RESCOM Spotlight: Largest medical congress in Luxembourg’s history


Luxembourg enjoys international renown in the field of arthroscopy.

“Arthroscopy recognises new disease patterns and, in some cases, even offers treatment which wouldn’t have been at all possible in open surgery”, states Dr Romain Seil.

Dr Seil is Head of the Orthopaedic Surgery department at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), where approximately 3,000 surgical interventions are performed each year in the Orthopaedics and Traumatology departments alone.

The surgeon estimates that around half of those are arthroscopic or at least arthroscopically assisted. The most common are knee and shoulder joint procedures and, in many cases, operations are carried out on the hip, ankle, hand and elbow joints.

On the operating table, in scientific articles for international specialist magazines and in Kirchberg in December 2014, Dr Seil has been proving that Luxembourg has made considerable contributions to the field of arthroscopy. Together with the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH, formerly CRP-Santé) and backed by financial support from the FNR, the surgeon organised the Annual Congress of the French Arthroscopy Association (SFA), which was held in the LuxExpo halls in Kirchberg.

More than 1,500 participants

This was the first time the congress had been organised beyond France’s borders. “It was generally assumed that the event would attract 200 to 300 fewer participants than the congress held in Bordeaux the year before”, admits Dr Seil. However, well over 1,500 participants flocked to the Kirchberg, including 150 orthopaedic specialists, physiotherapists, researchers and nurses from Luxembourg. This was a new record for the SFA – and for Luxembourg as well. Never before had the Grand Duchy played host to such a large-scale medical congress.

6 years of organisation

The preparations were on a grand scale, too: it took around six years to organise the congress. As the main organiser, Dr Seil needed three years to convince the SFA that Luxembourg was the right place to hold the event, and a further three years to work out a financing plan.

The prize for the best scientific lecture went to a Luxembourger, Caroline Mouton from the LIH. She presented the results of a project documenting the complex mobility of the human knee joint. The work was carried out at the CHL and LIH with the cooperation of Luxembourg University. “It’s a Luxembourg research project through and through, which has received international recognition here”, states Dr Seil.

Luxembourg increasingly recognised in arthroscopy field

“Over the past 10 years, Luxembourg has gained an international reputation in the field of arthroscopy and minimally invasive surgery”, confirms Dr Seil, who has worked diligently with his colleagues to further develop techniques.

He underlined that his department had in the interim become a recognised training centre for two associations: ISAKOS (International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine) and ESSKA (European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy).

This means that medical specialists from all over the world are now trained in Luxembourg. Dr Seil further added that the CHL department had attained international standing due mainly to its expertise in the field of cartilage and cruciate ligament operations – and particularly with regard to treating children.

This case study was originally featured in the FNR 2014 Annual Report



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