Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baltimore Limb Course Celebrates 20 Years

The International Center for Limb Lengthening at Sinai Hospital held its 20th Annual Baltimore Limb Deformity Course over Labor Day weekend. Held at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, it featured 275 participants from 31 countries and 26 states.

I visited to see firsthand how Sinai Hospital doctors John Herzenberg, M.D. (pictured right), Shawn Standard, M.D., Janet Conway, M.D., and Bradley Lamm, D.P.M., have developed a course that trains many of the top orthopedic surgeons from around the world.

At first glance the course appeared to be like a trade show. Seventeen medical device manufactures had elaborate displays highlighting some of the latest orthopedic equipment. But then you enter the labs.

Doctors from around the world spent nine-hour days participating in saw bone labs, cadaver labs and digital planning labs.

At the end of the training physicians were able to earn CME or CEU credits. And it wasn’t just listening to lectures. At the saw bone lab you could see many doctors drilling away, using tools resembling what we may find in our garage, only the drills and screws were constructing elaborate fixators on bone models. In the digital imagining lab, doctors plotted out the proper way to construct different frames. The course reminded me of what you could see at an engineering school in terms of the elaborate frame designs, only these designs are used to correct limb deformities.

The physicians and course attendees also had some fun. A highlight of this year’s course was an event at the Maryland Science Center honoring the Hubble Space Telescope's 20th anniversary. Participants were entertained with a new IMAX film about the telescope and were given a presentation by NASA astronaut and orthopedic surgeon Robert Satcher, M.D., about working in space and how telescopes have found spectacular discoveries.

To learn more about the International Center for Limb Lengthening, click here. -Ryan Nawrocki

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