New Era In Caribbean Medicine As Surgeons Repair Rugby Player's Shoulder

Author  Christina Trumbach

CAYMAN ISLANDS (September 4, 2018) - Through a rare surgery not commonly practiced in the Americas, Health City Cayman Islands' orthopedic surgical team, led by Chief Orthopedic Surgeon and Joint Replacement Specialist Dr. Alwin Almeida, repaired a rugby player's shoulder with a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure utilizing an advanced technique not yet available in the United States or Canada.

The surgery is called an arthroscopic Latarjet, and is the minimally-invasive adaptation of a commonly-used surgical procedure in orthopedics and sports medicine.

The beneficiary of this surgery was Cayman Islands national rugby player Edward Westin whose shoulder had dislocated more than 100 times after years of repeated injury. Even after corrective surgery, the joint was so damaged that it would dislocate in his sleep.

Dr. Almeida explained: "They do Latarjets in the U.S., but arthroscopic Latarjet is less common. The technique that we used was a special technique, which was [first] described by Dr. Pascal Boileau (from France). This is probably the first time it has been done in the (Caribbean and Latin American) region." 

The Latarjet operation, also known as the Latarjet-Bristow procedure, is a surgical procedure used to treat recurrent shoulder dislocations, typically caused by bone loss or a fracture of the glenoid. The procedure was first described by French surgeon Dr. Michel Latarjet in 1954. 

The arthroscopic Latarjet is one of the most difficult surgeries in shoulder arthroscopy and only a few surgeons in the world have the training to perform this technique.

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