The Department of Trauma Surgery treats injuries to the spine, particularly injuries to the thoracic spinal cord with their sequelae, and changes in the spine caused for example by tumours. The methods we use are right at the cutting edge. One of the special treatments we offer is the computer-navigated/endoscopic sclerotherapy of small vertebral joints (facet joints). This treatment has proven to be highly successful. The Department of Trauma Surgery is the only institution in Switzerland that uses this method. We also cooperate with the Department of Radiation Oncology in using special carbon systems to stabilise spinal tumours; this is the best treatment available. Another of the Department’s areas of focus is the thermal ablation of vertebral metastases with additional stabilisation if necessary.
The treatment options include
- Surgery performed through the back (spinal fixation, correction of impingement on the spinal cord)
- Surgery performed through the chest (minimally invasive reconstruction and stabilisation)
A thin tube with a balloon at the tip is inserted into the fractured vertebral body while the patient is under general anaesthetic. The balloon is inflated until the original volume of the vertebral body is restored and a kind of cavity is created. The balloon is then removed and the cavity filled with bone cement to stabilise the vertebra. Vertebroplasty involves filling the vertebra with cement without using the balloon.
These minimally invasive procedures require the use of a wide variety of implants, enabling us to treat as many different vertebral fractures as possible and thus minimise the stress experienced by the patient.
Pelvis and hips
Fractures of the pelvic ring and acetabulum (hip socket) are serious injuries. They are often the result of serious falls and are mostly seen in patients with multiple injuries. In older patients with poor bone quality, these injuries often occur as a result of relatively minor accidents such as falls.
The pelvis has a complex three-dimensional anatomy and is located in the immediate vicinity of nerves, blood vessels and inner organs which must be preserved during surgery. Precise anatomical treatment of these fractures is vital for a properly functional outcome. As a certified supraregional trauma centre, our specialists have the necessary experience and proven expertise to treat such injuries successfully.
Following detailed examinations and diagnostic procedures, our main priority is to initiate patient-specific treatment. If surgical treatment is necessary, our clinic can offer cutting-edge surgical procedures using intraoperative 3D navigation and computer tomography. Injuries to the posterior and increasingly also the anterior pelvic ring can be surgically stabilised using minimally invasive percutaneous procedures. The Department of Trauma Surgery routinely implants artificial hips in elderly patients who have suffered fractures of the femoral neck. We do this using minimally invasive procedures (MIS) if possible; this means that the patient is usually fully mobile immediately after the surgery and makes their hospital stay significantly shorter. When performing hip arthroplasty, we use the latest generation of endoprostheses which have proven their worth over many years and which give excellent long-term results.