A specialized system, supported by a multidisciplinary team of professionals, focusing their effort and knowledge on the patients’ wellbeing and quality of life, has been the foundation of this Department’s growth and responsibility.

The concept of a General Orthopaedic Surgeon is now outdated. “With today’s current technological development, it is not expected that an Orthopaedic Surgeon can operate on a spinal column and a shoulder with the same level of competence. Today, this is no longer possible” explains Dr. João Paulo Sousa, Head of Department.

We have been creating an interdisciplinary team of Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeons with expertise in various areas of orthopaedics, that has enabled us to provide integrated quality care such as highly specialized surgery and rehabilitation, supported by various complementary diagnostic examinations”.

The Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Unit is the paradigmatic example of this process and evolution, which has enabled us to obtain more and more experience, case studies and differentiation in this area, justifying the creation of this Specialised Unit. When a Hip or Knee replacement surgery becomes necessary, the process is previously discussed with the patient and family as are the resources and techniques available. Once a decision is reached to proceed with surgery, the patient is subjected to various pre-operative assessment tests and specialist consults. This process is focused on the patient and is tailor-made for each individual, supported and permanently monitored by a multidisciplinary team of professionals, such as orthopaedic surgeon, anaesthetist, physical therapist and nurse. Other medical specialties are also available if necessary, such as cardiologist, nutritionist or dentist.

In addition to this continuous monitoring, patients submitted to hip or knee replacement surgery must continue regular outpatient medical visits for a period of approximately one year in order to monitor clinical evolution and functional gain. Two brochures have also been made available, describing all the procedures, from the first consultation to hospital discharge including a series of post-operative exercises and information on post- operative care”.

Regarding the Foot and Ankle Unit, we also intend to establish a specific consult for patients with difficult diagnosis, post-traumatic cases, neurologic cases, infections, complex deformities, sports trauma and degenerative pathology, using the latest diagnostic techniques, such as gait analysis, podobarography, and mini-invasive treatment techniques, ankle arthroscopy, tenoscopy, conservative ankle surgery and ankle prostheses. In addition to surgical procedures and rehabilitation, technical aids such as insoles and orthotics will also be available providing a multidisciplinary approach in order to obtain the maximum functional recovery with the minimum aggression.

The Specialist Orthopaedic surgeon in charge for this unit is Dr João Vide, who has dedicated a full year of training in this area with fellowships in New York at the Hospital for Special Surgery, in the AMC Amsterdam and in Liestal (Switzerland) in addition to other Foot and Ankle Units in Portugal.

by Dr. João Vide Speciality: Orthopedics at: Hospital Particular do Algarve – Gambelas