SOM students part of scoliosis research selected for national presentation

Roshan Melvani, MD, ’14, (left) and Andrew Thome, MS 6 (right)
Roshan Melvani, MD, ’14, (left) and Andrew Thome, MS 6 (right)

A recent graduate and a year 5 student from the School of Medicine worked on two recent project with researchers at Children’s Mercy Hospital that have been selected for presentation at a national meeting this fall.

Andrew Thome, MS 6, and Roshan Melvani, MD, ’14, are the lead authors of a research poster, “The Safety and Effectiveness of Convex Anterior and Poster Hemiepiphysiodesis for the Treatment of Congenital Scoliosis.” The poster has been accepted for presentation at the 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition next October in San Diego.

Thome presented the poster at UMKC’s Health Sciences Student Research Summit last April.

The research involved studying pre- and post-operative X-rays of adolescent children with scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, to discern the effectiveness of a surgical technique known as hemiephiphysiodesis that uses spine and bone grafts to promote normal growth and straightening of the spine. The study compared the results from 10 to 13 years after the surgery to pre-surgery X-rays.

“We wanted to know if the scoliosis got better or worse in the long term,” Thome said.

Previous studies had explored the results at a shorter period of time following surgery, he said. The student concluded that the surgery is a save and effective procedure with promising long-term results.

Newer alternative techniques have been discovered for treating scoliosis. Thome said his study was pertinent to show hemiepiphysiodesis as an effective treatment in settings such as third-world countries where the newer technologies and expertise to perform them may not be available. Thome said the procedure could still be used as well in more advanced centers that don’t want to use rods or other implementations.

“I’ve always known wanted to do orthopaedic surgery,” Thome said. “I was presented this research opportunity at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and being interested in orthopaedic research, I was excited to do it.”

Thome and Melvani also participated in another project at Children’s Mercy, largely collecting data for “Predictors of Length of Surgery in Posterior Instrumented Arthrodesis for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS).” Results of the project, which has also been accepted for an oral presentation at the AAP national meeting next October, said Julia Leamon, MSN, RN, CPN, orthopaedic surgery research coordinator at CMH, could lead to improved outcomes for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) patients and decrease their overall hospitalization costs.

Thome and Melvani worked with Leamon and Nigel Price, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at CMH, on the projects.