Pediatric Orthopaedics Restores Arm Function in Young Boy
When Chase Stevens was born, his mom tells how his left arm was “purple and lifeless.” His parents were told it was an unexplainable birth defect, and he would never have any use of the arm. The Eastern Shore couple could not simply accept that, so they took their son to a Delaware hospital for care. Chase’s mom, Nicole, was not satisfied and decided she needed to find another option so her son could use his arm.
“I did a lot of research on the internet. I found Dr. Abzug and I watched a video where he said that it is his goal to help children with disabilities to function as normally as possible, even play sports. That pulled at my heart strings and I knew he was the doctor for us,” says Nicole.
Dr. Joshua Abzug is the director of pediatric orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Medical Center and assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Recognized as an expert in upper pediatric extremity problems and brachial plexus injuries, he has been caring for Chase since he was two years old. Under his care, Chase has received rigorous therapy and an operation known as rotational osteotomy, which have given Chase use of his left arm, including his shoulder, arm, wrist and hand.
“To look at him, you would not even notice he has a problem. He has so much function. He uses his hands. He feeds and dresses himself. His favorite toys are Transformers and he can play with them, no problem! His arm function is so much higher than we ever expected,” says his mom.
To Chase, Dr. Abzug is an important part of his life. He does not dread the car rides to see Dr. Abzug and actually gets excited for his appointments.
Down the road, Chase may need to have another operation on his thumb to give him more function. For now though, he is a thriving young boy because of parents and a pediatric orthopaedist who push and advocate for him to be happy and healthy.