Nearly 200 orthopedic surgeons--among them some of the world's most prominent physicians--came to Jerusalem in March to attend the International Symposium on "Future Trends in Orthopedics" at the Hadassah University Medical Center.
The symposium was held on the verge of the historic move of Hadassah's Orthopedics Department into the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. Prof. Joseph Iannotti, Chair of the Orthopedic and Rheumatologic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Prof. Mark C. Gebhardt, Chief of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and Prof. Pietro Regazzoni, Chief of the Orthopedic and Trauma Department at the University of Basel, Switzerland, joined experts from Hadassah and other Israeli hospitals as presenters.
Capturing the enthusiasm for the new Orthopedic facilities in the Tower, Prof. Meir Liebergall, Director of Orthopedics at Hadassah, related: "A move like this is a once-in-a-lifetime event. We now will be able to provide the people of Jerusalem with better health care by every criteria by which hospitals are measured."
Prof. Iannotti began the academic discussions by describing the process of developing individualized tools for joint replacement. In the future, he predicted, artificial joints will be personalized, increasing the precision of the surgeons' work and the implants' longevity. Prof. Gebhardt discussed the change in care for children afflicted with osteosarcoma, the most common primary bone tumor. Thanks to modern medicine, he reported, 70-80 percent of these patients will survive, whereas in the past, 80 percent did not. Surgery for the patients, he explained, has evolved from amputation to limb salvage surgery, giving patients an opportunity for a normal life. Prof. Regazzoni discussed the similarities between surgery and aviation, noting the importance of simulators in the training of surgeons. Accurate documentation of surgery, similar to the black box on planes, he noted, could teach us our flaws and how to improve technique and outcome.
The symposium also served as a forum for nine Israeli start-up companies (including four Hadassah-based projects) to showcase their innovations, which focused on: dealing with pre-operative planning programs for trauma and joint replacement; new implants; robotic surgery; biological treatments for improved healing of bone, cartilage, and tendons; a new method to decrease pulmonary embolism; and improved physical therapy techniques for pre and post surgical care.
A presentation highlighting the pioneering history of the orthopedic department at Hadassah Hospital prepared participants for their futuristic tour of the new department facilities in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower.