Blog

Blog to record the musings and activities of Maxim Horwitz, Consultant Hand and Wrist Surgeon as he goes about his daily business working full time as NHS Consultant at Chelsea and Wesminster Hospital. Includes also thoughts and discourse his his private medical practice, complex surgery, lecturing, teaching, audit, learning and working with medical colleagues.

Keeping up with current thinking and catching up with colleagues

I attended the British Society for Surgery of the Hand Instructional Course in Hand Surgery at the Manchester Conference Centre from 29 to 30 January 2016.

It was a brilliant seminar where I learned up to date techniques from leading authorities in the field of paediatric hand surgery. It was also a great opportunity to discuss challenging cases and meet with old friends from the extended hand community across the world

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How to treat a scar

I really like this blog post which is so relevent to many of my patients. (It's from the blog of the American Society of Surgery for the Hand and I credit them for this content).

How to treat a scar - The Handcare Blog

 

Scars are normal after an injury or surgery.  It is how the body heals. Your hand surgeon or hand therapist may recommend a variety of scar treatments after your injury is healed, cut is healed, or stitches are removed. Here are some treatments that may help the look and feel of your scar:

  • Massage: Gently massaging your scar can help reduce sensitivity and make it more smooth and movable.
  • Rubbing with textures: Exposing your scar to different textures can also help reduce its sensitivity, making it more used to the normal forces of daily life. Desensitizing a scar can take up to four months. You should begin as soon as you are done healing.
  • Exercise: An early exercise program can prevent stiffness of the joints near your scar.
  • Silicone gel: This gel can be placed on your scar in the form of gel or sheets, often at night. Wrapping the scar can reduce swelling and tension.
  • Injections or surgery: For special scar problems such as burns, an injection or surgery may be recommended by your surgeon.

Some scars take up to a year to complete the healing process, which is complete when the scar is light in color, smooth, and no longer sensitive to touch. During the healing process, be sure to protect your scar from the sun. Learn more about scar treatment at www.handcare.org.

Ace treatment of sports professionals

I was fortunate to recently attend a fantastic lecture at the American Academy of Hand Surgeons’ Annual Meeting where Mr Mike Hayton  of the Wrightington Hand Unit  gave a very informative key note lecture on how to treat professional sports people. He shared some interesting and useful up to date techniques and methods for the quick and safe rehabilitation of highly specialised athletes. I'm looking forwards to integrating this new knowledge into my practice.

Academic meeting (in the sun)

I just returned to London after attending the American Association of Hand Surgery’s Annual Meeting in Atlantis, Bahamas. As well as a sunny break in cold January, it was a brilliant opportunity to meet and personally interact with leaders in the field of hand surgery who i have always looked up to such as Dr Jessie Jupiter and Dr Scott Kozin. I was able to learn new techniques and also catch up with old friends from as far as Japan and Australia.

 

Winter Sports Update

At this time of year it is prudent to try and prevent hand and wrist injuries when you are skiing and snowboarding.  Its a good idea to wear protective splints on the wrists when snowboarding and adopt a safe falling position.  If you injure your thumbs skiing please seek early attention to prevent chronic ligamentous injuries of the thumb (skier’s thumb).  Injury prevention is always better than the late treatment of sports related injuries.

With all of this in mind, I have on good advice that skiing & snowboarding are addictive and are a wonderful way to spend a holiday with or without the family. So have fun and stay safe!

Charity launch to train surgeons in developing countries

Last week Mr Horwitz attended the launch of BFIRST a UK registered charity which trains surgeons working in the poorest countries in the world to enable them to undertake reconstructive Plastic Surgery, releasing children and adults from the state of poverty and destitution associated with disability and deformity.

Max attended at the invitation of Barbara Jemec - a fellow hand surgeon from the Royal Free Hospital, London.  Barbara is committed to the training and development of sustainable projects in developing countries and since 2004 has been travelling to Mali, Ghana, Bolivia and Sierra Leone to train local Plastic Surgeons in reconstructive procedures.

For more information on this very worthwhile charity please go to http://bfirst.org.uk/

BSSH diploma grad dinner

Last week as a prelude to the Hand Society Conference on Thursday and Friday I attended a dinner with colleagues who have all received the BSSH diploma of hand surgery. The dinner, which has now become an annual gathering, was a great opportunity to catch  up with old friends and receive some top tips from senior hand surgery colleagues. 

gp lecture on a saturday morning

I spoke this morning to over 130 assembled GPs at the BUPA Cromwell Hospital symposium focussed on Orthopaedics in Primary Care. My session entitled "Everything you will ever need to know about the wrist and hand in primary care" was intended as a catch all for all the common hand conditions that a GP will see such as trigger finger, ganglions, dupuytrens disease and wrist pain.

Musculoskeletal and orthopaedic problems present a large proportion of the complaints received in general practice. Yet despite this fact formal training in trauma and orthopaedics received by GPs is minimal. I hope that the GP's in the room all left feeling today better informed and equipped to deal with their patient's hand and upper limb complaints.

aquaintances and colleagues

I attended the BSSH (British Society for Surgery to the Hand) annual meeting this week.

It was great to catch up with colleagues from around the UK and learn about new techniques and how to deal with challenging problems. I particularly enjoyed the presentation from Mike Hayton on hand injuries in sportsmen. The meeting, as always, was well organised and a source of inspiration.

from Russia with love

I attended the World Symposium on Arthrogryposis in St Petersburg  on 17, 18 & 19 September 2014 where I presented a paper on the "use of the talipes clinic as a screening tool for distal arthrogryposis".  Meeting with colleagues from several continents all of whom are experts in the field is always an honor and it was a great opportunity to discuss the best ways to manage this complex condition.

As well as visiting St Petersburg for the first time (with a little time spent sightseeing), I was fortunate enough to visit the Turner Institute for Scientific Research for Children’s Orthopaedics for a fascinating tour of a 500 bedded paediatric orthopaedic hospital. Here we saw in action and learned about new techniques to treat arthrogryposis in the hand and upper limb.

Welcome

Jumping into the online world and keeping patients informed of Mr Horwitz's many lectures, training sessions etc is the purpose of this blog. If you have anything you would like posted or covered, please email Karen at info@thehanddoctor.co.uk