Spire Southampton Hospital has been host to a steady stream of European surgeons in recent weeks, all looking to learn how to carry out a pioneering knee operation developed in the city.
Professor David Barrett, Consultant Knee Surgeon, was the first in the UK to carry out the bicompartmental knee resurfacing procedure, and is now welcoming colleagues from the UK, France, Germany and beyond, into the hospital to see how it’s done.
Surgeons and representatives from across Europe have been taking the time to observe Professor Barrett in theatre, in order to learn first-hand about how to conduct this innovative new surgery. The visits are also providing the opportunity for the product providers to see their technology in action.
“For surgeons to travel so far to observe procedures as a learning exercise is a relatively unusual step, but I’m very pleased to be able to work with my professional colleagues and make this operation more widely available. Knee resurfacing is fairly complex and so it’s important to know consultants have the right knowledge and ability to carry it out.”
The procedure, which was developed in partnership with Southampton General Hospital and the University of Southampton, was approved in May 2012 for general use after a number of trials, and now offers an alternative to total knee replacements.
Professor Barrett explained, “Knee replacements are suitable for those over 65, but for younger patients they will wear out quicker. The partial knee resurfacing operation is a faster procedure, with less recovery time, and patients benefit from full mobility within weeks.
“There are currently around 70,000 knee replacements carried out on the NHS every year, as well as those carried out privately, and with more people remaining active into later life the need will get greater. This new procedure gives us a great alternative for patients that will allow them to continue living active lives after surgery.”