Welcome to the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery,
The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery of Tygerberg Academic Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University is based in the Western Cape, South Africa. We strive to provide quality tertiary medical care to our community, to train world class general practitioners and orthopaedic specialists and to produce relevant and high-quality research within our burden of disease spectrum.
Enjoy our website and feel free to peruse the numerous training opportunities that are on offer within our division.
MARCH GRADUATION 2023
The Division is proud of Dr Sean Pretorius who graduated with his PhD during the recent Stellenbosch University graduation ceremonies. Dr Pretorius's PhD is entitled "The modification and testing of an anatomically shaped radius and ulna interlocking intermedullary nail using statistical shape modelling derived from computed tomography scans" and received excellent reports from all international examiners.
Congratulations Dr Pretorius!
ORTHOPAEDIC REGISTRAR CONGRESS 2023
The Stellenbosch University / Tygerberg Hospital Orthopaedic final year registrars participated in the annual Orthopaedic Surgery Registrar Congress, hosted this year by the University of Cape Town, between 4-6 February 2023.
All the presentations were of outstanding quality and the event was a good revision exercise for the registrars, who are due to write their final College exams in the upcoming months.
Our registrars made us proud by winning the Intervarsity Quiz and also winning prizes for best debater (Dr Nomsa Afrika, also known as the K-wire (k)ueen) and best presentation (Dr Doug Bruce-Brand).
We wish the South African Orthopaedic registrars all the best with their upcoming exams!
FROM ORTHOPAEDICS TO ART: AESTHETIC INTERVENTIONS IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AFRICA
Dr Rudolph Venter recently collaborated with flute player, composer and improviser Alessandro Gigli, and the artist Ralph Borland, to create the Bone Flute - a 3D-printed replica of the artist's femur, made into a flute.
For the full article, click here
INTERNAL GRADUATION 2022
Each year, the Division takes great pleasure and pride in hosting an internal graduation, complete with some pomp and ceremony, to celebrate the graduands of the year.
This year we celebrated the graduation of Dr Suhayl Khan (MMed), Dr Donnavan Foxcroft MMed), Dr Renier Kriel (MMed), Dr JP Grey (MMed), Dr Kaylem Coetzee (MMed), Dr Jason van Heerden (MMed) and Dr Sean Pretorius (PhD, graduation March 2023).
At this event, the graduands have the opportunity to share any research findings they have not yet presented to the Division, to reflect on their journey to date and to pay tribute to their families and friends.
The formal graduation ceremony takes place on 6 December 2022, in Stellenbosch.
NAMIBIAN-SOUTH AFRICAN PARTNERSHIP CHANGES YOUNG LIVES
The Division is proud of this Outreach partnership, established by Dr Frielingsdorf (Mediclinic Windhoek), and our Head of Division, Professor Jacques (Vaatjie) du Toit.
This programme has seen approximately 900 children being treated in their home country, since its inception.
Click here to read the full article.
DIVISION OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY HOSTS ABC FELLOWS
The Division of Orthopedic Surgery was host to the ABC Fellows on September 1, 2022 as part of their South African tour.
Our guests hail from the United States and Canada (Jonathan F. Dickens, MD, FAOA; William C. Edward, DVM, MD, FAOA; Addisu Mesfin, MD, FAOA; Anna N. Miller, MD, FAOA; Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, MD; Sasha Carsen, MD, CM MBA FRCSC and Michael J. Monument, MD MSc FRCS(C)).
The day was filled with very fruitful discussions, theatre visits within their different subspecialties, a visit to the Advanced Orthopaedic Training Centre, the Sunskill Lab and Tygerberg Hospital. Prof du Toit then hosted our guests for a traditional South African “Spitbraai” at his residence.
It was indeed a privilege to host this special group. Numerous future plans and collaborative meetings were forged and our “guests” left as “friends”.
