Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Arthroplasty | Treatment in DRK Hospital Berlin Westend | Departments. Germany | BookingHealth
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Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Arthroplasty - DRK Hospital Berlin Westend

DRK Hospital Berlin Westend

Berlin, Germany
Department id # 367501
Doctor photo
Dr. med. Thilo John
Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Arthroplasty
Specialized in: adult and pediatric orthopedics, trauma surgery, arthroplasty

About the Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Arthroplasty at DRK Hospital Berlin Westend

The Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Arthroplasty at the DRK Hospital Berlin Westend provides the full range of medical services in the areas of its competence. The department's team of doctors treats patients with diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system, joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Orthopedists specialize in partial and total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as successfully perform revision arthroplasty. Doctors perform arthroplasty at the EndoCert certified Maximum Care Center for Joint Replacement Surgery. The department also has the status of a regional Trauma Center Berlin-Brandenburg, where both common household injuries and severe multiple injuries are effectively treated. The department's team of doctors has a perfect command of advanced conservative and surgical treatment methods in the area of its specialization. Joint replacement surgery is performed here using minimally invasive techniques, which allows the patient to get back on their feet and get rid of pain as quickly as possible. The department has also gained vast experience in arthroscopic treatment of pathologies of large joints and injuries of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The department uses an innovative method of cartilage tissue restoration called autologous chondrocyte implantation. Patients of the medical facility receive personalized medical care in comfortable conditions.

The department is headed by Dr. med. Thilo John. The specialist is renowned as one of the best orthopedic traumatologists in Germany. He has more than 25 years of successful clinical experience. He is particularly interested in knee and hip replacement surgery and polytrauma treatment. Dr. med. Thilo John has devoted a significant amount of time to studying the behavior of cartilage tissue on biomaterials in order to grow it for transplantation.

The priority tasks of the department's team of doctors include knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery. Arthroplasty is most often indicated for patients with osteoarthritis, osteoarthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis of the femoral head, shoulder dysplasia, humeral head avascular necrosis, and other pathologies. Joint replacement surgery is a last-line treatment. This option is considered when other methods have failed. Preoperative diagnostics involve laboratory tests, X-rays, ultrasound, CT or MRI, and electrocardiography. If the patient has no contraindications to surgery, the attending physician determines the optimal type of joint replacement surgery – partial or total. Whenever possible, preference is given to partial replacement of joint elements because this option allows the doctors to preserve part of the patient's own joint.

It is important that almost all joint replacement surgeries are performed in the department using minimally invasive techniques. This approach significantly lowers surgical and postoperative risks, as well as allows the doctors to guarantee a rapid recovery after surgery. The department's orthopedists work only with high-quality endoprostheses from the world's leading manufacturers, which have a service life of 15-20 years. When performing the intervention, the surgeon makes small incisions in the skin and soft tissues in the area of the affected joint, removes pathologically altered tissues, implants the prosthesis, and sutures the wound. The operation can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist determines the optimal type of anesthesia during the preparation for the surgical procedure. The department's surgeons often operate on patients using advanced computer navigation systems, thanks to which the most precise positioning of the prosthesis is ensured. The use of minimally traumatic surgical techniques allows the patient to get back on their feet on the day of surgery and begin rehabilitation. Experienced physiotherapists work with the patient during this phase of the therapeutic process.

The department's specialists regularly perform revision joint replacement surgery. Such operations may be indicated in cases of displacement or wear of the prosthesis elements, mechanical breakdown of the prosthesis, periprosthetic fractures, improper prosthesis implantation, or the development of infection in the area of the prosthesis. Revision joint replacement surgery is a more complex intervention than primary arthroplasty because patients most often have a bone tissue deficit, which greatly complicates implant fixation and normal mobility. The surgeon needs to remove the old prosthesis or its elements without damaging healthy tissues. The specialist has to clean the bones of cement and carefully remove metal parts used to fix the prosthesis. Revision joint replacement surgery is a complex operation that can be performed successfully only by a highly qualified and experienced surgeon.

The department is one of the few European Orthopedic Centers where autologous chondrocyte implantation (cartilage cell transplant) is practiced to restore cartilage tissue in arthrosis. The method is suitable for cartilage repair in the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, and ankle joints. Cartilage cells are cultured using the patient's own biological material, so their properties are almost identical to the patient's own cartilage tissue, which eliminates the risk of rejection of the transplanted material.

The procedure of autologous chondrocyte implantation consists of several stages: harvesting the patient's cartilage tissue for further cultivation in the laboratory (the process takes 5-7 weeks) and the injection of the resulting biological material into the affected joint during a low-traumatic arthroscopic manipulation. The chondrocytes are then embedded into the defective joint areas to repair them. A 3-day hospital stay is required after chondrocyte transplantation. During the first six weeks after the procedure, the patient must strictly follow the recommendations of the attending physician and not load the joint.

The department's clinical focuses include:

  • Partial and total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery
  • Revision knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery
  • Arthroscopic interventions on the large joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles
  • Minimally invasive surgery for degenerative spinal diseases
  • Minimally invasive surgery for foot diseases
  • Minimally invasive surgery for hand diseases
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation (cartilage cell transplantation)
  • Conservative and surgical treatment (corrective osteotomy) for traumatic injuries and bone fractures in adults and children, including complex joint fractures, pelvic and acetabular fractures, vertebral fractures, and polytrauma
  • Other medical services

Curriculum vitae

Higher Education and Professional Career

  • 1987 - 1993 Medical studies at the Faculty of Medicine of the Free University of Berlin.
  • 1994 - 1997 Work in the Department of Trauma Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery at the Hospital Steglitz.
  • 1997 - 2001 Doctor (specialization in General Surgery), Charite University Hospital Berlin.
  • 2001 Board certification in Trauma Surgery; Doctor in the Department of Trauma Surgery, Charite University Hospital Berlin.
  • Specialization in the care of patients with severe injuries.
  • Participation in the development of ATLS standards in providing care for patients with polytrauma.
  • International involvement as an Instructor for the International Association of Orthopedics (AO) and participation in operations in the Middle East.
  • Since 01.10.2009 Head Physician, Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Arthroplasty, DRK Hospital Berlin Westend.

Clinical Interests

  • Hip and knee joint replacement surgery.
  • Hip joint arthroscopy.
  • Treatment of severe fractures using corrective osteotomy.

Research Interests

  • Cell therapy for cartilage tissue restoration.

Memberships in Professional Societies

  • Professional Association of Orthopedists and Traumatologists.
  • German Society of General and Visceral Surgery.
  • Berlin Surgical Society.
  • Berlin Medical Association.
  • AO Spine.

Photo of the doctor: (c) DRK Kliniken Berlin Westend