May 12, 2021
Meet Christi Abeln, APRN
Pediatric Orthopedics Nurse Practitioner
Christi treats patients in our area pediatric office locations, and specializes in the care of infants, children and adolescents with fractures, deformities and developmental concerns, including treatment of flat feet, in-toeing, knock knees, bow legs and torticollis.
Where are you from?
I'm from St. Louis - the South County area. I still live nearby in Arnold, MO.
What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?
I worked as a nurse in the emergency department, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children's Hospital while attending UMSL for my nurse practitioner's degrees. It was really fulfilling to help patients and families of trauma cases in the ED. After spending 10 years in primary care as a pediatric nurse practitioner, I jumped at the opportunity to work in orthopedics. Thanks to Dianne Griffith (recently retired) and Dr. Eric Gordon, I joined the pediatrics ortho team 17 years ago.
What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?
I have always loved St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University - my practice is global. I see patients age birth to 21, and for all orthopedic conditions except newborn hip dysplasia and club foot. My favorite cases to treat are trauma, scoliosis and child development. I have worked with kids my entire career, which began in August of 1988.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
My passion outside work is crafting and scrapbooking. I make transfer-paste projects on any surface! I puts sayings and designs on wood or glass. I started scrapbooking before my twins were born. They both have 37, 12x12 albums...and I’m only to age 12!
What’s the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I received since working in orthopedics is to always stay humble, continue to learn and always do my best.
If you weren’t in health care, what would you like to be doing?
If I wasn’t a pediatric nurse practitioner, I would have been a grade school teacher.
A little more about Christi:
I am married to my wonderful husband, Jeff, and have twin boys who are now 23, Joshua and Alex. 2020 was a rough year. My dad passed away in May of 2020 from cancer, and my mom, Jan, now lives with me and has Alzheimer’s. A positive, though, was that both of my sons graduated from college during the pandemic 2020! Josh went to St. Louis University and majored in health management; he is hoping to get a research position at Washington University. Alex went Lindenwood and majored in biology and history.
Learn more about Christi, our pediatric orthopedic experts and why patients choose Washington University Orthopedics.