People suffering from severe arthritis and other joint disorders of the hip and knee have options for relief of their pain and medical condition through total hip and knee replacement surgical procedures now being offered at the Cayman Islands Hospital. Total hip and knee replacement surgeries, which are the most common forms of joint replacement surgeries, help to get rid of the pain by removing the diseased cartilage and bone from the affected joint and replacing it with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. Joint disorders such as osteoarthritis affect many people in the Cayman Islands. This common form of arthritis is caused when the protective cartilage on the ends of a person’s bones wears down over time and is often a painful and debilitating condition impacting one’s quality of life and can only be corrected by surgery. Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeons, Drs Pekko Kuusela and Toni-Karri Pakarinen stated that total hip replacement and total knee replacement improve patients’ quality of life by reducing pain, increasing mobility and allowing them to return to their normal daily activities. Previously patients with destructive joint conditions were referred to other providers, as these surgical procedures were not done at the Cayman Islands Hospital. Drs. Kuusela and Pakarinen each brings to the hospital over 10 years of experience performing joint replacement surgeries among other orthopaedic and trauma procedures and interventions. “We are offering both primary and revision arthroplasty procedures. The primary procedure means it is the first time a patient is undergoing the joint replacement surgery. The revision procedure occurs when we reoperate on patients whose primary joints have failed for some reason, whether from loosening, infection, wear, dislocation or instability. It involves the removal and replacement of the existing hardware which makes this procedure oftentimes more demanding than the primary procedure,” said Dr. Kuusela. “However, we at the HSA use advanced techniques and implants which are made out of materials that make them much more durable than their predecessors ,” he noted. While there is no age limit for total hip and knee replacement surgeries, Dr. Pakarinen emphasised that these procedures are only recommended for persons with very painful and destructive joint conditions. “For joint conditions with mild to moderate pain, we would opt for non-operative treatment methods instead,” he stated. The average duration of the procedure is 1.5-2 hours and during this time the patient is under general anaesthesia. “Hospital stay post operatively lasts 2-5 days and mobilisation begins the same day of the surgery or a day after,” Dr. Kuusela stated. Dr. Kuusela has so far performed five knee replacement surgeries and two hip replacement surgeries at the Cayman Islands Hospital since it began offering the service in September 2016. Biographies Dr. Pekko Kuusela Dr. Pekko Kuusela, a Finnish national, underwent his undergraduate and specialist training at the University of Tampere in his homeland in 1993 to 2005. He completed a fellowship in primary and revision total knee and hip replacement surgery. He worked as a joint replacement surgeon in Finland until 2010 when he relocated to Australia to work in a regional hospital in Mackay, Queensland for four years. In 2015 he moved to Dubai for one year before his employment as an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority since September 2016. Dr. Toni-Karri Pakarinen Toni-Karri Pakarinen, a Finnish national, has worked as a consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at the Tampere University Hospital (Level I Trauma Center) from 2006 to 2017. Dr. Pakarinen has extensive experience in different aspects of orthopaedic trauma care from axial (pelvis, acetabulum) injuries to more perhiperal extremity trauma care. He has also been a part of a multidisclpinary orthopaedic oncology group and pelvic reconstruction unit at Coxa Joint Replacement Hospital from 2008 to 2017. Dr. Pakarinen has done the AO Trauma fellowship at Hannover (MHH, Germany) Trauma Hospital. He begun his tenure at HSA on 1 May, 2017 as an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon.