How do knee surgeons practise new techniques in knee surgery? Dave Duffy explains.
In the middle of an unspectacular industrial park in Solihull sits an extremely important facility if you’re a medical professional. This is the Arthrex ArthroLab UK, a custom built training facility for medical staff, including knee surgeons. It’s a genuinely state of the art space that enables hands-on and virtual training, and its location makes it accessible to all throughout England. Earlier this month, all of Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s surgeons were at the centre for some hands-on refinement of our meniscus repair procedures, incorporating the latest advances in surgical techniques.
We’ll look at why we were undertaking this specific training in a moment. But first, you might be wondering why we were undertaking training at all, given that we are all highly experienced knee surgeons. The answer, of course, is that medical understanding doesn’t stand still, and neither should we.
The surgeon’s ‘driving range’
Suppose you’re about to take up golf for the first time. Or perhaps you’ve been a golfer for years, but you’ve just treated yourself to a brand new set of clubs. Either way, you wouldn’t take them out onto the course without first getting a feel for them. You’d want to practice your swing and aim, and you’d want to do it somewhere free from risk. That’s what a golf driving range is for. Rather more critically, and if it’s not too crude a comparison, that’s also what the Arthrex facility is for. It’s a safe space for surgeons to explore new tools and techniques, so that when we apply new procedures to real patients in an operating theatre, we already have full confidence in what we’re doing, and the tools we’re doing it with.
Reducing the risk of osteoarthritis
Our session gave YKC’s knee surgeons the opportunity to refine techniques for repairing the meniscus. The menisci are the knees’ shock absorbers. We’ve always advocated preserving as much of the meniscus as possible during surgery, but research over the past few years has re-emphasised the importance of this. The more of the meniscus you can preserve, the better you protect the longevity of the knee joint and the more you reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. This extremely valuable day will help us do just that.
As ever, our thanks to all the team at Arthrex.
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Symptoms, diagnosis & treatment of tears of the knee's shock absorbers