16 August 2015

Under the auspices of the ELCCR

(written by Pierre Hoffmeyer)

On the invitation of the ELCCR, the AORecon group held a daylong seminar in Cartagena Colombia on the 8th of August 2015. The AORecon program was included in the XIth congress of the ELCCR (XI Encuentro Latinoamericano de Cirujanos de Cadera y Rodilla). This large meeting reunites all the best Latin American experts in the field of reconstruction of the hip and knee. The venue was in the Las Americas resort hotel equipped with a congress centre allowing adequate space for a commercial exhibition and a large fully equipped conference room.

The program began at 7:45 with a welcome by Antonio Solano, President of the Colombian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, and Julio Cesar Palacio Director of the ELCCR. This was followed by an introduction outline the goals of the AORecon by Jaime Quintero and a brief introduction by Pierre Hoffmeyer.

The morning sessions were dedicated to the knee with lectures on osteotomies (Marco Percope, Brazil), the unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (Bas Masri, Canada), wear and the new polys (Pierre Hoffmeyer, Switzerland), the indications and treatment principles of severe varus and valgus deformities (Marco Percope) and the role of patient specific instruments (Bas Masri). The talks were well organized and presented and all speakers kept their time of 10 minutes.

A panel discussion was then initiated from 09:00 to 09:30. The ice needed to be broken but finally a dialogue did come about, and especially thanks to Mike Cabanela (USA), with his enthusiasm and charism he led the discussions with gusto and in Spanish which facilitated the proceedings. Simultaneous translation was provided for the faculty and this allowed all to participate fully.

Coffee break was followed by the session on complications of TKA. Principles of TKA revisions (Bas Masri) were followed by the painful patella (Marco Percope), periprosthetic fractures (Rodrigo Pesantez, Colombia), one and two stage revisions for the infected total knee (Bas Masri).

A case presentation session followed where heated discussions took place between the participants and the panel. Simultaneous translation helped to pass the understanding between the involved interveners. Again the timing was well observed and a sit-down lunch was served to the participants in an adjacent room used for the occasion. This time allowed the participants to visit the industrial exhibition and gave time for group photos.

The afternoon sessions were dedicated to the hip. To start Tania Ferguson (USA) gave an excellent lecture on the treatment of femoral neck fracture non-unions in the young, insisting on accurate reductions. Rodrigo Pesantez presented the treatment of femoral neck fractures in the young, followed by femoral neck fractures in the elderly (Tania Ferguson), osteotomies around the hip (Miguel Cabanela), the approaches in total hip arthroplasty (Claudio Mella, Chile) and the optimal bearing surfaces (Bas Masri). This was followed by case presentations and by this time the audience was fully attuned and many questions and queries were raised by the participants while again the simultaneous translation was very helpful.

The final session of the day was dedicated to complications of THA. Many major topics were raised including: the failed acetabulum (Pierre Hoffmeyer), the failed femur (Miguel Cabanela), the unstable hip (Claudio Mella), the infected hip (Bas Masri), and the management of periprosthetic fractures (Rodrigo Pesantez). A last session of case discussions closed the meeting, some of the cases being presented by the participants. The evaluation slides were put up.

At 05:00 PM the meeting adjourned although with difficulty as many of the participants and panellists were engrossed in the discussions and may have wished for more time.  The foreign faculty was honoured by the Colombian Society and received diplomas as Corresponding Members of the Society.

The attendance was excellent, over 200 surgeons and they stayed to the end. This is remarkable, considering that the AORecon event was on the last day of the congress and on a Saturday. This demonstrates that a need is being filled by the event. For this group of seasoned surgeons the topics were well adapted seeing the questions and discussions that took place after the initial “breaking of the ice”. This particular meeting assembles a great many of the best Latin American hip and knee surgeons and it was a great opportunity to address this distinguished assembly of experts.

The reason for the success of this course lies in the impeccable organisation and support from AOLAT with Luz Angela Pardo who was very present and AO Foundation with Cynthia Stampfli from Davos. This team’s performance was outstanding. On the DPS side, the industrial partner was extremely discrete, never interfering with the program and with the proceedings but always willing to lend a hand when necessary.

Another reason for the success and acceptance of the AORecon Symposium was the world class faculty and this is a necessary ingredient to ensure a successful educational event. Clearly, when participants are guaranteed the presence of high level speakers, curiosity will pull in the public and when discussions allow experts to confront opinions, this is also an attraction for an informed public.

Without Jaime Quintero the event would have never taken place, let him be thanked here. He was the essential liaison between the Latin American surgeons and the AO group.


This symposium has once again demonstrated the necessity of education in the field of reconstructive surgery. AORecon needs to be the place where the young and the seniors come to further their education in the field of joint preserving surgery and arthroplasty for degenerative and posttraumatic affections touching upon the musculoskeletal system of the extremities.

The times have evolved, treating complex fractures, non-unions and mal-unions remains a major problem but these are no longer the only problems the AO musculoskeletal surgeon is facing. The sports minded patients, the active ageing patients and the young with their musculoskeletal and joint problems need the full attention of the AO Foundation today and this includes reconstruction for joint preservation and the use of arthroplasties when necessary and in all situations whether chronic or traumatic. All the available surgical armamentarium must be taught, used and mastered if we are to be efficient. The ancient cleavages are just that: old and outdated.

- Pierre Hoffmeyer

View event program and details


More Images

The faculty of the AORecon session at the ELCCR: Claudio Mella (2nd row), Tania Ferguson, Pierre Hoffmeyer (2nd row), Bas Masri, Marco Percope, Jaime Quintero, Rodrigo Pesantez, Miguel Cabanela
Even though the AORecon event took place on a Saturday, the lecture room was well-attended.
Participants asked questions and presented their cases at the AORecon session.
The questions from the audience triggered vivid discussions on the faculty panel.

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