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Program Overview

Ordinary daily activities such as walking, eating and dressing can be difficult for those who have had a neurological disorder, such as a stroke or brain injury. Losing the ability to move certain body parts can completely change your life and your family's. The Penn Neuro-Orthopaedic program focuses on treatments and therapy to help people improve mobility.

Penn Medicine has the only neuro-orthopaedic program in the region and one of only a handful in the nation. Our neuro-orthopaedic specialists offer the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment to patients whose arms or legs are impaired by brain injury, stroke, anoxia or central nervous disorders.

Conditions Treated by the Neuro-Orthopaedic Program

Sometimes neurologic disorders, such as a brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, polio, a stroke or even a spinal cord injury, can lead to orthopaedic problems. When nerve problems manifest into orthopaedic issues, it's important to see a neuro-orthopaedic doctor who specializes in treating them.

We often see and treat patients with the following neuro-orthopaedic conditions:

  • Clenched-fist and thumb-in-palm deformity
  • Flexed elbow deformity
  • Foot deformities
  • Neuromuscular club foot or drop foot
  • Fused joints
  • Hip and knee contractures
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Scissoring gait
  • Stiff-knee gait
  • Spastic shoulder
  • Walking problems due to abnormal postures of the foot

Treatments and Services Offered by the Neuro-Orthopaedics Program

We come up with treatment plans tailored to you and your needs. Some of the treatments and services we may recommend include:

  • Surgery to:
    • Remove the heterotopic bone to address joints frozen or limited in position
    • Release muscle contractures to optimize joint function and improve gait
    • Lengthen overactive muscles to regain flexibility
    • Transfer muscles to regain lost motion
    • Repair, lengthen or transfer tendons
  • Non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medications, tone relieving medications (botulinum toxin or phenol), corticosteroid injection into the joints, splints and braces.
  • Physical therapy and post-operative rehabilitation
  • Patient education in symptom management
  • Pain management techniques
  • Targeted exercises to regain strength and mobility, such as stretching and gait training

Keith D. Baldwin, MD, MPH, MSPTMeet Neuro-Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Keith Baldwin

Keith Baldwin, MD, MPH, MSPT is one of the nation’s leading experts in neuro-orthopaedics. He treats both adults and children who have orthopaedic and mobility issues caused by stroke, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular and post traumatic conditions.

Why the Neuro-Orthopaedics Program Is Different

Our program provides:

  • The most advanced reconstructive techniques to help restore mobility in individuals whose arms and legs have been impaired due to neurological disorders.
  • A “whole body”, holistic approach to care that focuses on the big picture in order to improve overall function and quality of life.
  • Exceptional clinical care and access to novel treatments supported by the latest evidence-based research.
  • Rehabilitation programs that provide a comprehensive, convenient approach to recovery. We design individualized plans to help every patient resume normal activities as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Easy patient access to a multidisciplinary group of experts who collaborate to treat their condition, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, plastic reconstructive surgeons, orthopaedists, pain medicine physicians.
  • An advanced pain management program that effectively treats pain with less dependence on narcotics and facilitates a quicker recovery.
  • Customized treatment plans that provide an ongoing continuum of care for as long as needed — from diagnosis to treatment through rehabilitation.
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