The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s John P. Dormans, MD, FACS, was recently elected to the presidency of the Scoliosis Research Society’s board of directors. The former chief of Children’s Hospital’s Division of Orthopedics and a professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, Dr. Dormans is an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and spine disorder researcher.
A condition in which the spine is curved sideways, scoliosis is most often seen in late childhood and adolescence, and is more common in girls than boys. There are several different types of scoliosis, including congenital, neuromuscular (when it is associated with cerebral palsy or another condition), and idiopathic scoliosis, or that of largely unknown origin. Idiopathic scoliosis affects approximately 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population, about 9 million Americans.
The Scoliosis Research Society is a premier organization of roughly 1200 leading spine surgeons and researchers from more than 50 countries. Since it was founded in 1966, according to the Society’s website the Scoliosis Research Society “has maintained a commitment to research and education in the field of spinal deformities.” Dr. Dormans’ fellow board members hail from the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins, and Louisville, Ky.’s Norton Leatherman Spine Center.
In late 2014, Dr. Dormans published a series of papers on scoliosis and orthopedics, including one in the Journal of Children’s Orthopaedics on surgical management of fibrous dysplasia (a condition in which fibro-osseous tissue proliferates in bone) of the proximal femur, and a Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics (JPO) study of scoliosis in children who have Aicardi syndrome. A rare disorder occurring mainly in females, Aicardi syndrome is characterized by brain and eye abnormalities, distinctive facial features, and recurrent seizures that can be difficult to treat.
In the JPO paper, Dr. Dormans — along with CHOP’s Emmouil Grigoriou, MD, who held a 2013-2014 Orthopedic Surgery Research Fellowship — described for the first time scoliosis in patients with Aicardi syndrome. By performing a review of records of Aicardi syndrome patients treated for scoliosis at Children’s Hospital, they found scoliosis represents “a clinically significant problem that is underdiagnosed and overshadowed by the other severe medical complications associated with the syndrome.”
“It certainly is an honor to serve as President of the Scoliosis Research Society,” Dr. Dormans said. “I look forward to working with my fellow members to advance scoliosis research and care.”
To learn more about scoliosis and other spine treatments at CHOP, see The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Spine Program.