Orthopaedic revision surgery centre
Orthopaedic surgeons and scientists at UHS have launched the first ‘centre of excellence’ to combine revision surgery for hip and knee replacements with the development of new and safer implants.
The centre for arthroplasty and revision surgery, based at Southampton General Hospital, brings together clinicians, scientists and academics from the Trust and the University of Southampton.
In addition to resolving patients’ problems, the centre gives surgeons the opportunity to investigate why some devices fail and why some perform better than others and work with industry to create better alternatives.
The development comes after widespread concern over the effectiveness of metal-on-metal hip replacements, with research published in The Lancet suggesting 6.2% fail within five years.
This was followed by a call from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority for more than 50,000 people with all metal replacements to have annual blood tests because of concerns about the release of chrome and cobalt into the bloodstream.
The centre, led by consultant hip surgeon Jeremy Latham, is made up of two academic leads, seven surgeons, two physicians, six scientists, four radiologists, a pathologist, a microbiologist and an expert in trace elements.
“Joint replacement surgery has transformed the lives of millions of people over the last 50 years and most replacements last for many years, but sometimes they fail and need revision surgery,” said Mr Latham.
“And recent problems encountered with various metal-on-metal hip implants have made it clear that there is a need for a centre of excellence to tailor care very specifically to the individual – one size definitely doesn’t fit all.”
The team will look at all aspects of revision joint surgery, including implant and patient factors that affect the success of replacements, and will focus on the effect of early intervention with drugs and vitamin D to assess whether or not surgery can be delayed or avoided in some cases.