Without question, Dr. Stephanie Russo’s most memorable moment was witnessing a preschooler hug her mom the minute her cast from shoulder surgery was removed. Through tears of joy, her mom explained it was the very first time her daughter was able to give her a real hug.
It’s moments like this that remind Dr. Russo the amazing impact she has on patients and their lives, while doing what she loves most as Akron Children’s newest orthopedic surgeon.
In her new role, Dr. Russo focuses on kids with peripheral nerve injuries, congenital hand differences and other upper extremity conditions. In addition, she is developing a motion analysis lab to expand clinical assessments and research in order to provide the best possible care for kids of all ages.
What’s the best part about her role? Dr. Russo will tell you hands down the ability to give function back to kids who have been severely injured — or even help them gain new function they never had before. To her, being able to share in these special moments is a one-in-a-million job perk.
Why did you choose to come to ACH?
I was excited to join the fantastic orthopedic team at Akron Children’s. Together with my partners, Dr. Drew Engles and Dr. Mark Adamczyk, we are continuing to provide services for pediatric hand surgery, brachial plexus and peripheral nerve surgery. I am passionate about taking care of kids with nerve injuries and congenital hand differences. It’s a privilege to be able to add to the excellent care already being offered to kids here.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I joined orthopedic surgery and will be taking care of kids with peripheral nerve injuries, congenital hand differences and other upper extremity conditions. I am also developing a motion analysis lab that will expand our clinical assessments and research endeavors to provide the best possible care to patients.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
My 2 primary areas of interest are peripheral nerve surgery and congenital hand differences. Each child’s needs are different, and I enjoy the process of figuring out what is the best way to help them. I love being able to give function back to patients who have been injured or help patients gain new functions that they never had before.
What’s the most memorable thing that’s ever happened to you as a provider?
One of my favorite moments so far was seeing a young girl who had surgery to improve her shoulder function give her mom a hug after her cast came off. Her mom started to cry and told us that it was the first time her daughter had been able to give her a real hug. It was a privilege to be part of such a special moment.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
I have been fortunate to have several incredible mentors. They have and continue to make an immeasurable impact on my life both professionally and personally. I hope that I can pay that forward throughout my career.
What’s the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is seeing a patient and family who are happy with the result of their treatment.
What piece of advice did someone give you when you were young that still resonates with you today?
“Be persistent.” A friend of my mom’s who is a physician gave me this advice when she learned I wanted to be a doctor. It does take persistence, but it’s well worth it!
What are the small things that make your day better?
Staying active and talking to other people. I love learning more about my co-workers and friends, and hearing about what is going on in their lives.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” by J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”