AAOS 2019: The days of straightforward human joinery have been left behind

In the first of our Mackay Clinic Blogs, Professor Mackay looks back at the highlights of AAOS2019 which gave him a great opportunity to talk to surgeons from all over the world who are finding that the InternalBrace is transforming their practices and patient care.

I was delighted to be able to attend the world’s biggest orthopaedic meeting in the world’s craziest city, Las Vegas. The meeting was as impressive as ever with an ever-expanding Trades’ Show. The Arthrex booth was by far the most impressive, proudly displaying the most recent innovations, including all the developments with the InternalBrace.

It was particularly satisfying to see its prominence in distal extremities with increasing applications in foot and ankle, and upper limb – the hand in particular. There was also increased interest in its potential use in the shoulder to protect the rotator cuff, (which opens another field of research for the coming year), and increasing applications for ACL repair and augmentation as well as the support of multi-ligament repairs around the knee. We had the pleasure of presenting our 5-year ACL InternalBrace repair outcomes.

I was delighted to meet international surgeons, including numerous colleagues who have collaborated with me over the last eight years, as we have developed various applications and to assess clinical outcomes with the InternalBrace. It is always very satisfying to hear how this has impacted on surgeons’ practices and, most importantly, on patient care.

I was delighted to catch up with Bert R. Mandelbaum from California who had initially speculated on the potential impact of the InternalBrace some seven years ago in London. I was also delighted to catch up with Alan M. Hirahara from Sacramento and his visiting fellow, who has collaborated in numerous publications over recent years.

It was a particular pleasure to get some feedback and Chris Coetzee shared his current experiences, explaining that he no longer restricts the use of the internal brace to 5% of his patients, it is more in the region of 98%. I also had a delightful update, dating from a previous visit of mine to South Africa to discuss potential applications of the InternalBrace to hear, at AAOS19, that one surgeon has now InternallyBraced over 350 patients.

This was certainly an exciting year with promising new nano-technology, an exploding field of Biologics including an ever-increasing understanding of stem cells and their potential, as well as complexity. I look forward to the coming year to continue to develop strong links with these leading International Centres.

Finally, I was delighted to accept invitations to share my experience with the InternalBrace and associated research at international meetings later this year in destinations from Athens to Rio, Florida, Colorado and Chicago – trains planes and automobiles springs to mind!