Orthopaedics Trainees Win Young Investigator Awards, Publish Findings

In recent years, a resident and a medical student from Penn State College of Medicine have each won the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Young Investigator Award for research, and have since published their findings in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. In 2014, fourth-year medical student, Matthew J. Pacana, won the AAP award for research regarding the use and outcomes associated with ultrasound (US) examination for hip dysplasia in infants born breech, despite a normal physical examination.¹ The work examined Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s implementation of the AAP’s recommendation published in 2000 for routine US based on records from infants born between 2008-2011. William Hennrikus, M.D., medical director, Penn State Pediatric Bone and Joint Institute Clinic, notes, “The findings from Pacana’s work suggest that utilizing US for all breech births is costly and yields a very low number of cases that require intervention for hip dysplasia. It is an important observation that may impact how breech birth infants are followed early for possible hip dysplasia.”

Dr. Hennrikus served as a mentor to Michael J. Sumko, D.O., an orthopedics resident at PinnacleHealth who completed orthopaedics training at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Sumko won the 2012 AAP Young Investigators Award for his study findings that describe radiation exposure with use of a mini C-arm for reduction of pediatric upper extremity fractures, also recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics.² Unlike prior studies which estimated radiation exposure with the C-arm, Dr. Sumko and colleagues measured actual exposure with use of the C-arm in the emergency department over the course of one year. In most cases, exposures exceeded those from conventional X-rays and were greater than previously estimated. To reduce radiation exposure, Sumko, et al., recommended that residents receive more training for safer use of the mini C-arm in the emergency department. The Department of Orthopaedics at Penn State College of Medicine now offers annual training for all residents and faculty in safe use of the mini C-arm.

Dr. Hennrikus notes, “Conducting studies of this size and complexity, presenting at a national meeting and publishing the findings in a top tier journal really becomes a team effort spanning several years. These research efforts help to fulfill our core missions: excellence in patient care, research, education and community service.”

William Hennrikus, M.D.William Hennrikus, M.D.
Professor, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Medical Director, Pediatric Bone and Joint Institute Clinic
Surgeon, Pediatric Orthopaedics
PHONE: 717-531-4826
E-MAIL: whennrikus@hmc.psu.edu
FELLOWSHIP: Pediatric orthopaedics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
RESIDENCY: Orthopaedic surgery, Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego, Calif.
MEDICAL SCHOOL: Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC

Connect with William Hennrikus, M.D. on Doximity


  1. Pacana MJ(1), Hennrikus WL, Slough J, Curtin W. 2015. Ultrasound Examination for Infants Born Breech by Elective Cesarean Section With a Normal Hip Exam for Instability. J Pediatr Orthop. Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Sumko MJ, Hennrikus W, Slough J, Jensen K, Armstrong D, King S, Urish K. 2015. Measurement of Radiation Exposure When Using the Mini C-Arm to Reduce Pediatric Upper Extremity Fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print]

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