The Expanding Role of the Pretoria Hip Specialists

Feb 23, 2018 | Articles

The Expanding Role of the Pretoria Hip Specialists

 Based upon archaeological findings, it is clear that the treatment of damage to the musculoskeletal system dates back to the Stone Age. However, only with the rise of early Greek and Roman civilisations, and the better understanding of the structure and operation of joints gleaned by physicians of the time, was the practice extended to uses other than the repair of fractured limbs. The term “orthopaedic”, derived from the joining of two Greek words meaning “straight” and “child”, was first adopted in in the mid-1700s when its focus turned to the correction of spinal deformities. Today, in cities such as Pretoria, some orthopaedic surgeons now choose to become hip or knee specialists, while others prefer to practice as general orthopaedic surgeons.

While, in the past, the overall scope of this discipline may have been comparatively limited, a steady stream of advances has led to a wealth of additional possibilities for both the generalists and for those who have chosen to specialise. In parallel, a population with a tendency to live far longer than previous generations have, has presented the profession with plenty of scope for expansion. Today, the once popular designation of “bone doctor” falls far short of defining the role of modern orthopaedic surgeons, such as the hip specialists at the Life Wilgers hospital in Pretoria.

Their remit applies to the joint as a whole, and to any damage or disease that may affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and articulating surfaces of the bones, which together form the structure of each joint. They are required to treat not only conditions of the hip, knee and shoulder, but also those affecting the wrist and the ankle.

Almost anyone who has received a prosthetic joint will not hesitate to claim that this is a life-changing surgical procedure. It is also one that demands a surgeon with exceptional skills and extensive experience in the field now known as arthroplasty. One of South Africa’s leading hip specialists is responsible for arthroplasty at the prestigious Life Wilgers hospital in Pretoria.

Dr Jan De Vos is one of approximately 70% of orthopaedic surgeons worldwide who, in addition to their involvement in general orthopaedics, have also chosen to pursue a specialism. He has gained acclaim in the field of arthroscopy both in South African circles and on the international scene. His active role in research and the practical applications of its findings serves to ensure that the unit operates at the cutting edge of current technology and includes a growing range of applications for the minimally invasive procedure known as arthroscopy.

In the capable hands of the hip specialists in Pretoria, the view obtained with an arthroscope, and which was once employed almost exclusively as a diagnostic tool, is now being leveraged regularly to perform keyhole surgeries, rather than fully exposing a joint. This is serving to reduce the extent of joint trauma and, as a direct consequence, to minimise the time required by patients for their post-operative recovery.

Over and above the injuries suffered due to sporting activities, road accidents and the like, the hip specialists of today have also been required to cope with a marked increase in the incidence of osteoarthritis. The most common reason for implanting a prosthetic joint and previously confined mainly to patients aged 65 or over, the condition is causing pain and impaired mobility in subjects that are markedly younger than was the case just a decade or two ago.

Whether you are experiencing joint problems as the result of an injury or due to osteoarthritis, and irrespective of which joint may be affected, the Life Wilgers Hospital in Pretoria offers the services of a renowned hip, knee and shoulder specialist. Its seasoned team will ensure an accurate diagnosis and the surgical expertise required to help you regain your former mobility and enjoy a life free of crippling joint pain.