Children's knee surgeons hold pioneering conference in Sheffield

Hundreds of medics attended the world’s first children’s knee conference in Sheffield - raising the city’s international profile and boosting the economy by £250,000.

By David Walsh
Thursday, 13 June, 2019, 16:15
Front from left: organisers Nicolas Nicolaou,Adil Ajuied andFazal Ali, with speakers and delegates at the City Hall.

Some 25 speakers and more than 200 delegates - including consultants, trainees and therapists - flew in from Brazil, the US, Canada, India and all over Europe for the two-day event at the City Hall, staying in local hotels, eating out and visiting Chatsworth House.

The International Child and Adolescent Knee Congress was organised by three consultant orthopaedic surgeons - Nicolas Nicolaou at Sheffield Childrens’ Hospital, Fazal Ali of Chesterfield Royal and Adil Ajuied of Guy's in London - to discuss soft tissue injuries and disorders in children and adolescents.

Nicolas Nicolaou said the main aim was to improve care but there were benefits for Sheffield too.

He added: “Most medical conferences are in London. This raises the profile of Sheffield and it’s good for the hospital’s reputation in terms of attracting talent.”

Kids’ knee injuries are on the rise due to children doing more sport and starting younger and growing heavier.

Complications and re-injury rates are higher than in adults and there is also a risk of causing disturbance and deformity in growing bodies.

Mr Nicolaou added: “We ran something just for the UK three years ago and there were a lot of unanswered questions. We wanted to cover everything in one course.

“We got some sponsorship and invited some really great speakers and they all agreed to come.

“We organised it in our own time but the Trust has been very supportive.”

Emma France of Marketing Sheffield, part of the city council, said the conference was worth an estimated £250,000 to the city and was a “fantastic” example of the work of their conference ambassadors.

“Nicolas and Fazal are fantastic champions for Sheffield and this is proof of the successful work of ambassadors.

“What’s even more special is that this event is homegrown due to the expertise in the city - and will remain here. It’s not just the big venues and hotels that benefit as there is often lots of fringe activity - this was no exception”.

The Ambassador Programme encourages leaders in business, the public sector and academia to bring their industry conferences to Sheffield.

Sheffield firm Event Management Direct, a medical conferences specialist, helped put on the event.

The sponsors were Smith & Nephew, Zimmer Biomet, Ossur and ESSKA.