A Private Clinic in Pretoria Known for Hip and Knee Surgery
Known internationally, as well as throughout South Africa, the Life Wilgers Hospital has gained an enviable reputation as a centre of excellence for the treatment of conditions, such as idiopathic osteonecrosis femoroacetabular impingement, plica syndrome, and damage to the anterior cruciate ligament. In simpler terms, the Pretoria clinic is the location of a world-class orthopaedic unit that specialises in the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the hip and knee, as well as other joints. While its surgical team continues to cater to the needs of trauma patients, considerably more than half of those now admitted to the unit are scheduled to undergo some form of elective procedure.
Much of the unit’s success can be attributed to its leader. In this case, the man in charge is a surgeon with extensive experience in the operating theatre and a strong background in clinical and translational research. In addition, he is a person who plays an active role in the continuing development of his fellow-specialists both at home and overseas, as well as in the South African Orthopaedic Association (SAOA). The team at this Pretoria clinic is known as much for the high standards of care shown to those undergoing hip and knee surgery, as for its record of success. Both are a reflection of the team’s exceptional dedication and stem directly from its sincere belief that being healthy and fit should be a lifestyle and not a mere fad or fashionable trend. That the team’s philosophy is a sound one is amply supported by the many glowing testimonials from patients whose lives have been transformed by its efforts.
Many investigations and treatments of hip and knee conditions at this Pretoria orthopaedic unit are conducted arthroscopically. While an X-ray or a CT scan can be of help when attempting to establish a diagnosis, these are images obtained from outside of a joint. As such, they require interpretation and can sometimes give equivocal results. By contrast, an arthroscopic image provides a full-colour, live view of the joint and the surrounding tissues taken from within the joint itself. A narrow tube, carrying a fibre-optic cable is inserted into the joint through a tiny incision. The fibre directs light into the joint, providing illumination for an external video camera which relays its image to a monitor screen.
Used extensively by the team at this specialist hip and knee facility in Pretoria, not only does arthroscopy provide greater insight into the physical condition of a joint, but it can also often simplify any subsequent surgery for which the results of the examination may indicate a need. Often referred to as keyhole surgery, procedures such as a repair to a torn meniscus or cruciate ligament, realignment of a displaced patella, or irrigation of the joint to remove fragments of bone or cartilage are all performed arthroscopically, whenever possible. Two additional tiny incisions allow the placement of instruments, which the surgeon is able to manipulate with the aid of the images from the scope.
The arthroscopic approach adopted by the Pretoria team when performing hip and knee procedures that would once have required the joint to be totally exposed offers several advantages. The most significant of these are the reduced risk of excessive blood loss and infection coupled with a marked reduction in the time required for post-operative recovery.
It is, however, joint replacement or arthroplasty, rather than the relatively minor procedures named above, that have likely been most responsible for the widespread and well-earned reputation of this specialised orthopaedic unit. Regarded by the profession worldwide as the most successful orthopaedic interventions developed to date, the elective total and partial hip and knee replacements performed routinely at the Life Wilgers Hospital in Pretoria provide more than enough evidence to support this widely-held belief.