The Division of Orthopedic Surgery is committed to excellence in musculoskeletal education, research and patient care. The division is comprised of 45 surgeons who are highly qualified with subspecialized fellowship training in all areas of orthopedic surgery:
- Spinal disorders, including deformity correction
- Primary and revision total joint arthroplasty
- Complex fracture care
- Arthroscopy/knee and shoulder reconstruction
- Athletic injuries
- Pediatric disorders
- Foot and ankle disorders
- Wrist and elbow disorders
- Musculoskeletal oncology
The five-year Residency Training Program encourages the development of an exceptionally well-trained orthopedic surgeon, who has the skills and knowledge to enter practice upon graduation. The program offers a high-volume, hands-on educational experience with a high ratio of staff to residents and excellent collegiality between them. The residents complete award-winning basic science and clinical research that they present at national and international meetings. There are currently 19 residents in the program.
Fellowship opportunities are available in: foot and ankle, joint reconstruction, sports medicine, spine (combined orthopedics and neurosurgery) and trauma surgery.
Clinical and basic science research is ongoing in all areas of orthopedics and is supported by a well-focused group of collaborative researchers.
The division is at the cutting edge of basic science research with tissue engineering strategies to repair cartilage and meniscus defects, and the cryopreservation of articular cartilage. An example is a paper published in Nature Microgravity that shows that chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cell co-cultures increase proliferation of cartilage matrix when cultured in a NASA-designed device that models weightlessness.
Clinical research is championed by Collaborative Orthopedic Research (CORe), an interdisciplinary group from the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and Faculty of Engineering. CORe’s focus is on improving the recovery of patients with bone, joint and muscle conditions and injuries. By coming together, CORe researchers and clinicians can easily transfer new research findings into clinical practice and evaluate the clinical impact of new treatments on patients, health care providers and the health care system.
Orthopedic surgical care is delivered out of seven hospitals in the region, each with a sub-specialized focus. All areas of orthopedic care are provided for. The division is a leader in hip fracture care, significantly cutting the time from injury to operating room – and is targeting 24 hours. The division is moving towards central intake clinics to improve access and timely delivery of care.
The Edmonton Musculoskeletal Centre is the flagship for such care. Every patient requiring hip or knee replacement in Edmonton is processed through the clinic. Patients have their screening, pre-operative surgeon visit, medicine and anesthesia consultation and post-op follow-up all at the clinic. There are more than 30,000 clinic visits and over 4,000 patients prepared for surgery annually.
Orthopedic surgeons also have access to The Glenn Sather Sports Medicine Clinic, which provides for central intake of soft tissue knee and shoulder injuries. At this site, the surgeons work closely with sports medicine physicians and physiotherapists to optimize patient care.
The centre is also a hub for collaborative sports medicine research. In addition, there is a central intake process for trauma referrals through the Orthopedic Consult Line. An orthopedic surgeon is designated to provide telephone consultation and triage to trauma patients with the hope of expediting care to the appropriate facility and to cut down on unnecessary emergency department visits.
Facilities and Technology
The Orthopedic Surgery Centre is designed to help meet the ever-increasing need for hip and knee replacements in the region. The facility has 56 beds, most of which are private rooms, and four operating theatres. Three of the operating rooms are “smart suites” and are equipped with navigation to help provide the most accurate positioning of implants during surgery.
The division considers itself fortunate to provide international aid. Two groups, CAMTA and Operation Esperanza, travel to Ecuador every year to provide orthopedic care to the disadvantaged people of Quito and Cuenca.