First AO Alliance seminar on spine fracture management in Accra, Ghana

05 October 2021

The AO Alliance organized a seminar on spine fracture management for the first time in Ghana on August 26-27, 2021. The event drew 22 trauma and orthopedic (T&O) and neurosurgery residents in their third- and final-years of residency, with local faculty teaching in person, and regional faculty joining via videoconference for group discussions.

The goals of the seminar were to:

  • Provide guidelines on the basic treatment of common spine injuries.
  • Enable participants to recognize, diagnose and provide the best operative and nonoperative treatment of common spine injuries.
  • Teach first-aid techniques to minimize spine injury complications in both pre-operative and post-operative cases.
  • Enable participants to recognize complex spine injuries and apply first aid before referring patients to appropriate treatment facilities.

With only 55 qualified T&O surgeons in Ghana for a population of about 30 million, fracture care faces many challenges: lack of qualified doctors, limited access to treatment and cost of care. Patients with spine injuries face the additional challenge of only being able to receive treatment in teaching hospitals and the limited number of spine surgeons. The seminar on spine fracture management will enable more doctors to provide basic treatment in regional and district hospitals ”“ thereby broadening access to care for rural patients.

The seminar was chaired by Dr Peter Konadu, senior lecturer at the KNUST School of Medicine and Dentistry and T&O surgeon at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi. In addition to serving as faculty for the AO Alliance, Konadu is the lead clinician for the AO Alliance West Africa Trauma Education Program in Ghana.

AO Alliance faculty: Drs Peter Konadu, Alexis Buunaaim, Wilfred Addo, Sibiri Ballu, Arthur Sackeyfio.