Geisinger surgeon completes 200th robotic assisted pediatric spine surgery | News, Sports, Jobs

dr. Meagen Fernandez

DANVILLE — As of May 2021, Dr. Meagen Fernandez van Geisinger performed more than 200 robotic-assisted pediatric spine surgeries at the Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute. Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Institute is the only pediatric hospital in Pennsylvania to use robotic-assisted technology for pediatric spine surgery.

Robot-assisted spine surgery has already been used in adults. But those surgeries are largely focused on the lumbar spine, where the robot guides the surgeon in placing a small number of screws. In pediatric surgery, the surgeon covers a much larger area with significantly more screws.

dr. Fernandez specializes in the treatment of childhood sports injuries, ACL reconstruction and meniscus injuries, fractures and traumatic injuries and scoliosis. For her pediatric spine surgeries, she uses the Medtronic Renaissance System, the first robotic spine support technology used in Pennsylvania to treat pediatric patients with scoliosis requiring surgery. Renaissance is designed to improve the safety and accuracy of implant placement in spinal surgery.

A certified child life specialist guides Dr. Fernandez at the clinic to help young patients cope with play therapy and activities. The Child Life team also helps children understand why they are getting certain tests and can answer questions about the equipment.

dr. Fernandez joined Geisinger in 2011 and graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2005. She completed a residency in orthopedic surgery in 2010 at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg and a pediatric orthopedic surgery fellowship in 2011 at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta.

dr. Fernandez is a member of professional organizations including the Scoliosis Research Society, Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North American, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.

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