2014 Travelling Fellows

Travelling Fellows 2014

2014 Smith & Nephew Orthopaedic Travelling Fellows: Dr Maritz Laubscher, Grooter Schuur and Dr Alice Morule, Medunsa 

“It was an honour to be selected to represent our departments as the annual Travelling Fellows for 2014.  The Travelling Fellowship was a fantastic opportunity for both of us.  By visiting all the units across the country we met a lot of people, we saw wonderful work being done and we learned that we all share the same challenges of a high trauma load and often suboptimal working conditions  … But we are also blessed to be exposed to a wide variety of interesting pathology and to be able to learn from dedicated teachers in all our units.”


"Thank you to those who made our trip possible: Our sponsors, Smith & Nephew; SAOA, in particular Lucia for all the travel arrangements; our hosts across the country; our departments and colleagues for allowing us time off; and our families for their continued support.”


Institutions Visited:

University of Limpopo, Dr George Mukhari Hospital      
Joined Prof Mariba on his spine ward round,  visited Prof Golele’s paediatric and tumour clinic where we saw and discussed some interesting cases. Participated in discussions about complicated cases in morning meeting and presented research.       
University of the Witwatersrand, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital      

Joined Prof Ramokgopa's morning meeting.  Discussion on paediatric morbidity and mortality discussion led by Prof Robertson. Dr Simmons took us for a tour of the orthopaedic services at the hospital and we attended the weekly clubfoot clinic where we dicsussed difficult cases. We visited the Adler Museum of Medicine -  a great facility with an interesting collection of medical memorabilia, including a collection of iron lungs used to ventilate polio patients. We had an academic afternoon where we presented our talks along with presentations from the local registrars. Visited Hope School with Prof Erken - the facility provides a wonderful service to physically disabled children.  We examined and discussed patients with interesting pathology.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto      

Our hosts, Dr Magobotha and Dr Frank Peters, gave us a tour of this massive structure - the third largest hospital in the world. We had the opportunity to take some time off and visit the historic sites in Soweto. The visit to Mandela House in Vilakazi Street, our late President’s former residence, was made even more significant by his recent passing.

Livingstone Hospital Port Elizabeth      

We were hosted by Dr Damian Thomas who took us on a tour of the hospital. We joined Dr Garrett and Dr Bam in theatre and scrubbed in for the arthroplasty list and a nerve repair.  We were impressed with the expansion of the orthopaedic department with increases in consultants and theatre lists and a high number of trauma and elective cases being processed.  It is certainly a great unit for interested junior doctors to start their orthopaedic training. 

University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg Hospital      
We joined Dr du Toit on the paediatric ward round.  We discussed interesting cases, including a number of complex paediatric deformity cases (Blount’s tibia vara and neglected club feet) managed with hexapod circular fixators. Tygerberg is well known for the high volume of limb reconstruction procedures they perform and hosts training courses for interested parties.We attended the morning meeting and we joined the arthroplasty team in theatre for the foot and ankle list where an arthrodesis of the ankle was performed.       
University of the Free State, National Hospital in Bloemfontein      

Dr Frans Fourie gave us a brief tour of the orthopaedic services at National Hospital.  Drs Poen Louw and Johan van der Merwe hosted an academic afternoon where some of the department’s arthroplasty research was presented and we presented our talks.

Smith & Nephew Headquarters, Westville, Durban      
Our last stop was KwaZulu-Natal where we visited the Westville Headquarters of our sponsors, Smith and Nephew. We met the four divisional heads and had the opportunity to tour the facility, including the logistic management and store room. We realised a lot needs to happen behind the scenes to deliver an implant in theatre!       
Annual Registrar’s Conference, Pietermaritzburg      
We concluded our travels with a trip to Pietermaritzburg, where we joined the annual Registrar’s Congress.       


Research presented by the Travelling Fellows during their visits to teaching institutions

Dr Maritz Laubscher       Dr Alice Morule
  • Subtotal capsulectomy for idiopathic chondrolysis of the hip
  • Gender equality in orthopaedics in South Africa 
  • The outcome of end-to-end repairs in lacerated radial nerves
  • Clinical audit on tuberculosis of the spine
  • The accuracy of Gene X-pert PCR in spinal tuberculosis 
  • Epidural injections for lumbar backache
  • Amputation rates in tibia fractures with vascular injuries