The Children’s Hospital
A new surgical program cares for children’s orthopedic issues.
A new pediatric orthopedic surgical program was launched in October at the Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, adding to its full range of pediatric specialized healthcare services for newborns and children through young adulthood. Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital is designated by the state of New Jersey as an acute care children’s hospital, one of the most advanced hospitals of its kind in the nation. Dr. Alfred Tria is chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Dr. Bipin Patel is chair of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital. Drs. Kondratyeva and Kawashima are pediatric orthopedic surgery specialists in the new program.
Why launch a specialized pediatric orthopedics program at the Children’s Hospital?
This service was really needed. A pediatric orthopedist is the best-trained and most experienced doctor to properly evaluate and treat musculoskeletal (bone, joint, or muscle) problems in a child who is still growing. A tremendous number of kids come in and out of the hospital, and it was time to take a serious look at this and develop this division within our department. We wanted to offer patients 24/7 care for their pediatric orthopedic injuries and problems. We were happy to provide this service to our patients, and we can service area community hospitals that do not have these services as well.
What are some of the children’s orthopedic issues treated by the pediatric orthopedic surgical program?
The surgeons treat all types of issues, including birth defects and deformities, traumatic injuries and spinal conditions such as scoliosis. When surgery is indicated, our minimally invasive neonatal and pediatric surgeons use advanced surgical equipment and tiny video cameras to perform major procedures on the youngest patients. The result is less trauma to the body, which translates to less pain and pain medication for our most fragile of patients. Complications are dramatically reduced, less anesthesia is required and overall healing time is decreased. In fact, many patients are discharged within a day or two after a complex procedure.
Who are the doctors on staff at the Pediatric Orthopedics Program at Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital?
To launch the program, the hospital hired two newly minted pediatric orthopedic surgery specialists—Alexandra Kondratyeva, D.O., who completed her fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center, and Amie Kawashima, D.O., who was a fellow at Shriner’s Hospital and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Only about 30 to 40 doctors earn pediatric orthopedic surgical fellowships a year, so we are lucky to have both Alexandra and Amie. Also, Saint Peter’s has seven pediatric anesthesiologists – more than any facility in the area – who are trained to treat the special needs of children ages infants to teens.
What are the benefits of a specialized pediatric program?
Treatments for children are different than for adults, and the orthopedic pediatric program at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s joins the spectrum of programs and services designed to address the particular challenges of childhood. Both Drs. Kondratyeva and Kawashima often remark on how very rewarding it is for them to work with kids. Unlike with any other specialty, they treat a variety of conditions and can follow up with their young patients from birth through age 20. Helping children also involves answering the concerns of parents, and we believe that it is important to keep parents well-informed about their kids’ care.
Problems we can help with include:
• Limb and spine deformities noted at birth or later in life
• Gait abnormalities (limping)
• Broken bones
• Bone or joint infections and tumors.
Saint Peter’s University Hospital
54 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick NJ 08901