National and international research is a top priority for Children’s. With more than 100 years of expertise in orthopedics, our team’s orthopedic research studies are designed to lead to better outcomes for our patients, like lower infection rates and shorter lengths of stay than the national average and low returns to the operating room.* In addition to conducting ongoing research in spine, sports medicine, hip, limb difference and other areas, our Orthopedics Program performs more orthopedic surgeries than any other pediatric hospital in the country.*
In 2017, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta established the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Outcomes Center. Crystal Perkins, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon, serves as Medical Director for Orthopaedic Quality and Outcomes at Children's.
We participate in several multicenter prospective study groups with other leading pediatric centers across the country, including:
International Perthes Study Group
The International Perthes Study Group is a group of specialists and researchers with a common goal of advancing knowledge and care of patients with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Tim Schrader, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Children’s, was a founding member of this group and is actively involved in collaborative studies with researchers across the world.
Children's Spine Foundation and Study Group
The Children’s Spine Foundation is a community dedicated to improving the quality of care and outcomes for patients and families dealing with chest wall and spine deformities. Our team works with the Spine Study Group on research projects to help improve patient outcomes. Michael Schmitz, MD; Nicholas Fletcher, MD; and Joshua Murphy, MD, all orthopedic surgeons at Children’s, are actively involved in this collaboration on behalf of Children’s.
Harms Study Group
We are one of only 25 centers that participate in this invitation-only research group. In an effort to standardize postoperative spinal fusion care, our team has provided research and data collection from the Children’s spinal fusion postoperative pathway. Our research helps to guide best practices nationwide with the goal of improving spinal fusion patient outcomes. Dr. Fletcher provides leadership on behalf of Children’s in this collaboration with the Harms Study Group.
Research in Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee (ROCK)
The Research in Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee (ROCK) group is committed to developing improved methods for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of osteochondritis dissecans. Our team works closely with other members of this group to identify better treatment plans for patients. Michael Busch, MD; S. Clifton Willimon, MD; and Dr. Perkins represent Children’s through research efforts in this group.
Function After Adolescent Clavicle Trauma and Surgery (FACTS) Multicenter Study Group
Children’s is one of eight centers nationwide that participate in the FACTS Study Group. These centers represent the highest-volume pediatric hospitals in the country that are combining their clinical experience to determine treatment outcomes for teenagers who have displaced clavicle fractures. Drs. Busch, Willimon and Perkins contribute to this group.
Pediatric ACL: Understanding Treatment Options (PLUTO)
PLUTO is a national study group investigating the safety and effectiveness of treatment of pediatric anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, specifically in children with open growth plates. Children’s sports medicine surgeons, including Drs. Busch, Willimon and Perkins, are active members of this group.
Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine (PRiSM)
PRiSM is devoted to the care of pediatric and adolescent athletes. Many pediatric sports injuries and conditions are unique to young athletes and do not occur in other age groups. By combining research across multiple centers and different practitioners, the group aims to increase the impact of research. Drs. Busch, Willimon and Perkins participate in this study group and lead research interest groups studying complex knee injuries and shoulder instability.
Multicentre Pin Site Infection Study
Jill Flanagan, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Children’s, is actively involved in the Multicentre Pin Site Infection Study led by British Columbia Children’s Hospital. It aims to measure and document pin site infection rate and pin site care across Canada, the U.S. and United Kingdom through a multicenter pin site infection database. By identifying the factors contributing to pin site infections, this study will take another step toward improving clinical care for children in external fixation devices.
Multicenter Study Group for Pediatric Limb Deformity
This study group, led by University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is committed to establishing a multicenter prospective study group to define the appropriate indications and expected outcomes in children treated for pediatric limb deformity. The establishment of this large coalition, including Dr. Flanagan, will offer substantial improvements to the current literature and ultimately make a significant impact in our care of children with these conditions.
CORTICES Trauma and Infection Study Group
CORTICES is a collaboration of pediatric orthopedic surgeons dedicated to improving quality, safety and value in the management of emergent orthopedic conditions through education, research and development of optimal care guidelines. Drs. Fletcher and Murphy help lead research efforts on behalf of Children’s in this group.
Children’s study shows steroids reduce opioid use following scoliosis surgery.
A study led by Dr. Fletcher and published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery demonstrates that teens undergoing surgery for scoliosis decreased postoperative opioid use by 40% when steroids were added to their pain management treatment.Learn More
Articulated knees in a child's first prostheses are beneficial
In response to the long debate regarding whether an articulated knee should be part of a child’s first few prostheses, our specialists in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program at Children’s have determined that articulated knees help a child crawl faster, as well as demonstrate less compensatory hip, shoulder and contralateral leg motion with the unlocked knee.
Study shows steroids reduce opioid use after spine surgery
Nicholas Fletcher, MD, discusses the study’s findings, originally published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Our team is constantly raising the bar for clinical research. Be among the first to know about our groundbreaking research efforts that result in better care and outcomes for our patients.
*Pediatric Health Information System (2020), as prepared by the Children’s Hospital Association. This report compares clinical data annually for more than 49 pediatric hospitals in the U.S.