Every day at CCBRT our orthopaedic and plastic surgeons perform life changing operations. On any afternoon, the theatre is full with doctors busy replacing hips and knees, reconstructing limbs, and setting fractures. Our Orthopaedic team consists of experienced surgeons who specialise in minimally invasive surgical techniques for treating fractures due to long bone trauma, conducting limb reconstruction procedures to treat massive bone infection or bone loss following trauma, and congenital limb deficiency, and correcting correction of angular deformities like knock knees and bowleg.
Their combined 50+ years of experience equips them with the expertise to prioritise minimal invasiveness and approach surgery with patients’ overall well being in mind.
When setting fractures, CCBRT surgeons create a 2-3cm incision and use a fluoroscope, a small wand camera that projects onto a screen, to navigate inside and repair the break. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Luijisyo Mwakalukwa noted, “The alternative method may involves a 15-30cm incision, which interferes with the fracture site and hematoma surrounding the injury, prolonging healing. Our approach reduces recovery time and the risk of infection”.
CCBRT orthopaedists take into account the patient’s overall well being and education needs when treating angular deformity. Our surgeons avoid acute correction (breaking the bone, straightening, and inserting pins) in favour of a longer term, less invasive approach. For children with bowlegs or knock knees, surgeons use the fluoroscope (commonly called C-Arm) to guide them during placement of short plates and screw insertion on either side of the child’s growth plate of the bone through a two 2-3 cm incision on the skin of the affected leg. This temporarily stops growth. “As the insides of the legs continue growing”, Dr. Luijisyo explained, “they straighten”. He continued, “With this gradual and minimally invasive approach, kids can be on their feet, in school playing and learning while they’re healing. It also protects their parents’ time—they don’t need to nurse the children at home”.
Another CCBRT orthopaedic specialty is limb reconstruction. Bone infections sometimes require amputation or partial removal of the limb. When possible, our surgeons employ a bone elongation procedure or bone transport technique to correct the bone defect as opposed to using a bone graft. Over the course of a week, pressure is gradually applied to the site using a special external fixation frame applied to the limb. The patient is then discharged and manages the treatment from home as their own bone regrows. Dr. Fulvio Franceschi, a CCBRT orthopaedic surgeon, is a pioneer in bone elongation. In addition to treating patients, he and the team are training surgeons from Iringa, southern Tanzania in this technique. CCBRT is one of the only health facilities in Tanzania using this method.
After serving patients for over 20 years, CCBRT is a centre of excellence and expertise in orthopaedics.