Jun 16, 2023 / Hip Disorders

Share Your Story: Exceptional Care

Meet Sam, a patient who is treated by our experts in the Center for Excellence in Hip. Sam and Dr. Kim have formed a special bond through the years, as Sam was just 9 years old when he first became Dr. Kim’s patient. Sam has a childhood disorder of the hip called Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, also known as Perthes disease. 
Perthes is a condition in which a child’s hip joint is abnormal, and the blood supply to the head of the thighbone is temporarily stopped. Perthes is uncommon — approximately five to 10 children per 100,000 will be diagnosed each year — and it more commonly affects boys — one in 760 boys.
Nonsurgical treatments might include reducing physical activity and weightbearing on the affected legs using crutches, wheelchairs, casting and/or bracing. In Sam’s case, a surgery called an osteotomy was necessary. Surgical treatments for Perthes might include pelvic or femoral osteotomy, a process that reorients the pelvis or femur. In older children, another treatment option is to make bone channels to speed up healing and to inject bone marrow stem cells.
Perthes disease is a very uncommon condition that few doctors have experience in diagnosing and treating. It is important for parents to find a pediatric orthopedic specialist with a special interest in Perthes disease that cares for children with the condition regularly. 
Under the direction of Harry Kim, M.D., M.S., researchers in our Center for Excellence in Hip are dedicated to studying the progression of Perthes and other hip conditions, in kids just like Sam. Scottish Rite for Children is the leading center for the International Perthes Study Group (IPSG). IPSG includes more than 50 pediatric orthopedic surgeons and researchers from 10 different countries who are dedicated to improving the care of patients with Perthes disease. Their research provides important insight into this condition and will lead to the development of new treatment methods. As a long-time patient at Scottish Rite, Sam also participated in clinical research studies and understands the impact of quality patient care and the importance of research on a patient’s life.
It’s been a couple of years since your last surgery. How are you doing?  
I am currently in high school, and in the summer, I work as a lifeguard at our local pool. I think my life is pretty normal. My friends understand it can sometimes hurt when I walk for too long, so I use my bike to ride when my friends are walking, or we all take the golf cart. 
Can you talk about your connection with Dr. Kim?  
Dr. Kim and his staff have always explained everything to me in ways that I can understand. As a teenager, they talk to me about my disease and include me in everything. I really appreciate the effort they make to keep me involved in my care.
Do you have any specific memories about your time spent at Scottish Rite? 
Scottish Rite helped me stay active when I couldn’t walk. I learned how to do special stretches and started doing activities that allowed me to stay active and strong during treatment. I’m thankful I was able to keep moving, and I continue to swim and play sled hockey. Because of the treatment I received from Scottish Rite, I can walk, hike, play and have fun with my friends! 
Also, when I had my different surgeries, I loved spending time in the Child Life Playroom. Everyone was really nice and helped make things seem less scary. 
What would you tell patients and families thinking about participating in research at Scottish Rite? 
Do it! It is the best decision you can make! 
What are your plans for your future? 
I am on my school’s robotics team. I want to be an engineer. 
Can you talk about your overall experience at Scottish Rite? 
Sam’s mom, Nerissa - I have learned that the Scottish Rite will take care of you. Sam is inspiring others in the sport of sled hockey and staying active in a sport he loves because of Scottish Rite! Sam is actually my second child to benefit from Scottish Rite. My daughter Meredith went through the Take Flight program and graduated high school with an incredible GPA! None of this would be possible without Scottish Rite! 

I feel incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Kim as my son's doctor. Not only does he provide exceptional medical care for my son's bone disease, but he also goes above and beyond.

One aspect that truly sets Dr. Kim and his staff apart is their commitment to attending Camp Perthes every year. This camp serves as a wonderful platform for encouragement, not only for Dr. Kim's patients and parents, but also for everyone in attendance. It's truly heartwarming to see a medical professional and team take the time to support and uplift individuals facing challenges.

The care and support we have received from Dr. Kim and his staff have been outstanding. They are an incredibly caring and supportive group of professionals who genuinely understand the difficulties that come with dealing with something hard in life. Their compassionate nature and dedication make a world of difference in our journey.

Dr. Kim's expertise in treating my son's bone disease is exceptional. He and the team consistently ensure that we understand the treatment options available and take the time to answer all our questions with patience and clarity. His approach instills confidence and trust, which is invaluable in such a challenging situation.

Scottish Rite for Children is equally remarkable. Everyone is friendly, attentive and always ready to lend a helping. I cannot recommend Dr. Kim and his team highly enough. If you are looking for a doctor who genuinely cares and supports you through difficult times, Dr. Kim is the one to trust.



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