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Greg’s in international demand!

02 October 2012

Health Care

Southend University Hospital consultant Greg Packer’s surgical skills are putting him in demand at home and abroad.

Earlier this year, he travelled to Miami to demonstrate a total wrist replacement and now he has been invited to perform the procedure in Israel.

Mr Packer has become an acknowledged expert in fitting the Motec prosthesis - a Swedish product he has been fitting since he first saw a demonstration of the results of this implant in Oslo two years ago.

The orthopaedic surgeon hit the headlines earlier this year by becoming the first in the world to perform a new type of wrist replacement. That was a hemi-wrist arthroplasty, which involves removing three bones in the wrist and replacing them with a steel alloy implant - a procedure he now teaches to other surgeons around the world.

In Israel, however, he will be carrying out a total wrist replacement, using a metal prosthesis which allows some patients with rheumatoid arthritis or severe osteoarthritis in both sides of the joint to regain the whole range of movement.

Since starting to use that particular implant 18 months ago, Mr Packer has now performed about 20 operations.

He will be demonstrating the technique on a patient with rheumatoid arthritis at the Bazilai medical centre in Askelon, 35 miles south of Tel Aviv and close to the border with the Gaza region.

He said: "I still get a kick out of being invited to demonstrate both here and abroad, passing on the skills. I recently had a visiting surgeon who happened to see this implant and he has invited me to operate on one of his patients in Liverpool. Operating at another hospital is always a bit different.

"The particular total wrist replacement I shall be doing in Israel requires the removal of less bone than previous implants and is therefore better for younger patients."

With pic: consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Greg Packer