Greenville children's hospital installs new bone imaging system

Greenville NewsNovember 8, 2013 

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— Greenville’s Shriners Hospital for Children unveiled a new imaging system Thursday that gives physicians a three-dimensional view of bones using far less radiation than has been possible before.

The EOS 3D system provides a life-size image of the entire skeleton in a weight-bearing position as they stand or sit to get a view of the patient’s natural posture and joints, officials said.

“Being able to have this technology is very exciting,” said Dr. Pete Stasikleis, chief of staff at the hospital.

“Before the EOS system, surgeons had to ‘stitch’ together multiple, smaller two-dimensional images to see an entire area,” he said.

“With these 3D images, we will better understand where the problem is and its complexity before we operate, thus bettering our ability to correct the problem.”

The $800,000 system also uses up to nine times less radiation than a typical X-ray and as much as 20 times less than a CT scan, officials said. That’s important when caring for children, who are more sensitive to radiation, and who often need many imaging tests during their treatment.

Dr. Michael Mendelow, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the hospital, said the information is important in planning treatment, and the new technology provides more information with less radiation.

The average teen with scoliosis who doesn’t have surgery would need about 12 X-rays in six years of treatment, officials said. With the device, that patient’s total exposure will now equal one X-ray.

And for children who do require surgery, at least 25 X-rays are needed over the course of their treatment, officials said. That will be reduced to the equivalent of three X-rays with the new imaging system.

Shriners is the first hospital in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama to offer the new technique, officials said.

The hospital has been a part of the Greenville community for more than 80 years, treating children from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama and South Carolina who have cerebral palsy, club foot, spinal abnormalities and other orthopedic conditions regardless of ability to pay.

Along with 21 other health care facilities nationwide, it’s run by the Shriners, an international fraternal organization, with income from an endowment.

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