The Visiting ESSKA Fellowship took place in June at my unit. ESSKA stands for the European Society for Sports traumatology, Knee surgery and Arthroscopy.
Because of my links with ESSKA, especially since I am the vice chairman of the ESSKA Osteotomy Committee, my unit was kindly invited to become a recognised centre for ESSKA for the Travelling Osteotomy Fellowship that was set up two years ago.
The first ESSKA fellows Mihai Vioreanu and Akash Patel were the first two ESSKA fellows to participate in the fellowship. Apparently there were over 30 applicants, and there was an interview process, and Mihai and Akash were the best candidates and were very fortunate to win this prestigious travelling fellowship.
The fellowship took them to Andreas Imhoff and his unit in Munich where they saw a combination of sophisticated soft tissue knee surgery and complex osteotomy done to perfection.
They then moved on to Holland where they spent time with Ronald van Heerwarden who is purely an osteotomy surgeon. They spent two days seeing some superb osteotomy surgery by Ronald.
Then on the whistle-stop tour they went down to Lyon and spent time with David Dejour where they saw another philosophy, another way of doing osteotomy, and again had a truly fantastic experience.
Finally they 'saved the best till last!' and came to visit me and my unit in Basingstoke where we carried out eight osteotomies over three days. They also saw some complex knee reconstructions, including multiligament surgery and I think they found the experience very rewarding. We showed off my minimally-invasive technique and the use of the new plates that I helped to design, and we had a great time discussing osteotomy and helping with their education.We are going to continue to host this fellowship and it is a great honour to be part of the ESSKA academic training programme.
Mihai Vioreanu then Mike Risebury then me then Rags, my fellow. Then Akash Patel from the UK and finally Bhushan Sabnis on the last day of the visiting fellowship.