Blog posts

Technology and Outcomes in Arthroplasty

Professor Cobb was invited to write an article for Issue 4 of Orthopaedics Today Europe about the role technology has in orthopaedic surgery and if it does indeed make a difference in outcomes – “Technology can make a difference in outcomes for most arthroplasty Luddites”. There have been a number of discussions in medical journals the last few months about technology and the role of robotics in surgery; however this article gives a plotted history of how surgical tools have developed over the last 20 years and the impact they have had.

The article concludes with Professor Cobb summarising;

Only two things are required from surgical technology: a precise plan of surgery, including the size of the devices needed and exactly where they should go, and a timely and cost-effective way of carrying out the plan.

Justin Boey: Research Intern at MSk Lab (Summer 2012)

“I am Justin Boey, 3rd year medical student from Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. It has been a privilege to participate in a summer research internship at the MSk Lab, Imperial College London, as part of my 3rd year electives. This internship is also part of a research collaboration between the International Offices of National University of Singapore and Imperial College London with sponsorship from Santander Bank.

Back in Singapore, I was involved in clinical and translational research in the fields of Orthopaedics and Spine Surgery. Despite having prior research experience, my stint at the MSk Lab was both an eye-opener as well as a valuable learning experience.

Professor Alison McGregor on carrying the Olympic Torch “I hope I don’t drop it!”

On Saturday 21st July, Professor Alison McGregor ran 300m of the Olympic Torch replay in Greenwich. She was selected along with two students, out of a vast number of applicants, to represent Imperial College London. She was nominated by the college for all her work supporting students at Imperials Boat Club – treating injuries and helping students organise and run conferences.

The whole process was amazing, starting off with an event on the first December 2011 for all higher education staff and students who had been selected to take part in the Olympic flame torch relay. Common to all people attending was the disbelief in why they had been selected when there were so many people doing so many wonderful things.

The Great Debate 2012 – Optimising Outcomes of Hip and Knee Arthroplasty

On the 29th and 30th June 2012, the MSk Lab organised a 2 day conference at the Mermaid Conference Centre. It was the 6th year this annual meeting has taken place, but the first time an educational institution has organised it. In previous years, Finsbury Orthopaedics and DePuy have been sole sponsors – making the event relatively closed to the broader spectrum of industry. However with Professor Cobb’s involvement over the years, his department took up the gauntlet of running the increasingly popular event going forward.

It is a highly interactive conference with time allocated for debates at the end of each session on ‘hot’ issues in hip and knee surgery, a chance for the delegates to vote on questions and text in comments related to the topics presented.

Having a new hip can boost your brain power

In the 19th June edition of the Daily Mail, Dr Paul Strutton was asked to make comment on the decline of grey matter in people with chronic pain, in an article titled: Having a new hip can boost your brain power: Relieving chronic pain improves your mind as well as your body.

Dr Paul Strutton, senior lecturer in neurophysiology at Imperial College London, adds: ‘There is now good evidence to show grey matter declines in people with chronic pain.

‘We think the plasticity that occurs in the brain is as a result of the pain and not a cause of it.

‘The big question is whether this loss of nerve cells in the grey matter can be reduced or even reversed by treating the pain.’

Research into the area continues: a clinical trial is starting this month at North Western University in which 60 men and women with knee osteoarthritis will be given either a drug called duloxetine, widely used to treat pain, or a sugar pill.

The MSk Lab, a soldier and a fairy tale. Edition 1

Welcome to our first edition newsletter which we will be publishing on a quarterly basis. Packed full of (what we hope you will find) interesting articles related to the work carried out here in the MSk Lab.

In this first edition, we want to welcome you to the MSk Lab and give a brief overview of what we do here – with more detailed information in subsequent editions.

Captain James Murly-Gotto was kind enough to allow us to use his story in the “Real Stories” section; a moving tale about his misfortune on the battle field in Afghanistan and how he can now walk again after having a knee reconstruction/replacement.

Would you make a good hip or knee surgeon?

On the 11th and 12th May 2012 the MSk Lab took part in the Imperial Festival, the first of its kind to be run. The Festival celebrates the College through hands-on demonstrations, music, comedy, dancing and art. All activities were free, open to the public and for all ages.

A huge marquee was erected on the Queens Lawn (South Kensington Campus) which housed a number of areas with different departments showcasing their research. The MSk Lab had an interactive stand whereby the visitors could have a go at simulation hip surgery with a robotic navigational tool and key-hole surgery on a knee.

Engineer beats trainee surgeons in a hip replacement competition!

“Excellent course. It was very useful and I learnt a lot especially the direct clinical application”

On the 5th December 2011 the MSk Lab ran an Acetabular Science and Technology Workshop, involving:  2 lecturers – Mr Derek McMinn and Professor Cobb – talking about the clinical applications and associated issues, five companies and twenty trainees hungry to develop their surgical knowledge.

I was prepared for a host of hitches, being the first time we had run this course, but it all ran very smoothly receiving extremely positive feedback from the companies and attendees alike. In the morning sessions there were presentations from B Braun, Ceramtec, JRI, Mathys and Stryker, giving an overview of their products and the differences between them.