HERITAGE DAY POTJIEKOS COMPETITION
The Division celebrated Heritage day by hosting a Potjiekos competition with a Heritage theme. The teams battled it out over the course of the day with innovative approaches including a Masala pot by the Trauma firm, 'Boeber' and 'Malvapudding' potjies from the Arthroplasty team, an Egyptian pudding potjie, and a 'Kentucky' pot (i.e. Kentucky Fried Chicken placed in a pot!) from the Spines team.
Nobody could however beat the Interns (pictured below) with their prizewinning "Biltong" potjie!
The teams brought great team spirit and everyone enjoyed a great lunch after the conclusion of the competition.
ADVANCED ORTHOPAEDICS 2nd ANNUAL REGISTRAR INTERVARSITY QUIZ EVENING
Advanced Orthopaedics hosted six South African Universities at the 2nd Annual Registrar Quiz Evening, held in Cape Town during the SAOA Congress. The fun-filled evening included an interactive Q&A session, scientific debate and rebuttal session as well as case study discussions amongst the university teams.
The Division is proud of our registrar team (pictured below) who won the Intervarsity Quiz!
TYGERBERG ORTHOPAEDICS AT THE SAOA 2022 CONGRESS
Various clinical and research talks were presented at the recent South African Orthopaedic Association Congress (SAOA) held in Cape Town from 5-8 September.
The Division is proud of Dr Marí Thiart who won the prize for the Best Clinical Paper for her work entitled "A qualitative study: women’s lived experience of training and working in orthopaedic surgery in South Africa".
The attendees enjoyed attending the sessions, catching up with old friends and colleagues, networking and establishing possible future collaborations.
Below are some photographs taken at the event, courtesy of A Gorman Photography. Visit their Facebook page for more images of the Congress.
ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH AT THE 66th ANNUAL ACADEMIC DAY
Several research projects from the Division were presented at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (FMHS) 66th Annual Academic Day, held on Wednesday 31 August and Thursday 1 September.
The talks were presented in the following tracks: Violence, Injuries, Trauma & Rehabilitation; Perioperative Sciences; Health Professions Education.
This annual event is a great opportunity for our researchers to showcase their work and to identify collaboration opportunities within the FMHS.
SURGEONS (S)YCLE FOR STEPS!
A total of 23 Orthopaedic surgeons (currently or formerly affiliated to the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Tygerberg Hospital) and 3 of their spouses completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour on 13 March 2022 in support of STEPS Clubfoot Charity.
A total of R66 000 was raised, and the team was widely supported by their (2- or 4-legged) families!
The slideshow below shows some of the moments before, during and after the race.
SAOA NEWSLETTER ACKNOWLEDGES EXCEPTIONAL TEACHING BY DR CAMERON ANLEY
Tygerberg Orthopaedics is proud of our specialist, Dr Cameron Anley, who was acknowledged for a series of tutorials he presented during 2021. Dr Anley is extremely passionate about teaching, and his dedication to sharing knowledge by going the extra mile is truly exceptional.
SAOA newsletter excerpt below:
TOP 20 POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT
The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery is proud of our Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Teun van Erp, who was awarded one of Stellenbosch University's Top 20 Postdoc awards for exceptional achievement. Dr Van Erp's research on the science of cycling has been published in various top international journals and he has presented at various conferences during his tenure in the Division.
“The contribution of postdoctoral fellows to academic performance at the university is significant, and postdocs support students and are the muscle behind major research. The fellows honoured here had published upwards of 10 manuscripts, formed parts of collaborative research teams, landed large grants and also are active members in university and other academic societies.”- Prof Eugene Cloete
#SOYOUWANTTIBIASURGEON - TYGERBERG ORTHOPAEDICS HOSTS INTRODUCTION TO ORTHOPAEDICS WORKSHOP
Tygerberg Orthopaedics hosted the first Introduction to Orthopaedics (#soyouwanttibiasurgeon) workshop for medical students and junior doctors in association with SAFOSS (the South African Female Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Society) and De Puy Synthes. The workshop was held over two days – 9th-10th October 2021. The workshop was aimed at minorities (particularly females) in Orthopaedics. This workshop allowed exposure to the tools and practical skills needed in Orthopaedics in a unpressured, fun environment. The students and junior doctors certainly brought their energy and enthusiasm – it was a privilege to teach them. Thank you to the faculty of Tygerberg Orthopaedics, as well as colleagues from the University of Cape Town, who brought their patience and passion.
