Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics | Treatment in University Hospital Ulm | Departments. Germany | BookingHealth
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Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics - University Hospital Ulm

University Hospital Ulm

Ulm, Germany
Department id # 228431
Doctor photo
Prof. Dr. med. Heiko Reichel
Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics
Specialized in: adult and pediatric orthopedics

About the Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics at University Hospital Ulm

The Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics at the University Hospital Ulm provides the full range of modern diagnostic services and effective treatment methods for patients with musculoskeletal diseases. The medical facility admits patients of all age groups, including young children and adolescents. Special attention is paid to the treatment of hip and knee arthrosis, foot diseases and deformities, spinal pathologies, and benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors, including bone metastases. An experienced team of pediatric orthopedists takes care of young patients. The specialists conduct both conservative and surgical treatments for hip dysplasia, Perthes disease, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, clubfoot, flat feet, scoliosis, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, bone fractures, and other pathologies and injuries. The department successfully performs CT-guided nerve root blocks for the treatment of back pain. When surgical treatment is required, the department's team of doctors uses sparing, minimally traumatic techniques. Modern navigation systems are used during joint replacement surgery to ensure the most accurate positioning of the artificial joint. The department strictly follows the recommendations of the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU), which ensures highly effective treatment. The Head Physician of the department is Prof. Dr. med. Heiko Reichel.

The department has the status of a Maximum Care Center for Joint Replacement Surgery (EndoCert certification). Partial, total, and revision joint replacement surgical procedures are performed here almost every day. Joint replacement surgery is indicated in the advanced stages of arthrosis; it is the last-line treatment. Whenever possible, the specialists from the medical facility perform partial arthroplasty. In this case, only the components of the joint affected by the pathological process are replaced. Joint replacement surgery is performed using minimally invasive techniques under the control of computer navigation and local anesthesia. During the operation, the department's surgeons perform only a few small skin incisions to approach the pathological focus and insert special thin surgical instruments in order to carry out the necessary surgical manipulations under imaging guidance. This allows for the preservation of the integrity of the musculo-ligamentous apparatus, ensures minimal blood loss, and virtually eliminates the risk of infection. Such a sparing approach ensures a rapid recovery of the patient during the postoperative period.

The department's orthopedic surgeons are competent in revision hip and knee replacement surgery. Such operations are most often performed in cases of wear and tear or displacement of the previously implanted prosthesis due to its prolonged use. The need for revision surgery may also arise due to infection of the prosthesis. These interventions are classified as particularly complex because patients often have a deficit of bone tissue, complicating reliable prosthesis fixation. Therefore, a bone augmentation procedure is often performed during revision surgery.

Arthroscopic surgery is also well developed in the medical facility. Surgical interventions of this kind are performed for knee ligament injuries, meniscus tears, knee cartilage damage, hip impingement, hip dysplasia, and other pathologies. The doctor makes several small skin punctures, approximately 5-6 mm in size, in the area of the affected joint using an arthroscope. This is a special, thin instrument with a built-in miniature camera and light source. Real-time images of the operating field are transmitted to a screen at multiple zooms. Based on these images, the doctor performs the necessary manipulations. Due to the minimally traumatic approach, recovery after arthroscopy takes only a few days.

In cooperation with neurosurgeons, the department's specialists successfully treat spinal diseases. Of particular interest is the treatment of patients with herniated discs, spinal curvatures (scoliosis and kyphosis), spondylolisthesis (vertebral dislocation), spondylitis (vertebral inflammatory lesions), spinal canal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, and spinal fractures, including osteoporotic ones. The above-mentioned diseases cause severe back pain, so during the treatment planning stage, the department's specialists aim to alleviate pain and improve the quality of life of the patient. For this purpose, individually elaborated regimens of physiotherapeutic treatment and therapeutic exercises are used, along with prescribed painkillers. The second-line treatment involves CT-guided infiltration therapy (block), during which anesthetics are injected directly into the pathological focus. This method is highly effective and safe. And what is more, repeated blocks may be performed whenever required.

The medical facility also employs a highly qualified team of pediatric orthopedists. Doctors treat congenital and acquired musculoskeletal diseases and deformities in infants, young children, and adolescents. The specialists conduct both conservative therapy and surgical interventions for hip dysplasia, Perthes disease, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, clubfoot, flat feet, scoliosis, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, axial deformities of the lower limbs, and lower limb length discrepancies. During surgical treatment, the department's doctors use sparing minimally invasive and arthroscopic techniques.

The department's main clinical focuses include:

  • Diagnostics and treatment of knee diseases
    • Knee arthrosis
    • Knee ligament injuries
    • Meniscus tears
    • Knee cartilage lesions
  • Diagnostics and treatment of hip diseases
    • Hip osteoarthritis
    • Hip impingement
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Hip deformities
  • Diagnostics and treatment of spinal diseases
    • Herniated discs
    • Scoliosis and kyphosis
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Spinal canal stenosis
    • Spinal lesions caused by rheumatoid arthritis
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Spondylodiscitis
    • Spinal fractures, including osteoporotic ones
    • Benign and malignant spinal tumors
    • Post-nucleotomy syndrome
  • Diagnostics and treatment of foot and ankle diseases
    • Hallux valgus
    • Hallux rigidus
    • Small toe deformities
    • Rearfoot deformities
    • Midfoot and rearfoot arthritis
    • Ankle diseases
    • Achilles tendon rupture
    • Foot deformities due to rheumatic diseases
  • Diagnostics and treatment of benign and malignant musculoskeletal tumors
  • Diagnostics and treatment of rheumatic musculoskeletal lesions
  • Diagnostics and treatment of orthopedic diseases in children
    • Axial deformities of the lower extremities
    • Leg length discrepancy
    • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Clubfoot, pes planovalgus, and other foot deformities
    • Perthes disease, osteochondritis dissecans, and other forms of avascular necrosis in children
    • Osteogenesis imperfecta
    • Coxitis
    • Osteomyelitis
    • Medial patella luxation
    • Scoliosis
    • Skeletal dysplasia
    • Fractures and sports injuries
    • Benign and malignant tumors
    • Rheumatic musculoskeletal lesions
    • Neuromuscular diseases: cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and genetic syndromic diseases
  • Diagnostics and treatment of other orthopedic diseases in adults and children

The department's range of therapeutic services includes:

  • Conservative treatment
    • Drug treatment
      • Drug therapy with pills
      • Intra-articular injections
      • Infiltration therapy
    • Physiotherapy
    • Exercise therapy
    • Repair of spinal curvatures with special corsets
  • Surgical treatment
    • Partial, total, and revision hip and knee replacement surgeries
    • Hip and knee arthroscopy
    • Microsurgical, endoscopic, and minimally invasive spinal surgery
    • Microsurgical interventions on the foot
  • Other medical services

Curriculum vitae

Higher Education and Postgraduate Training

  • 1982 - 1988 Medical studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
  • 1988 Thesis defense with honors, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
  • 1992 Board certification in Orthopedics.
  • 1993 Additional qualification in Sports Medicine and Chiropractic.
  • 1994 Specialization in Rheumatology.
  • 1996 Optional advanced training in Specialized Orthopedic Surgery.
  • 1996 Habilitation in Orthopedics.
  • 1998 ASG Scholarship (Scholarship for Training of the German-speaking Orthopedic Societies in the United States of America, England, and Canada).
  • 2003 Extraordinary Professorship, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
  • 2004 C4 Professorship for Orthopedics, University of Ulm.
  • 2006 Board certification in Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery.

Medical Practice

  • 1988 - 1992 Residency, Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Halle (Saale).
  • 1993 Senior Physician, Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Halle (Saale).
  • 1995 - 2004 Managing Senior Physician, Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Halle (Saale); Research Scholarships at the Orthopedic Centers at the Academic Hospital Vienna, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
  • Since 2005 Head Physician, Department of Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics, University Hospital Ulm.
  • Since 2006, Head, Rehabilitation Center, University Hospital Ulm.

Research and Clinical Focuses

  • Primary and revision knee and hip replacement surgery.
  • Organ-preserving surgery on the hip joint.
  • Treatment of rheumatic lesions of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Cancer surgery.

Positions in Professional Societies

  • Since 2007 Committee Member for Advanced Training of the Medical Association of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
  • 2008 President of the South German Orthopedic Society.
  • 2009 President of the Meeting of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society.
  • Since 2008 Board Member of the Working Group of the German Arthroplasty Society.
  • 2015 President of the Working Group of the German Arthroplasty Society.
  • 2016 President of the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU) and President of the German Society for Orthopedics and Orthopedic Surgery (DGOOC).
  • Since 2017 Board Member of the Arthroplasty Foundation.

Prizes, Awards, and Honors

  • 1999 Heine Prize from the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU).

Memberships in Professional Societies

  • German Society for Orthopedics and Orthopedic Surgery.
  • American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons.
  • German Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  • German Society of Rheumatology.
  • German-speaking Society of Pediatric Orthopedics.
  • Association of Orthopedic Surgeons and Traumatologists of Southern Germany.
  • Professional Association of Orthopedists and Trauma Surgeons.

Photo of the doctor: (c) Universitätsklinikum Ulm