Smith & Nephew plc, the global medical technology business, announced that its South African Orthopaedic Reconstruction team reached out to state patients at Tembisa Hospital (in Gauteng) as part of their Athroplasty Academy programme.
Knee and hip replacement surgery was performed on eleven patients from the Tembisa and Midrand communities on 10 and 11 October 2012. The outreach programme fufilled two pressing needs - relieving patients from years of unrelenting pain and providing an opportunity for leading surgeons to demonstrate new techqniques and technologies to the Arthroplasty Academy candidates and the Tembisa Orthopaedic team.
Yvonne Chepkonga, Advanced Surgical Division Key Accounts Executive, Smith & Nephew, said:
“Through the academy we bring innovative, evidence-based medical devices to the state sector while simultaneously providing a significant skills enrichment opportunity for South African surgeons wanting to acquire world class arthroplasty skills.”
Dr Sam Malebo, HOD of Orthopaedics at Tembisa hospital (pictured above with Yvonne Chepkonga) said:
"These operations usually have a dramatic effect and outcome for the patient and it is a big relief for a patient who has suffered with painful, stiff and sometimes deformed joints to get their joint corrected and their mobility back."
Chepkonga said that six orthopaedic surgeons are selected to participate in the Athroplasty Academy and they receive intensive training over a year which includes a sawbones workshop and a cadaver workshop. Each month they go into theatre with leading hip and knee surgeons where they are exposed to technologies and different surgical techniques. The participating surgeons also spend time at the Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics Implant Development Centre in Warwick, UK.
The Academy programme culminates in two community outreach projects at state hospitals were the surgeons operate on financially needy patients. Smith & Nephew donates top quality implants and dressings and the surgeons provide the expertise, working with the hospital’s orthopaedic faculty.
Dr S.B. Mfenyana CEO of Tembisa Provincial Hospital said:
“This partnership makes it possible for us to offer world class implants to deserving and indigenous patients who would not normally have access to them. Smith & Nephew is meeting a skills gap by sharing vitally needed arthroplasty surgical techniques with our provincial hospital surgeons and Tembisa patients will receive the very latest implant technology. This will go a long way to bring a new culture of unprecedented joint replacement to our hospital and the community we serve.”
Chepkonga said that the Smith & Nephew Athroplasty Academy also fosters a spirit of volunteerism that enables quality elective surgery within underserved communities. One of the leading surgeons who gave of his time was Richard von Bormann president of the SA Knee Society and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital.
Von Bormann flew in to Gauteng to demonstrate the use of VISIONAIRE ™ Patient Matched instrumentation - a powerful new technology that uses MRI to create custom surgical instrumentation designed from each patient's anatomical data. After operating on 62 year old patient, Edward Manzini, von Bormann shared the benefits of using Visionaire explaining how surgeons can now plot ahead of the surgery, working out exactly where to cut the bone. In an interview published in the Star newspaper, he said:
“This is the future of knee replacement. Once you get the surgery right, it’s a tool for cheaper and quicker knee ops. In a traditional operation, you have to drive a rod up the long bone of the leg which bleeds profusely. We don’t have to do that using Visionaire."
Smith & Nephew is the first and only major medical device company to design, build and distribute this new patient specific instrumentation technology for patients suffering from advanced osteoarthritis of the knee. Other implant makers rely on systems designed and built by third parties.
VISIONAIRE ™ Patient Matched instrumentation is a powerful new technology that uses MRI and x-rays to create custom surgical instrumentation designed from each patient's anatomical data. This means that surgeons can accommodate the unique shapes and angles of the joint while precisely aligning the implant. VISIONAIRE disposable instrumentation is a mutually beneficial technology for patients, surgeons, hospitals and Smith & Nephew because it helps surgeons eliminate multiple steps and valuable minutes during knee replacement surgery. It also decreases the risk of infection and it helps hospitals reduce expenses because it eliminates the sterilisation costs associated with the traditional, reusable instruments it replaces.
Lesley Schroeder-McLean:Fuller Insight
Communication Consultants to Smith & Nephew, Africa Region
T: +27 (0)21 7888 345 | M: +27 (0)83652 1164 | E:email@example.com
Community Liaison Officer, Tembisa Hospital
T: +27 (0)11 923 2199 | M: +27 (0)82 574 5857 | E:firstname.lastname@example.org