TYGERBERG ORTHOPAEDICS REPRESENTS AT THE SOUTH AFRICAN ORTHOPAEDIC CONGRESS 2021
Several of the researchers in the Division presented their work at the recent South African Orthopaedic Congress which was held in Cape Town from 30 August - 2 September 2021.
We are proud of several awards made to our team for their contributions:
Winner of the Discovery Best Presentation Award and the GT du Toit award for the Best Registrar Presentation - Dr Jon Cornelissen for his presentation entitled "Femur Geometry and the Impact on Fixation"
Winner of the Literary Award for the best article, published in a local or international journal - Dr Karin Wiese for her publication entitled "Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Silver-Impregnated Fibrous Hydrocolloid Dressings With Silver Sulfadiazine Cream Dressings for the Treatment of Fracture Blisters to Determine Time to Surgical Readiness", published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Winner of the KS Naidoo Award for the best article, published in the South African Orthopaedic Journal - Prof Jacques (Vaatjie) du Toit for his publication entitled "Short-term outcomes of submuscular bridge plating of length-unstable paediatric femoral shaft fractures in children".
Recipient of an SAOA Research Grant - Dr Marí Thiart for her research project entitled "Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) producing staphylococcus aureus causing acute haematogenous osteomyelitis in the paediatric population. Implications on clinical course and outcome."
DIVISION CELEBRATES UPCOMING ARRIVAL WITH SURPRISE BABY SHOWER
Dr Nomsa Afrika has given the Tygerberg Orthopaedic Department reason to celebrate the upcoming birth of her and Nate's baby boy, Nicolai; she is the first registrar in our history to do so.An elaborate scheme involving prolonged ward rounds and hospital tours was set in place to secure a surprise baby shower.
We wish Nomsa and Nate all the best for their new arrival!
TYGERBERG CELEBRATES WORLD CLUBFOOT DAY
The clubfoot clinic at Tygerberg Hospital celebrated World Clubfoot Day on the 3rd June 2021. This day is designed to raise awareness of clubfoot. It has a specific significance in Southern Africa, where more than 11,000 children are born with clubfoot each year, around 2,000 of these children are born in South Africa.
The specific date was chosen to celebrate the birthdate of Dr Ignaçio Ponseti (1914-2009), a Spanish orthopaedic surgeon who lived in Iowa USA, and developed a non-surgical method for treating clubfoot in the mid-20th century. The ‘Ponseti Method’ consists of using a series of casts, gentle manipulation and the use of a clubfoot brace. This was a ground-breaking method as, for the first time, clubfoot could be corrected without surgical intervention, with a more effective and economical technique.
Dr Marí Thiart, paediatric Orthopaedic surgeon at Tygerberg Hospital, was interviewed on Radio Namakwaland by Renier Jonas in lieu of World Clubfoot day in order to raise awareness for clubfoot.
The interview can be accessed here.
PAEDIATRIC ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN IODA INITIATIVE
Dr Mari Thiart has been invited to participate in an international discussion on mentorship within Orthopaedic Surgery. The International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance (IODA) is an international alliance of orthopaedic surgeons collaborating to advance the inclusion of women and under-represented minorities in Orthopaedics. They are running a series of webinars on equality and diversity within Orthopaedics. Dr Thiart will participate in the second webinar in the series where the panel are shining the spotlight on mentorship. The focus specifically is how mentorship can be used to support diversity and the diverse panel of leaders from around the world will be coming together to share their experiences on mentorship.
