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Double Award Success for Wrightington’s Upper Limb Unit

Newsdate: 18 August 2016 Professor John Stanley

Staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust are always striving to improve patient care. Innovation and research is a key part of this, which is why we are pleased to announce that our Upper Limb Unit, at Wrightington Hospital, have been given two awards for their work in advancing upper limb orthopaedic care.

Professor John Stanley, who set up the Upper Limb Unit, has been awarded the highly prestigious “Pioneer in Hand Surgery” award by the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH). The award recognises surgeons who are exceptional and excel beyond what is normally expected in the field of hand surgery. People who win this award influence and inspire the generations of surgeons that follow them. This is certainly true of Professor Stanley.

The team that he set up, which is now the biggest Upper Limb Unit in the UK, has also just won an award; the highly respected Ian Kelly Prize presented by the British Elbow and Shoulder Society (BESS).

The prize was given for a clinical trial, presented by Professor Adam Watts at BESS 2016. The trial led by Professor Ian Trail looked at a new joint injection for patients with problematic tennis elbow and measured the effectiveness of the treatment against the option of surgery. The injections contain platelet rich plasma, which is thought to help the healing process.

Eighty one patients took part in the study. The success of each treatment was measured over a year. The study found that seventy percent of the people who had the injections did not seek further treatment within 12 months. The pain experienced by patients decreased for both injections and surgery. However, surgery did have better painProfessor Adam Watts outcomes than the injections.

The conclusion reached was that injections using platelet rich plasma could be used when more traditional treatment, for example physiotherapy, did not work and those patients who received these injections could avoid surgery.

Professor Adam Watts, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Head of Upper Limb Research at the Trust said “We are delighted to have been given this award. The research we have done will help many people suffering from this painful condition. Anything that reduces the need for surgery is good news for patients; injections are not as invasive or stressful as surgery, which means lower risk and much quicker recovery.”

The study was funded by Zimmer Biomet Biologics.

For information on clinical trials in the upper limb unit contact Stella Crank or Ann Birch on 01257 256413 or 01257 488212.