I firmly believe that education is very important and that it is one of the keys to success for a surgeon. I had good teachers who really helped me in my career, and they always told me that we are on the shoulders of our teachers. The new generation is different from mine. When I started my training, I saw a lot of great teachers who were very confident in their "feeling of god .You will have to do as I show you, it is the right way to do it ", but they gave no explanation. The new generation is not satisfied until they have answers, she wants to understand what you are doing. For me, understanding what you are doing is key and I am very happy that this generation does not accept the assumption "I do it this way because we have been doing it for 30 years".

Regional Hip and Knee Replacement Program

Before leaving the hospital or outpatient clinic, patients should get a follow-up appointment. Otherwise, you will need to call the appropriate clinic to make an appointment.

Have you always been an orthopedic expert witness specialist, but have you received trauma training? How were you trained and when did you start your hip and knee surgery specialization?

When I was a young student, I wanted to be a trauma surgeon, work in emergency rooms, and save lives every day. When I finished my university studies, I discovered that the life of an orthopedic surgeon is much easier and less stressful! Nevertheless, every orthopedic resident had to undergo trauma training: during this period, I had the confirmation that I was better suited to orthopedics than to trauma. I have only had very limited trauma activity over the past 30 years.

Did you focus on the hip and knee, or did you also do the spine or other joints?

My practical training included all sub-specialties, as with all orthopedic surgeons in Austria, but I have never done spinal or pediatric surgery alone. I started my scientific career very early, as a student, with osteonecrosis. During my first ten years as a resident and junior consultant, I was very active in this field. I am one of the founders of ARCO, which is the International Association for Bone Circulation Research. Coming from osteonecrosis, I sub-specialized as a hip expert, and I created an outpatient clinic specializing in hip problems. This is why I started my specialization with hip preservation surgery,

Moreover, we were able to prove that not cementing was responsible for cardiorespiratory problems during arthroplasty, but also that the driving pump effect of cement caused embolization of the fatty marrow, better known as the syndrome of fat embolism. Due to osteonecrosis, I was also involved in MRI imaging studies early on.With the Bernese team, we worked on the diagnosis and treatment of hip impaction problems,

When did you start specializing in knee replacement surgery?

It is still by chance. When I moved 20 years ago to Stolzalpe, we were the first hospital in Austria to decide to specialize. We put together eight different teams, and the hip team already had a few internationally renowned surgeons. At that time, like any orthopedic surgeon, I was doing TKA even though I was focusing on the hip. Many of my patients complained about not being able to climb stairs or ride a bike after their operation: they weren't really satisfied These two points were the reason why I decided to convert, to move from a specialist in hip arthroplasty to a knee replacement specialist. It was a very hard and long journey; I have traveled a lot to train and have been to the United States several times because at the time they were ahead for knee replacement compared to Europe.

Stolzalpe is a very special place, can you give us more details about its history?

Stolzalpe is one of the largest orthopedic departments. He mainly deals with the elective orthopedics of all subspecialties, except tumors. It is located on top of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere: there is only the hospital, and a very calm but beautiful countryside. Originally, it was a tuberculosis hospital founded exactly 100 years ago. Over 60 years ago it evolved into an orthopedic clinic; the clinic was created by well-known surgeons. When I joined him 20 years ago, Professor Graf was my medical directorIf you are not better stop doing it you will be doing something wrong. if we were to survive in Stolzalpe, we had to subspecialize.

What is the current size of the hospital?

We have 8 subspecialty teams, 120 surgical beds and also a conservative service for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain, which is very important to us. We do around 1,500 artificial hips and knees per year, around 300 spines and 1,000 other surgeries in small teams. Most importantly, we are now a center of reference for HRDs and knee replacements thanks to the courses we have provided over the past 20 years. This means that we receive a lot of difficult cases as references.

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