Recently, I took two hand surgery related trips. First, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand was in Las Vegas at the beginning of September this year. Not my favorite city but certainly a good place for a conference. This meeting is always very educational and provides a wonderful forum for discussion on general hand issues. There was some reporting/ discussion of congenital and pediatric hand issues including scientific papers and several lectures. One of the papers was ours on pediatric and adolescent cubital tunnel syndrome. Another reported the changing nature of scaphoid fractures in children; current fracture patterns are similar to adults with scaphoid waist fractures most common. A third reported the syndromic relationships with fully formed extra ulnar digits. And finally, there was a large series on outcomes after carpal wedge osteotomy for the arthrogrypotic wrist.
My next stop was a little more rural. Last weekend, September 16-18, was our 4th annual Hand Camp at Camp Lakewood in Potosi, Missouri. The camp for families and children with severe upper extremity anomalies is about 1.5 hours from Saint Louis. There are physical activities including wall climb, archery, arts and crafts, and horseback riding with all children participating in each activity. There are group sessions to allow frank discussion among parents and families. Additionally, the junior counselors, teens who have successfully navigated the difficult social and functional issues, share their tips with the families and campers. My favorite part of camp is watching kids succeed at tasks that seem daunting (think archery for a child with one arm) and also the group sessions where emotions can run high and lessons abound from the sharing of experiences. Can’t wait for next year!