Founded in 1856, St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is one of the UK’s largest independent charitable hospitals. Our commitment to our patients is in the quality of our care, the range of our services and the quality of our consultants and staff.
St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is renowned for its highly specialised clinics that provide exemplary care for patients. Our expert Consultants cover the full range of specialties and are able to treat almost any medical condition.
Mr Satya Naique is a Lower limb Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, who has been practicing in the field for over 20 years. With ski season upon us, we asked him to share some treatment advice, should anyone injure themselves when in the mountains.
What are some common winter sports injuries that you see?
There is a spectrum of injury, which can vary from common soft tissue injuries and bruising to muscle tears and ligament injuries. ACL and MCL ligament injuries are most common, but blunt injury, cartilage and meniscal injury is also frequently seen.
The winter period also leads to an increased frequency of fracture (broken bones) and dislocations, so anyone going on a winter holiday does need to be aware that these types of injuries are a possibility! These can also vary, from ankle fractures to a broken tibia (the shin bone) to a fractured hip (sometimes both), amongst others.
With adequate care and preparation, most of these injuries can be avoided, but in the unfortunate event that they occur, appropriate management is important for a satisfactory outcome.
For anyone skiing in the Alps, it’s important to be aware that although the treatment offered there is satisfactory, it differs in the case of broken bones. There, they rely heavily on internal fixations, which can result in infections and other complications in certain situations.
Also, some patients can feel stranded between getting treated on holiday and getting treatment when they get back home. Unfortunately, I have seen quite a few patients who had an accident abroad and ended up with many complications and infections, partly due to the type of initial treatment they received. For example, I recently treated a patient with severe complications after his fracture was internally fixed, following an accident in the Swiss Alps. I ended up having to remove all the plates in his legs, in order to save his limbs. Thankfully, he has now made a full recovery.
Treatment at John & Lizzie’s
Almost all my new patients will ask me, ‘what care will I get at this hospital, what’s the ambience like, the nurses and the rooms?’ Just simple things! Is the hospital a nice place to be?
The reason I practice at John & Lizzie’s is because it has a fantastic multi-disciplinary medical team, including an excellent physiotherapy department; good ambience; is family-friendly and offers holistic treatment, which is essential for ensuring a good continued recovery after surgery.
There’s also a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) setup here, including an intensive care facility, which is thankfully needed only occasionally. This means that doctors from different specialties and expertise work together to assess and discuss patients. For example, when someone has suffered a complex fracture, having an orthopaedic doctor, a plastic surgeon, and a microbiologist all working together has been proven to result in a much better outcome for the patient. This is because complex wounds have higher infection risks, so having a plastic surgeon at hand can help fix any tissue damage and minimise/hide scarring where the injury has taken place and then a microbiologist can help prevent dangerous infections from setting in.
The hospital also has a lovely chapel, which is open to everyone. I’m not catholic, but if I have time, I’ll go and sit in the chapel as it’s a calm place to collect my thoughts and reflect.
What advice would you give to someone going skiing?
I would say have a contingency plan that allows you to access immediate care whilst you’re abroad. Getting quick treatment can help prevent further injuries or complications down the line. You should also make sure that you can access good ongoing care when you get back from holiday, as you’ll need the right people and the right team to help you, and make sure you have the best possible recovery.
Multi-disciplinary care is also very important for more complicated injuries, such as open wounds, allowing for better recovery and avoidance of complications. So, make sure you go to see a specialist orthopaedic doctor, who has expert knowledge about lower limb trauma and injuries. This way, you can be certain you’ll receive the best care possible from a team that has in-depth knowledge and experience.
Whilst skiing, I’m sure you will use the slopes to your ability, but try not to over-tire yourself and be aware of your surroundings (both the people and the environment). Doing this, you’ll be well on your way to reducing any risk of injuries. If the worst should happen, make sure you have the right care network in place. If you have any previous injuries, a pre-holiday consult /scans can help advise on appropriate splints to avoid more serious injuries on the slopes.
Mr Satya Naique is a Lower limb Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, who has been practicing in the field for over 20 years. His orthopaedic training began at Mumbai University and The King Edward Memorial Hospital in 1993, and he completed his higher Orthopaedic Training in London, with an Arthroplasty Fellowship and a Trauma Fellowship in the final years of his training here. He has won numerous awards, including The Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh GB Ong Gold Medal Award for the Best Surgical Candidate.
He specialises in hip and knee replacement surgery, including robotic surgery, keyhole knee surgery, post trauma reconstructions and leg lengthening.
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