Physician inspecting child's arm cast

Your child's go-to when they need orthopaedic care

Monday, July 1, 2019 |
Bayhealth Division of Orthopaedics is proud to now have two orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in pediatric orthopaedics. This is helping to meet a need in the local area for pediatric subspecialists.

In addition to taking patient appointments in their respective clinics, Justin Connor, MD, and Andrew Gambone, MD, each perform surgery and provide inpatient and outpatient care at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus. They also support Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus and the Emergency Department in Smyrna, providing patient consultations and emergency fracture care when needed.

Both doctors attribute their specialty expertise to top-notch children’s hospital orthopaedic programs and working alongside world-renowned pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. Dr. Gambone completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia followed by an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at Penn State University, which has strongly Your child’s go-to when they need orthopaedic care equipped him to see patients of any age with a multitude of conditions.

Dr. Connor spent much of his career in Delaware, staying on with Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington after his pediatric orthopaedic surgery fellowship there. He gained valuable experience as a surgeon in their neuromuscular orthopaedic division and in their spina bifida program. He also trained and served in their accredited Gait Lab, one of only seven in the country that focus on the study of children’s movement and walking patterns to diagnose and better treat the conditions that impact mobility.

Both Dr. Connor and Dr. Gambone are accustomed to treating broken bones, sprains and common orthopaedic issues in young patients. Both surgeons are also skilled in handling trauma and complex cases. But each has a unique area of clinical interest. With his specialized orthopaedic sports medicine training, Dr. Gambone treats a lot of sports-related injuries. He also does cartilage restoration procedures, a minimally invasive technique to stimulate growth of healthy cartilage, which has been known to delay or prevent joint replacement in a patient’s future. Dr. Connor works extensively with patients who have neuromuscular conditions, such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy and complex abnormalities that affect their ability to move or walk.

“It’s advantageous to go to someone who not only has additional and specialized training but also the broad experience of having treated many children and adolescents,” said Dr. Gambone. It’s a common misconception that children are just small adults with smaller-scale variations of bones and other body parts that can be treated similarly. Their growing and developing bodies, at all stages, present special considerations when it comes to orthopaedic care. These include congenital abnormalities and growth plate disturbances that can affect future development and pose problems later in life if not addressed properly.

Having pediatric orthopaedic specialists locally means that the vast majority of acute injuries, elective surgeries and hospitalizations can be handled at Bayhealth without having to refer pediatric patients to a facility further away. “Not having to travel so far leads to better follow-up, and therefore better care,” said Dr. Gambone. It also ensures expedited care when accidents happen. “Because of the nature of their rapidly changing bodies, children should always be seen emergently or urgently after injury for the best outcome. If there’s a delay, a nonoperative condition can become an operative one,” he added.

Both doctors are glad that they can address an important need for area families. “I’ve always had a passion for helping underserved populations,” said Dr. Connor. “I want to make people’s lives better — to improve their quality of life, their function and their potential. That’s the reason I’m here.”

Visit Bayhealth's Find a Doctor page or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gambone or Dr. Connor, or to learn more about a doctor to fit your family’s healthcare needs.