Surgeon shares expertise in joint event

A CONFERENCE in Rome yesterday observed, via satellite link, a revolutionary hip replacement operation at Mayo General Hospital.

Mr Derek Bennett was the first specialist, outside the United States, to replace hips using a technique which has radicalised the procedure.

Yesterday, he shared his expertise and technique with surgeons attending a conference in Rome.

“I was being observed by some very experienced hip surgeons from globally renowned facilities whose collective experience runs into the hundreds of thousands of joint replacements,” he said.

“However, since becoming the first surgeon outside America to put in a ‘Tri-Lock BPS’ at Mayo General Hospital in June 2009, I have put in almost a hundred here, and in the Galway Clinic where I also work.

“I am delighted to have been given the operation to use this superb device because its advantages are not just confined to the cement-free fixing. It is made of very hard- wearing high performance materials and the way it is inserted allows for smaller incisions, less tissue disruption and speedier recovery. My patients have been very pleased with the outcomes,” he added.

One patient, Kathleen Neilson, a 62-year-old director of nursing at an Oughterard nursing home, yesterday spoke of her “very good fortune” to have “Ireland’s best surgeon” carry out her hip replacement operation last March.

“The very morning after my operation I was able to put my leg down and walk about my hospital room, I just couldn’t believe it.”

A grandmother, originally from New Zealand, Ms Neilson said she had been suffering from “excruciating pain” for some considerable time before she had the operation.

Despite her nursing background, she had never heard of the ‘Tri-Lock BPS’ procedure – in which the pre-existing bone in the femur actually grows into the artificial joint’s surface – and has been “astounded” by her short recovery period.

“Within two weeks of the operation, I was back at work full-time. Before I had my hip replaced, I couldn’t walk to the local shop but afterwards I was flying along and actually had to slow myself down in case I might do myself some damage. I’m having the other left hip done in June.

“My hip replacement has had a miracle effect because it’s allowed me get back to doing normal things again,” she said.

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