A BASINGSTOKE surgeon is working with colleagues from across the world to help revolutionise the way knee injuries are treated.
Last year, two knee surgeons in Belgium discovered a previously unknown ligament in the knee – the anterolateral ligament (ALL).
Dr Steven Claes and Professor Johan Bellemans discovered the tiny, previously unknown ligament after years of research.
Top Basingstoke knee surgeon Adrian Wilson, who works at Basingstoke hospital and the private BMI The Hampshire Clinic, in Old Basing, read their research, and realised he could work with them.
He said: “Steven described the structure, and I knew how to fix it. The technique we use is very similar to an operation we were already doing.”
The operation on the newly-discovered ligament uses ingenious devices called SwiveLocks – tiny ‘anchors’ which can been used to secure tendons.
Surgeons take one of the hamstring tendons and attach it to a SwiveLock at the previously unknown site of the start of the ALL, before drilling to the second site and again securing with a Swive-Lock.
The procedure is minimally invasive and could make a huge difference for the many thousands of people who suffer ligament damage in their knees.
The ALL reconstruction also complements the ‘all-inside’ technique used on another ligament in the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
As previously reported in The Gazette, Mr Wilson was the first surgeon in the UK to perform the innovative type of knee surgery, which is less invasive than traditional techniques and only uses one hamstring, instead of two.
Mr Wilson said: “The ‘all-inside’ technique complements the ALL reconstruction as there is still one hamstring tendon left to use.
“It is very rare that someone having an ALL reconstruction would not also be having surgery on the ACL– the two go hand-in-hand.”
A number of patients have already benefitted from the ALL reconstruction, and Mr Wilson will be joining Dr Claes to perform live demonstrations of the surgery around the world in the coming months.
Mr Wilson said: “It’s so nice to be able to make a contribution like this. This is an example of taking something we have done for a long time and refining it down to the point where we become the market leader. This is the best way to treat patients and I believe it will become standard when patients receive treatment on the ACL.”