Hospital for Special Surgery to Host Symposium on the Surgical, Genetic and Medical Management of Skeletal Dysplasias (e.g., abnormal bone growth)

NEW YORK, N.Y.—March 12, 2007

DATE: Friday, March 16, 2007
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
PLACE:  Hospital for Special Surgery
Richard L. Menschel Education Center - 2nd Floor
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021 
EXPERTS: Co-chairing the symposium will be:
Cathleen L. Raggio, M.D., Assistant Attending Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, Co-Director, the Kathryn and Alan C. Greenberg Center for Skeletal Dysplasias, Hospital for Special Surgery
Jessica G. Davis, M.D., Associate Attending Pediatrician (Genetics), Co-Director, the Kathryn and Alan C. Greenberg Center for Skeletal Dysplasias, Hospital for Special Surgery
Keynote Lecture:
Victor A. McKusick, M.D., University Professor of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. McKusick is a physician-scientist widely acknowledged as the father of genetic medicine. 

Skeletal dysplasia is an umbrella term for a group of more than 200 genetic conditions that are characterized by differences in the size and shape of the limbs, trunk, and/or skull, all of which can impact stature.

Although individually rare, collectively there are a significant number of individuals with the various dysplasias. It is estimated that 14,000 to 27,000 babies in the United States are born each year with some form of skeletal dysplasia.  Specialized treatment is available in a limited number of centers across the country.
Skeletal dysplasias, including dwarfism, are frequently associated with a range of orthopedic problems. These may include joint dislocation and scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. Other health concerns may include respiratory, neurological, otolaryngologic, rheumatologic, gastroenterologic, endocrine, and/or cardiac issues.  In addition, a range of psychosocial challenges can develop and require assessment and care.
Some patients may not need surgery immediately but will eventually as they age and joints wear out. Others are too old for surgery.  Fundamentally, dysplasias are complex. They require multidisciplinary management targeted for the needs of the individual and/or family.

"Health-care professionals working with children and adults need to understand the radiological, clinical and genetic classification and diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias," said Dr. Cathleen L. Raggio. "They also need to understand what services are available for individuals with skeletal dysplasia over the course of their lifespan.  This program will educate professionals on the holistic multidisciplinary care of both patients and their families."
The Kathryn O. and Alan C. Greenberg Center for Skeletal Dysplasias at Hospital for Special Surgery has developed a new treatment model that provides centralized care so patients do not have to travel from specialist to specialist to receive care. Instead, it offers patients one location with a continuum of clinical services that include genetic evaluation, diagnosis, and counseling; orthopedic screening and treatment; psychosocial assessment; and referrals for specialty medical services.
The care is coordinated so that patients can see all of their physicians on one day and in one place, minimizing the burden of scheduling and traveling to multiple medical appointments.
The Center's staff has developed multifaceted educational programs about skeletal dysplasias for individuals with these disorders and their families, physicians, residents, fellows, social workers, nurses, therapists, and the public at large. 

"An Overview of Skeletal Dysplasias: Surgical, Genetic and Medical Management" will include presentations on:

  • Genetic Diagnostic and Molecular Testing
  • Cartilage and Bone
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Neurology Examination
  • CT and MRI imaging
  • Metabolic Bone and Endocrinology
  • Limb Lengthening and Deformity Correction
  • Spine and Joint Evaluation, Management and Treatment
  • Exercise and Wellness: Fitness
  • Psychosocial Assessment and Support
  • Nutrition and Dietary Assessment

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at

Tracy Hickenbottom


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