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Orthopaedics: Limb lengthening, reconstruction’ll stem medical tourism



Orthopaedics: Limb lengthening, reconstruction’ll stem medical tourism


Orthopaedic services across the country have received a boost with the introduction of a subspecialty of limb lengthening and reconstruction service by Nigerian orthopaedics.

Members of the Nigerian Orthopaedic Association (NOA) the brains behind the introduction of the new technology in the country, have advised Nigerians to take advantage of the service which is now available in orthopaedic hospitals in the country instead of travelling abroad to access this service.

President of NOA, Dr. Ugo Enweani who made the call in Lagos during a press conference to herald the association’s 41st Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, similarly urged the general populace to access modern orthopaedic services which would be very useful in instances of severe bone loss from accidents and other disease conditions.

The theme of the NOA’s EKO 2018 Annual Scientific Conference is “Musculoskeletal Problems in Children’ and sub-theme ‘Sports Injuries’. The conference held in Lagos from November 19 to 24.

According to Enweani, sub specialities like injuries in sports which used to present a lot of challenge in orthopaedic surgery practice in the country before now can now be handled in this country.

He noted that tackling sports injuries has become very urgent and relevant considering that most sport personalities that become injured during active sports always sought urgent and quick treatment, warranting the capital flight for such treatment abroad.

However, he stressed that with various sub-subspecialties of orthopaedics in the country, 95 per cent of orthopaedic problems can be handled locally.

The President who noted that two years ago, Nigeria was said to be losing N2 billion dollars to medical tourism added that the new limb lengthening technique was part of strategies to reduce the rate of medical tourism in the country.

President, Limb Lengthening & Deformity Correction Society, Dr Isa Nurudeen, explained that Limb lengthening and reconstruction have been in existence for years but relatively new in Nigeria.

“The issue of bone lengthening and correction of deformity came based on the knowledge that most parts of the body have the ability to regenerate except the nervous system and that knowledge is what we are using through some techniques and devices to increase the length of bones.

On his part, the Medical Director, National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi Lagos, Dr. Mustafa Alimi, said most of the orthopaedic procedures that people travel out of the country for, could be done in Nigeria.

“We have the manpower, we have facilities which are the hospitals and we have the knowledge,” he said.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dr. Kunle Onakoya said the objectives of the association include standardisation of materials, processes and practices in orthopaedics and the creation of access to current knowledge and best global practices for members.

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