ARTHREX LIVE WAS A REAL ACHIEVEMENT - A REALLY VALUABLE WAY OF TEACHING SURGEONS.
The idea was to try and do a course where we could inform surgeons about techniques and ideas new to the UK, but which are well established elsewhere, particularly the United States. I really feel in the UK sadly that we are five years behind the US in terms of innovation, because they are ‘early adopters’. Lots of the new ideas are taken and adopted there.
The USA commands fifty percent of the net global value of healthcare, and the budgets are much bigger. So with much of the research, facilities, engineers and money all in the States, the Americans see innovations come to practice a lot quicker than we do in the UK.
I am fortunate to work closely with Arthrex on lots of new ideas, and as I go around travelling and presenting my work I see a lot of these new techniques, and observe and meet other great innovators presenting their work, such as Steven Claes presenting his Antero-lateral Ligament (ALL) dissertation.
Then after I saw Bertrand Sonnery-Cottet talking about his ACL surgery and his ALL procedure, I just thought "that’s another fantastic surgeon in a great centre getting amazing results - he would be a very good person to encourage UK people to go and visit" - and I have - lots of my colleagues have since flown down to Lyon to see him. Then to put on the Arthrex Live 2016 Event and have him give up his time to make that presentation and present his results was just great - first of all about ACL surgery and the way he does it, but more importantly about the results of the ALL because he has the biggest clinical experience in the world.
Then we were fortunate to have Gordon Mackay agree to join the faculty. Gordon has really turned soft tissue sports surgery on its head with his 'internal brace' concept - trying to splint a joint that has been injured and allow the soft tissues to heal, and do it in a way where the patient can get going very quickly. He has applied his concepts to the ankle for ankle instability - for very bad ankle sprains - and to the shoulder and to the knee. Gordon and I have been working alongside each other for the last five years, developing the concept of using FibreTape for such internal bracing.
Pat Smith is very well thought of in the States - he has done some brilliant research and it was good to gain another perspective on the all-inside.
Our local faculty members included Paul Trikha, Rob Gilbert, Pete Thompson and Tim Spalding - all great teachers. I have wanted myself to see Tim doing a meniscal transplant - I have just been struggling to get the time to visit Warwick - and to have him physically doing one in front of everyone was just a very exciting event for me!
So what I wanted for this event was get a great faculty together and, rather than giving didactic lectures with people nodding off and struggling to take home everything from the event, to just get the faculty to present the key message that they wanted to get over in a fairly brief format, and with some slides and a presentation, and then physically do a demonstration and show the delegates what they were talking about.
Because the cadavers are very well 'prepped' by the surgeons beforehand, the audience doesn’t have to sit through all the time-consuming preparation that you need to do for these procedures - they just see the absolute nuts and bolts. A 45 minute to 1-1.5 hour operation can be condensed down to 15, 20, 30 minutes, showing all the key steps.
It was very successful. I think we had 80 delegates - consultants (it was based at senior level) - and the feedback has been amazing. We are very lucky to have that mobile cadaveric lab. It is a great way of teaching. I am very proud to have done this event in this way, and am sure we will be doing many more.
It is quite difficult for surgeons to adopt a new strategy technique in their practice - they have to learn, and it is quite difficult for them to give their time up, because they are so busy, particularly these days where there is less and less time allocated for professional leave. It is a challenge for them even to see new things that are going on, let alone have a hands-on or live demonstration in the way that we did with the Arthrex Live course.
The Arthrex Mobile Operating Theatre drives up to the venue and provides a fully-equipped operating room for the surgeons to demonstrate and learn techniques.
The surgical team focus upon their arthroscopic monitor, whilst a video technician relays both the external view and the internal view to the auditorium of delegates.
The technical team concentrate on sending the best mix of views to the main screen of the auditorium, together with the two-way audio dialogue.
A roving microphone allows delegates to pose questions directly to the remote surgeon, while another faculty member in the auditorium engages the group in discussion.