Click here to find out more
WORLD CLUBFOOT DAY CELEBRATED AT TYGERBERG HOSPITAL
Every year on the 3rd of June we observe World Clubfoot Day. This day is designed to raise global awareness of clubfoot deformities. In Southern Africa more than 11,000 children are born with clubfoot each year and around 2000 of them are in South Africa. Although this day may be celebrated annually, there is still little awareness about clubfoot, how it affects children and the treatment options.
Dr Mari Thiart from the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, together with Founder and Director of STEPS, Karen Moss, were invited to the Expresso Breakfast show to discuss the topic of clubfoot.
DIVISION OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY WELCOMES NEW SPINAL CONSULTANT
The Spinal unit has welcomed a new specialist to the team. Dr Yussuf Desai has been appointed to a full time post as a senior spinal specialist. He is currently the IGASS fellow and completed his postgraduate and undergraduate training at UKZN and WITS respectively.
Dr Desai relocated to Cape Town with his family and has been welcomed into the much burdened spinal surgery unit. With only a single specialist running the busy spinal service over the last few years and covering both service delivery at Tygerberg hospital as well as some of the peripheral hospitals, the new addition to the team aims at improving the overall robustness of the unit. Focus can now be restored on outreach, increased clinic volumes and patient turnover.
‘The welcoming atmosphere and collegial support has been amazing’, said Dr Desai as he reminisces the mild Kwa-Zulu Natal winters. He has always had an interest in spinal surgery and indicated that he would have considered travelling overseas to get a spinal fellowship had he not been given the IGASS at IOR/Tygerberg Academic Hospital. The range of pathology and surgeries performed at Tygerberg were the initial aspects of the unit that caught his attention. He has plans to integrate into the service delivery of the department and offer academic support as well as research.
SA SPINE CONGRESS 2021: BEST ORAL PRESENTATION GOES TO...
Dr Theresa Mann, former post-doctoral fellow at our Division and now the Research Consultant at the Institute of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology at Mediclinic Winelands Orthopaedic Hospital, won the coveted prize for the best oral presentation at the SA Spine Congress held at the Century City Conference Centre from 20-22 May 2021.
Dr Mann presented work that formed part of her post-doc research, and her winning presentation was entitled "Biomarkers to predict FDG PET/CT activity after 12 months of treatment for spinal tuberculosis". This important work has also been submitted for publication.
ARTHROPLASTY SURGEONS TAKE ON SANI2C
Dr Koos Jordaan and Dr Gerhard (Pine) Pienaar recently completed the grueling 3-day, 265km mountain bike stage race which took place in South Eastern Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Dr Jordaan mentioned, "It was the best stage mountain bike race that I have done. It was tough, but I will definitely do it again!"
DIVISION OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY GETS VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19
Staff of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery showed up in large numbers to be vaccinated, when the rollout for healthcare worked started (February 2021), playing their part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
PROSTHESIS STUDY EMPOWERS CHILDREN (by Edna Ellman)
Philip* was born without bones in his right foot. At age three he underwent an operation to remove his leg below the knee. In September 2019, after years of using government-issued prosthetics, Philip (then 16), was one of eight kids who received a new prosthesis courtesy of a donation by Össur, a company that manufactures orthopaedic equipment. It formed part of a collaborative study between the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Department of Sport Science, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine (ISEM).
Click here to read the full story
New publication record for the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
Although it was a rough and challenging year with all the COVID-19 challenges the division of orthopaedic surgery has been able to publisch 35 scientific articles in 2020, which is more than double than than the publication of 2019. Since the research support program was started mid 2014 the division has strongly increased it's scientific output, while it also has produced the first two PhD's ever in orthopaedic surgery at Stellenbosch University (Dr PR King and Prof J du Toit).
