Linz Meeting – and the ‘internal brace’ – April 2016

This European meeting was focused upon the use of the 'internal brace'. There were sessions on the knee, the ankle and the shoulder.

Europe is definitely embracing these new concepts of the internal brace a lot more than the UK. I was really very surprised to see how many surgeons were there - well over 100 senior surgeons just from Austria!

There was a beautiful live demonstration by Jürgen Barthofer and his colleague Andreas Schneiderbauer who did a perfect case. That was impressive.

Another professor - Karl­-Heinz Frosch - who’s a professor of a large institution in Hamburg, one of the teaching hospitals - presented a prospective study that he’s been doing on multi­ligament patients in his hospital. They are a major trauma centre and they do weekly multi­ligament cases. He said that he did 70 PCLs last year and he showed these amazing results using just simple suturing for the torn ligaments and bracing internally with FibreTape or FibreWire to hold the knee together, rather than going down the traditional route of using external fixators. The results were phenomenal. And I think that was almost the biggest take­-home message for me.

There was another fantastic presentation from Panos (Panagiotis) Kouloumentas. He’s from Greece and he looks after the elite athletes in and around Athens - several of the football teams, including 'Panathiakos'. He’s been looking after premiership level (it’s not the premiership because it’s Greece, but their equivalent of the UK Premiership) and he’s used the internal brace in 8 cases. Although he only has 6 month data, he hasn’t had a failure yet! He came to Lyon to the ISAKOS meeting and saw the internal brace being presented. He really liked the philosophy and he’s taken it back to his hospital. Amazing results.

So it was a great day, good talks, great live surgery and I think there’s a growing body of evidence amongst the senior surgeons in Europe that the internal brace and the concept of an ACL repair as opposed to a traditional ACL reconstruction is a very good thing.

The 'video generation'...

We are all learning to embrace video for teaching, learning and for and social media. The big image on the left shows Panos (Panagiotis) Kouloumentas being interviewed at Linz.

The two colour images below are from the live surgery demonstrations being relayed through to the auditorium at the Linz event.​

Gordon Mackay at the Linz meeting in 'full regalia' - tartan kilt, tie, sporran, Apple Mac and lanyard!

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