HKUMed News (Vol 26 | Issue 2)

Cutting-edge Technology Exemplary Results The Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology has been evolving with, and even leading, the times for six decades, according to Professor Cheung. Founded in 1961, the Department’s early treatment focused on bone damage by tuberculosis, especially in the spine: in the 1970s, over 300 cases underwent operations annually, probably the most in the world, providing clinical experience not only to local surgeons but also the international orthopaedic community. As the Hong Kong economy and living conditions improved, infection declined dramatically and the Department moved on to other skeletalrelated pathologies. ‘When I joined the University in 1992 as an assistant professor, the treatment and research in orthopaedics mainly focused on the mechanics, such as how to better mend fractures and accelerate recovery. What used to be a common treatment of several months’ bed rest with a plaster cast, through repeated research and innovation by talented physicians, evolved into “internal fixation” that allows patients to return to normal life a lot quicker. We put great value in interdisciplinary collaboration to improve patient care, and had the foresight of hiring an engineer to help with the mechanics of device research. My team and I thus invented the use of shapememory alloy to correct scoliosis, which proved a quantum leap in improving patient recovery,’ he said. Refusal to Conform Breaking New Ground Hong Kong’s connectivity with the international community is tight and extensive, with unparalled opportunities for top-notch exchanges throughout the world. ‘In addition to the proximity with our colleagues on the Mainland, we often go abroad for conferences, exchanges and internships. Moreover, Hong Kong has always been an international aviation hub, so many senior professors and practitioners transit through Hong Kong for international conferences, which makes scheduling a local visit natural, prompting more exchange of ideas and experiences.’ Since 2001, the Department has been conducting a series of studies on lumbar disc degeneration, and its research teams have been actively embracing new sciences. Since this new millennium, they have highlighted the study of biochemistry and genetics, and have made discoveries that many orthopaedic disorders are associated with genetic risk factors. ‘It was the first time that a gene mutation in some Asians was identified to higher susceptibility of intervertebral disc degeneration, and it was also the first time that such a mutation was found to be more frequent in the Chinese population. This led to a better the Department has been conducting a series of studies on lumbar disc degeneration 學系開始進行一系列針 對腰椎間盤退化的研究 2001年 FEATURE + Tuberculosis cases fell dramatically due to economic improvement, and it is now more common to see orthopaedic ailments in the elderly, such as hip fractures, or degenerative problems and decline of the spine or shoulder joint. The change in frequently suffered maladies did not hinder progress at the Department at HKUMed, but rather ushered advancement in research areas in line with global trends in medicine. 早年常見結核菌入骨的病例,隨著 本港經濟改善而大幅減少,近年則 由於人口老化,長者罹患各種骨科 創傷如髖骨斷裂的病例愈來愈多, 退變性的問題如脊椎或肩關節退化 等也增加不少。為此,矯形及創傷 外科學系研發及採用最先進技術來 處理這些難題,右方四項就是其中 例子: AREAS OF LEADERSHIP Robotic arm-assisted spine surgery 機械臂輔助脊柱手術 Robotic arm-assisted joint replacement 機械臂輔助關節置換手術 3D-printed cutting jig for corrective osteotomy 用於矯形截骨手術的 3D 打印切割夾具 Exoskeleton allowing paraplegic patients to walk again 外骨骼機械腳讓下半身癱瘓患者重新行走 1 3 2 4 since 30