Orthopaedics in the developing world: ADAPTING to a new reality within the COVID-19 pandemic
Adaptation is the process of changing to become accustomed to a new environment. In evolutionary terms, this process occurs over many generations and millions of years. The COVID-19 pandemic has come as a Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, thus threatening the way in which we, as orthopaedic surgeons, have traditionally gone about our work. As an orthopaedic department within an academic hospital, we had to define our role in this crisis while maintaining a high level of patient care, continuing with pre-and post-graduate education and, most importantly, achieving a new homeostasis with regards to life and work. Apart from maintaining our orthopaedic productivity we also had to ADAPT; we had to Assist with the COVID-19 patients, play a role in Developing PPE, be Aware of our colleagues and the stressors arising from the pandemic, remain Productive with regards to research and maintain our Teaching and training program.
As South Africa is still in the process of heading towards the envisioned 60-90 day peak of the COVID-19 crisis, we have some important decisions to make. Do we merely survive and allow this to be a 'Crisis Wasted' or do we seize the 'Opportunities within the Crisis' and assist for the greater good?
Click here to read the full story
COVID-19: The personal and professional impact for fellows overseas during the pandemic
By William J Nasha 1, Obi Nzeakob 2 and Aaron Sainic 3
1 St Mary's Healthcare, Portland, Maine USA; 2 University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 3 Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
As the COVID-19 virus makes it's impact felt around the world, it is clear that the impact at home has been significant. There has been a significant knock-on effect to the trauma and orthopaedic services across the UK and surgeons in training have had their training interrupted and been placed in stressful and overwhelming situations as part of redeployment to the front-line.
Click here to read the full story
TygerMaties 3D print protective gear in fight against COVID-19
When the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stellenbosch University (SU) started a 3D printing laboratory about two years ago to assist surgeons in planning and rehearsing surgical procedures, they had no idea the lab would be put to use in a pandemic.
Yet that is what's happening as staff and students work long hours to 3D print and assemble visors to be distributed and used as protective gear for those working on the frontline of fighting the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr Rudolph Venter, an orthopaedic surgeon and lecturer in Clinical Anatomy at SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) came up with the idea after the virus broke out in South Africa.
** Click here to read more **
New era dawns with game-changing technique
Orthopaedic surgeons at Tygerberg Hospital employ a winning blend of positivity and the latest surgical techniques to transform lives blighted by hip fracture and deformity.
Bones: a happy speciality
The orthopaedic profile is one of “happy surgeons,” reckons Dr Koos Jordaan, head of the Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Unit at Tygerberg Hospital’s Division of Orthopaedic Surgery. He believes this positivity arises from the simple satisfaction of “fixing something with your hands”, the healing and regenerative potency of bone tissue itself, and the privilege of witnessing post-operative results where the lame rise up, and walk again.
** Click here to read more **
Purpose-built reduction bed in the limelight at Indaba
A prototype of a purpose-built cervical spinal-reduction bed that was constructed in his garage by a former registrar in the spinal unit at Tygerberg Hospital and his colleagues, drew lots of attention at the recent Innovation Indaba.
“We were faced with the problem of cervical dislocation. It’s a devastating injury when associated with spinal cord damage and paralysis. But, if dealt with appropriately and quickly, a better result can be achieved,” Dr Johan Davis, former head of the spinal unit at Tygerberg Hospital, explained the need for an improved intervention in this type of injury.
“Where resources and skills allow, you would do a rapid surgical intervention. But, with limited availability of surgical capabilities or theatre time in most centres, a closed-reduction manoeuvre can win time by removing the pressure off the spinal cord until you can fix it more permanently.”
This type of injury is usually caused by car and sports accidents, as well as interpersonal violence.
** Click here to read more **
Orthopaedic Training Courses
TL-HEX training course
14-18 August 2023
TSF training course
30 Oct-3 Nov 2023
Ortho 3D Print Lab
(click on the image for more information)