The technique has been used in America and Europe - now it is available in the UAE Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: The UAE has become the first country in the GCC region to offer a surgery to replace the thumb joint with an artificial joint, experts at a recent conference in Sharjah announced, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Saturday.

The recent ‘Minimally Invasive Hand Surgery Technics Conference’ held at the Sharjah Surgical Institute at the University of Sharjah revealed a new method being used in hand surgery.

An advanced technique using an endoscope to decompress the median nerve in the hand is now also being offered for the first time in the UAE. The conference witnessed the participation of 14 hand surgeons and other healthcare professionals from across the Middle East who discussed modern techniques in the fields of hand surgery, microscopic surgery, and ultrasound surgeries.

DrMarouane Bouloudhnine, Consultant Orthopedics Surgeon at Burjeel Hospital in Dubai and Chairman of the Conference, said that the use of the artificial joint for the thumb has started recently. Elaborating on the use of the latest endoscope for carpal tunnel, he said: “This is a new surgical method to release the pressure on the median nerve in the hand. The surgery, which takes over an hour, leads to a faster recovery and a better return to normal life when compared to a traditional method with a larger surgical opening. The endoscope we use is only intended for this type of surgery. The technique has been in use in America and Europe. Now, it is available in the UAE.”

The doctor also informed of the establishment of the Hand Surgeons Association last January as a part of the Emirates Medical Association. He stressed the importance of seeking specialised surgeons for hand operations instead of patients opting for treatment by general orthopedic doctors.