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Hospital for Special Surgery to Co-Organize International Congress on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle

New York—March 5, 2012


Ankle injuries are among the most common injuries in sports worldwide, with some form of cartilage damage occurring in as many as half of all ankle sprains and fractures. However, there is no clear consensus on the best way to treat them and provide the best potential for a long-term successful outcome for the patient.

Hospital for Special Surgery, in collaboration with the Ankle and Foot Associates of the European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy (ESSKA), is organizing an “International Congress on Cartilage Repair of the Ankle.” It will take place at the historic Clontarf Castle in Dublin, Ireland, on March 9-10, 2012.

The conference will bring together a group of 25 experts from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. “This meeting has been organized in an effort to gather a renowned group of surgeons and scientists with a single common interest where we can establish the foundation for international collaboration and innovation,” said Dr. John G. Kennedy, a chairman of the Congress and foot and ankle surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Ankle injuries are common, especially in sports that require a lot of turning, running or jumping.  Soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis are among the leading sports in which players suffer ankle injuries.  In fact, the ankle sprain was one of the most common injuries recorded during both the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Sprained ankles are the musculoskeletal injury most frequently seen by primary care health providers and constitute up to 30 percent of injuries seen in sports medicine clinics.  More than 23,000 people per day in the United States, including athletes and non-athletes, require medical care for ankle sprains.

Cartilage damage is often caused by an ankle injury, and the field of cartilage repair surgery has been the subject of controversy, according to Dr. Kennedy.

“We truly believe that cartilage repair of the ankle has not received the appropriate attention to date at scientific meetings worldwide or in the medical literature, and the purpose of this Congress is to change that,” Dr. Kennedy said.  “This meeting represents a willingness among leaders in the field to work together and ultimately progress toward an evidence-based consensus on the optimal treatment strategies in cartilage repair surgery of the ankle.”

Sample topics to be discussed:
the impact of articular cartilage injuries on athletes worldwide
cartilage injury and the development of osteoarthritis in the ankle
diagnostic arthroscopy for a cartilage injury after ankle fracture: when is it appropriate?
when is it appropriate to order an MRI after an ankle sprain or fracture to look for cartilage injury?
cartilage tissue engineering and gene therapy
the basic science of stem cells and growth factors in cartilage repair

Along with Dr. Kennedy, Prof. C. Niek van Dijk of the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam and president of ESSKA, and Dr. Richard D. Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute are co-chairing the Congress. It has attracted quite a bit of attention in the orthopedic and sports medicine communities worldwide. Participants from 35 countries have registered to date.

After the Congress, organizers plan to publish the recommendations and guidelines established during the conference. The material will fall into three main categories: 1) diagnostic strategy; 2) treatment strategy; and 3) outcome measurement.

About ESSKA Ankle and Foot Associates
ESSKA is one of the largest and most respected orthopedic societies in Europe and throughout the world.  The Ankle and Foot Associates are a subspecialty section of ESSKA that strives to group current or future European key opinion leaders in the field of sport related ankle and foot pathology.  The Associates also seeks to provide an appropriate educational setting that maintains the highest level of professional standards in order to promote continuous advancements in professional knowledge and improved treatment of sports-related ankle and foot pathology, with a special focus on ankle arthroscopy. The Associates seek to promote and maintain professional standards to provide the best care to patients with sport related ankle and foot pathology.





About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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