Pediatric orthopedic surgeon joins KCH staff

DeKALB – Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Laura Lemke, MD, FAAOS has joined the medical staffs of both Kishwaukee and Valley West community hospitals.

Dr. Lemke earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry with honors from Brown University and a doctor of medicine degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Affiliated Hospitals, where she was appointed chief resident in orthopedic surgery. Lemke completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

Lemke is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Illinois State Medical Society, Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, and Kane County Medical Society.

“There’s a saying in this field: Children are not small adults,” Lemke said.

“They have unique deformities and musculoskeletal issues related to growth and development. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons practice more general orthopedics because with kids, you see problems related to all areas of the body.

“I see patients with scoliosis, congenital abnormalities, hip dysplasia, club feet, traumatic injuries, and much more. Sometimes I operate less frequently than an orthopedic surgeon who treats adults. Many conditions in pediatric orthopedics can be resolved without surgery.”

“The most important thing to remember when treating children is patience. It takes time for kids to trust you, so you have to continually reach out to them on their level,” she said.

“Sometimes that means playing a game; sometimes it involves singing songs together. Being a mother has taught me as much or more about children than I learned in medical school. I have a fuller understanding of what makes them tick and what anxieties they have. At the same time, I need to connect with parents and put them at ease by explaining the issues and laying out a clear treatment plan.”

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