW) (2019)
  • Roaten JD, Kelly DM, Yellin JL, Flynn JM, Cyr M, Garg S, Broom A, Andras LM, Sawyer JR. Pediatric Femoral shaft Fractures: A Multicenter Review of the AAOS Clinical Practice Guidelines Before and After 2009. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Sep;39(8):394‐399. doi:10.1097/BPO.0000000000000982. PMID: 31393292. (DMK, JRS) (2019)
  • Roye B, Marciano G, Matsumoto H, Campbell M, White K, Sawyer JR, Smith J, Luhmann S, Sturm PF, Sponseller P, Vitale M, Pediatric Spine Study Group. Rod Diameter Does Not Influence Rod Fracture Rate after Surgical Treatment Using Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods. Spine Deformity. 2019 November;7(6):1033‐1034. PMID: 31974943 (JRS) (2019)
  • Roye BD, Campbell ML, Matsumoto H, Pahys JM, Welborn MC, Sawyer JR, Fletcher ND, McIntosh Al, Sturm PF, Gomez JA, Roye DP, Lenke LG, Vitale MG; Children's Spine Study Group. Establishing Consensus on the Best Practice Guidelines for Use of Halo Gravity Traction for Pediatric Spinal Deformity. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Apr 15. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001379. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID 3099458 (JRS) (2019)
  • Sankar WN, Lavalva SM, Mcguire MF Lane JC, Kim HKW, International Perthes Study Group (Kelly DM). Does Early Proximal Femoral Varus Osteotomy Shorten the Duration of Fragmentation in Perthes Disease? Lessons From a Prospective Multicenter Cohort. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Sep 12. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001451. PMID: 31524767 (DMK) (2019)
  • Spence DD, Cortices Study Group. Defining the Volume of Musculoskeletal Infections Evaluated by Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeons in the Unites States. Accepted to JBJS‐4.15.19 (DDS) (2019)
  • Wu JC, Daley E, Koueiter DM, Lilly R, Vara AD, Settecerri JJ. Operating Room Intervention Rates After Orthopaedic Resident‐reduced Pediatric Both‐Bone Forearm Fractures Relative to the Academic Calendar. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Aug 14. i: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001441. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31425402 (DMK) (2019)

Review Articles

  • Conlan TK, Beebe MJ, Weinlein JC. New Imaging, Diagnostic, and Assessment Techniques in Orthopedic Trauma. Orthop Clin North Am. 2019 Jan;50(1):47‐56. PMID: 30477706 (MJB, JCW)(2019)


  • Brown DW, Sheffer BW. Pediatric Septic Arthritis: An Update. Orthop Clin North Am. 2019 Oct;50(4):461‐470. doi: 10.1016/j.oc.2019.05.003. Epub 2019 Aug 2. Review. PMID: 31466662 (BWS) (2019)
  • Chen AF, Dulai SK, Grewal R, Kelly DM, Lee M, Leucht P, Mir H. The 2019 American‐British‐ Canadian (ABC) Traveling Fellowship. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2019 Oct 9. doi:10.2106/JBJS.19,01000. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available. PMID: 31596817 (DMK) (2019)
  • Conlan TK, Beebe MJ, Weinlein JC. New Imaging, Diagnostic, and Assessment Techniques in Orthopedic Trauma. Orthop Clin North Am. 2019 Jan;50(1):47‐56. PMID: 30477706 (MJB, JCW) (2019)
  • Murphy F, Barfield W, Corrigan C, Anari J, Sawyer JR, Pediatric Spine Study Group. Spine Deform. 2019 Nov;7(6):1022. PMID: 31974959 (JRS) (2019)
  • VanderHave KL, Cho RH, Kelly DM. What's New in Pediatric Orthopaedics. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2019 Feb 20;101(4):289‐295. doi:10.2106/JBJS.18.01078. PMID: 30810367. (DMK) (2019)


  • Romer KR, Rhodes L, Warner WC, Spence DD. Barriers to Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy in Patients with Government Insurance in a Tri‐State Area. AACPDM, Sept. 18‐21, 2019, Anaheim (DDS, WCW) (2020)
  • Sawyer JR, PSSG. Rod Diameter Does Not Influence Rod Fracture Rate After Surgical Treatment Using Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods. AAOS, March 23‐28, 2020, Orlando (JRS) (2020)
  • DiAngelo DJ, Bateman C, Chung C, Hoyer D, Kelly DM, Sawyer JR, Warner WC, Steele J, Tate T. Clinical Evaluation of a Novel Fastening Device for a Scoliosis Brace. Pediatric Research Day, Sept. 2019, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN. (DMK, JRS, WCW, DJD) (2019)
  • Kelly DM, Sheffer BW, Spence DD, Warner WC, Elrod R, Piana LE, Pattisapu N, Beaty JH, Sawyer JR. Infection Trends After Open Fractures in Pediatric Patients: A Study of Data Over 11 Years. POSNA, May 15‐18, 2019. Charlotte, NC (JHB, DMK, JRS, BWS, DDS, WCW) (2019)
  • Kumar P, Stewart R, Kink R, Sawyer JR, Kelly DM, Strickland CD, Gungor B. Hunger Games: Impact of Fasting Guidelines for Procedural Sedation in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Pediatric Research Day, Sept. 2019, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN (DMK, JRS) (2019)

Research Grants

  • Long Term Outcomes and Quality of Life Measures of EOS Patients. From Depuy Synthes Spine. $47,500 (JRS) (2019‐2021)
  • Long Term (> 10 year) Assessment of Outcomes from Surgical Treatment of Early Onset Scoliosis: Development of Methodology and Outcomes Assessment Tools. From Pediatric Orthopaedic Society Mircrogrant. $3,000 (JRS) (2018‐2019)
  • The Treatment of Pediatric Diaphyseal Femur Fractures: A Clinical Trial Planning Grant. From Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of American. $30,000 (JRS) (2017‐2019)


  • Kelly DM, Sawyer JR. Lateral Condylar and Capitellar Fractures of the Distal Humerus. In Waters PM, Skaggs DL, Flynn JM, editors. Rockwood and Wilkins' Fractures in Children, 9th ed. Philadelphia, Wolters Kluwer, 2019. (DMK, JRS) (2019)

*updated April 2020