By: 13 December 2019
Key speakers look ahead to the advances in knee surgery

Mike McNicholas welcomed delegates to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds for the fourth Orthopaedic Knee Conference in November

It may have been a dull and drizzly day in Leeds from the outside, but with more than 100 delegates in attendance this year, the day’s programme was ready to deliver a host of hot topics and discussions between the chairman and the key speakers. Delegates enjoyed the opportunity to see leaders in their respective fields giving a wide-ranging update of various aspects of current therapeutic interventions for knee pathologies

In what is becoming our regular venue, the Royal Armouries Museum, with the backdrop of military warriors and artillery, Mike McNicholas led his troops with style and charm. With a packed programme and some high profile speakers in attendance, we were hoping for another year of lively debate and heated discussions, and 2019 did not disappoint.

This year’s conference had the theme of ‘Advances in knee surgery’ and the range of topics went across the spectrum of knee surgery, with sessions looking at: Preparing for the future; taking the right path in training and development; a look at the future and whether we will be replaced by robots in our working lives and is the robotic technology available at the moment worth the financial outlay; improving surgical and clinical outcomes through innovation for patients with knee problems; the management of soft tissue knee injuries and finally; the beauty and the beast of knee arthroplasty, looking at partial joint replacements and the increasingly important issue of midrange instability in total knee replacement.

As the delegates took their seats for the first session, entitled: Preparing for the future – Taking the right path in training and development, we heard from three speakers. It was an interesting start to the day, Peter Ogrodnik looked at the digital opportunities in orthopaedics, while Will Jackson and Dinesh Nathwani spoke about the future of the robotic revolution and how robots could fit into your day-to-day practice. Robotic surgery offers many benefits to patients compared with open surgery, including shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time, but is robotic-assisted technology superior to conventional methods?

The second session looked at improving surgical and clinical outcomes through innovation, with Mike Reed discussing an overview of registries’ assessments of clinical outcomes and Keith Tucker, representing ODEP and Beyond Compliance, looking at how assessments of new joint replacements will look like in years to come, with the popularity of apps and AI.

Before lunch, a special guest of the day Deiary Kader took to the podium to talk about his interesting work in war zones in the Middle East with the Red Cross and the primitive nature of trauma surgery in such bleak climates. Seeing the ugly side to war is certainly something to think about, and if anyone is considering humanitarian work, please visit for more information.

Last year we introduced the two abstract presentation sessions and this year the speakers judged the abstracts presented on the podium. Nick Evans, of Scarborough Hospital was awarded first prize, you can read the top three abstracts on page 20. Within the morning session we heard from Nick Evans, Anh Nguyen, Olivia O’Malley, Kodali Prasad and Ahmed Saad. OPN would like to take this opportunity to thank Omar Abouazza for taking time to review and give feedback for each of the abstract submissions we were sent. He was certainly impressed with the calibre we received this year. Omar said: “The abstract submissions this year for the Orthopaedic Knee Conference were of a high quality, covering arthroplasty, trauma and soft tissue knee topics, with submissions from across the UK, as well as Ireland and the USA. I hope that further submissions of similar quality will be made next year.”

Throughout the day, in our break-out area, a wide range of manufacturers and industry leaders were on hand to discuss their products and the latest innovations relating to knee surgery and practise. Companies included Smith & Nephew, Thuasne and DGL Practice Manager.

Dave Daly, of Smith & Nephew, said: “It’s been one of the busiest orthopaedic knee conferences I’ve seen, lots of consultant surgeons and lots of support staff, so it’s been a very good day.”

James Cree, of Thuasne, said: “Delegates are coming over to the exhibition stand to have a look, so this event so far has been a really good one for us.”

Following lunch and a chance to look around the exhibition, delegates returned to the auditorium for the third session entitled Management of soft tissue knee injuries.

David Deehan, Mike McNicholas and Deiary Kader spoke about managing PCL and ACL injuries and how to treat patellofemoral joint pain, commonly found in runners.

This was followed by abstract presentations by Luke Hughes, Ian McDermott, Dhrumin Sangoi and Sijith Sasi.

Finally, in the fourth session we looked at surgical reconstruction or replacement of a joint, the beauty and the beast of arthroplasty, a procedure becoming more popular with the aging of the world’s population. Nick London spoke about the history and future of partial knee replacement and his work in Harrogate, conducting a fixed-baring partial knee replacement. While Leela Biant discussed how midflexion instability can occur following a knee replacement.

Closing the event, Chair Mike McNicolas, said: “We’ve had a great day today. There has been some fantastic presentations by leaders in their field. The whole day has been very interesting, I’ve learned a lot and it’s been very enjoyable once again.”

Speaker Nick London said: “We’ve covered a lot of topics in knee surgery, from sports through to arthroplasty, with key speakers from around the country, so I think it’s been a great learning opportunity particularly for surgeons, but also for allied professionals, theatre technicians and physiotherapists, to come along and learn a lot about orthopaedics.”

Feedback from attendees at the event was also very positive. Sherif Issac said: “I came here to hear about what’s new in knee replacement. I’m not familiar with robotic surgery, so that was an interesting talk in the morning. Of course, it’s nice to take time out from work and come and enjoy the talks about the recent advances in knee surgery.”

We hope delegates enjoyed a rewarding day of topical debate, and felt both mentally stimulated with the discussions and visually stimulated by the manufacturers and industry leaders, who supported the event and showcased their knee products.

View our video of the day here:

We’re now looking ahead to our fifth OPN Knee Conference in Leeds in 2020 and hope to welcome new and returning delegates to the event on Friday 30 October 2020. We will continue to keep you posted with all the latest news regarding our meeting, but if you are interested in attending, or if you require further information, please contact or call 0113 3357 2167.