A group of newly qualified orthopaedic surgeons changed the lives of eleven Mthatha patients during a Smith & Nephew Arthroplasty Academy in September 2013.
The surgical outreach was conducted at Mthatha’ s Bedford Hospital, the orthopaedic department of the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital Complex. Smith & Nephew donated top quality implants and advanced wound therapies while visiting specialist surgeons provided the expertise, working alongside the Athroplasty Academy candidates and the hospital’s orthopaedic faculty.
Dr David Oloruntoba, Specialist Surgeon explained that Bedford Orthopaedic Hospital has a heavy patient load. Their catchment area is about four million people. There are large numbers of patients living with debilitating pain while waiting for Arthroplasty but because it is an impoverished area, Bedford Hospital struggles to attract skills.
Dr Oloruntoba said:
“The training provided through by the Smith & Nephew Arthroplasty Academy is like setting down a template for us to start our own Arthroplasty programme here and initiatives like this help the really poor people we serve. Our staff members are well trained but arthroplasty is pretty expensive and we have budgetary constraints that sometimes prevent us from doing these operations."
"For us, here at Bedford, this is just the beginning and the authorities are very happy to have this kind of training here. We’re grateful to Smith & Nephew for this effort and we hope that other companies will follow suit.”
Now in its second year, the Arthroplasty Academy has rapidly gained stature. During the Mthatha outreach, the academy candidates received invaluable mentoring and teaching as they assisted Dr Mike Barrow, a Johannesburg Orthopaedic surgeon peform knee replacement surgery using Visionaire Patient Matched Instrumentation. This new and exciting technology from Smith & Nephew uses patient matched cutting blocks to achieve more accurate alignment, precision and efficiency.