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Keyhole hip and knee surgery a first

Evelina London has become the first children’s hospital in the south east of England to provide arthroscopic (keyhole) hip and knee surgery exclusively to people aged 16 and below.

jovel jacksonRising numbers of children and young people are suffering from knee and hip injuries due to the increasing popularity of competitive sports.

A promising young footballer who injured his hip just before a trial with a premier league football club is back on the pitch thanks to specialist surgery at Evelina London. Jovel Jackson-Davis, aged 15 from London, was one of the first patients to benefit from the new service set up by Mr Michail Kokkinakis, Consultant Children's Orthopaedic Surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

[Image: Jovel Jackson-Davis]

Keyhole surgery is already a well-established procedure for adults, and is used to remove or repair damaged cartilage, torn ligaments and inflamed tissue around joints. Its use in children is developing rapidly in the UK, thanks to better understanding of children’s joint disorders, recent advances in adult keyhole surgery and specialist training of children’s orthopaedic surgeons.

The benefits to children are the same as in adults. The procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery, patients experience less pain, and recovery is much faster.

Mr Michail Kokkinakis explains:

Thanks to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, we now have our own dedicated hip and knee arthroscopy equipment. Children can be referred, assessed and treated in a dedicated environment with patients their own age, and looked after by experienced clinicians who specialise in treating children. It has already begun to transform the way we manage cases of hip and knee injuries in children and adolescents to meet their unique needs. Children are still growing so it is vital to avoid problems with their growth in future.
In the last year the number of referrals has trebled and 31 patients had keyhole hip or knee surgery at Evelina London in 2017 compared with only eight patients in 2016. Thanks to the new service, we are able to treat an increasing number of young patients to meet a growing demand for it.

The King’s Health Partners Orthopaedics, Trauma and Plastics Clinical Academic Group is driving excellence across its key specialities, and is one of the largest plastic surgery departments in the UK.