Learning never ends

South African Arthroplasty Association (SAAS) April 21-23.
AO Europe Masters Damage Control Orthopaedic Surgery with Anatomical Specimen Dissection April 27-29.
Smith and Nephew Current Concepts and Controversies in Knee Surgery May 18-21.
South African Society for Hip Arthroscopy (SASHA) Congress May 25-27.
Who’s got time to work?

It’s been a real tornado of information concerning the latest updates on the forefront of modern medicine. In fact, if some had their way, surgeons themselves may soon be obsolete with the introduction of robotic knee replacement surgery. Seems like “Star Trek” medicine is in the not too distant future.
In the interim however, the public can rest assured that autonomous, well trained clinicians who are able to adapt and problem solve which ever situation arises, in their efforts to provide their patients with the highest possible standard of healthcare.

After attending the SASHA Congress, I learnt just how many groin problems our athletes experience, and also how extremely difficult it is to treat, seeing as though it’s very definition and terminology has yet to be agreed upon. Hopefully the 2016 Warwick Consensus will effect some change in this regard. Most interesting, was the session on rehab. Special concentration is necessary on adductors, extensors, and dynamic single leg tasks for suspected labral tears.
Congratulations to my colleague Dr Thane Munting from Cape Town Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, the outgoing SASHA president, on organising such an interesting congress. Congratulations as well, to my former colleague Dr Johnny DeBeer from Durban, who is the new SASHA president.

The AO Europe Masters Damage Control Orthopaedic Surgery with anatomical specimens allowed Trauma Surgeons from around the world, including Europe, Africa, and South America, and the United States of America, to keep abreast of the latest techniques and lifesaving measures involved in treating polytraumatised patients. One of the newer concepts was that of the “In-Fix” where a locked plate was used to temporarily stabilise long bone fractures instead of the traditional external fixator, thereby avoiding the complications of pin track sepsis which often accompany them. These plates make definitive treatment easier, as it reduces the potential for implant sepsis and subsequent repeat salvage surgeries. What an excellent idea! I wish I had learnt about this earlier!

One of the take home messages from the SAAS Congress, is that the newer Direct Anterior Arthroplasty surgery for hip replacements only shows faster progress with rehab for the first two weeks after surgery. Dr Johnny DeBeer actually questioned whether it was in fact worth trying to even learn this procedure, in light of its many potential complications and steep learning curve, given that conventional surgical approaches achieve the same result after the first two weeks. Food for thought if you ask me……

So much learning, I feel like I’m back at Medical School again! That’s enough academics for me though, time to get back to work……