If you are looking for advice on complex shoulder and elbow injuries and diseases, there are three specialists in Heidelberg who really stand out from the crowd: Prof. Dr. med. Markus Loew, Dr. med. Sven Lichtenberg and Prof. Dr. med. Marc Schnetzke are largely responsible for the fact that the German National Joint Centre Heidelberg at the ATOS Clinic has a first-class reputation worldwide. The three highly experienced specialists are able to offer the most appropriate treatment for the upper extremities, even when other therapies have failed.
Dr. med. Sven Lichtenberg and Prof. Dr. med. Markus Loew have been leading shoulder and elbow surgery at the German National Joint Centre Heidelberg for more than twenty years. Over this time, the two specialists have firmly established the renowned facility at the highest level – worldwide. The directors also brought on board the experienced specialist, Prof. Dr. med. Marc Schnetzke, to develop elbow surgery at an international level as well.
This approach clearly demonstrates an aspect which is regarded as a trend in modern medicine: medical success can be found in places that focus on specialisation and experience – and the German National Joint Centre has emphasised these for many years. After all, it is this combination of extensive expertise and an excellent reputation that provides patients with a sense of safety and reliability.
Clear specialisation: shoulder and elbow
There is one thing that people who turn to the shoulder and elbow specialists in Heidelberg have in common: they want to regain as much mobility as possible – whether they want their everyday professional and private lives back or whether they want to get back on track as high-performance athletes. As all three experts at the Centre for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery specialised in the joints of the shoulder and elbow during their studies, they are able to treat all diseases, injuries or damage caused by overuse in a holistic manner, with extensive experience and complete dedication.
The team – the three proven specialists:
Dr. med. Sven Lichtenberg, an experienced consultant in orthopaedics and trauma surgery, specialist trauma surgery and sports medicine, provides the entire spectrum of shoulder surgery – right down to the smallest detail. The Deputy Medical Director of the ATOS Clinic Heidelberg performs many procedures arthroscopically which has enabled him to continuously optimise instruments and techniques – and set new standards. His "Atlas Schulterarthroskopie" (Atlas of Shoulder Arthroscopy), which is already in its second edition, documents his scientific work, which includes the development of surgical techniques. His publications are respected all over the world. He also continues to supervise the definitive work "Schulterchirurgie" (Shoulder Surgery), which was written by his former practice partner Prof. Habermeyer. However, his patients are always at the focus of his practical work in Heidelberg. He, therefore, only recommends surgery when it is justifiably indicated.
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Loew is a consultant in orthopaedics and trauma surgery, rheumatology, special orthopaedic surgery, physical medicine, manual medicine and sports medicine. As well as dealing with injuries, complications of injuries and degenerative changes in the shoulder, he also specialises in the elbow joint. His patients are always amazed by how specifically and precisely he can diagnose pain in the shoulder and elbow. Dr. Loew is also familiar with targeted arthroscopic interventions. He has already been able to restore mobility to many people through innovative shoulder endoprosthetics, restoring enjoyment of an active life.
Prof. Dr. med. Marc Schnetzke is a consultant in orthopaedics and trauma surgery, as well as in special trauma surgery, making him a specialist in the surgical reconstruction of complex injuries to bones and ligaments. He began focusing on the treatment of diseases and injuries around the shoulder and elbow at an early stage of his career, and is considered an expert in minimally invasive arthroscopic treatment. Dr. Schnetzke has also been involved in scientific work on current issues relating to these joints. This is how one of the main areas of his scientific work came about: diagnosis and treatment of instabilities of the elbow joint, a subject which formed the basis of his post-doctoral thesis at the University of Heidelberg. He continues to conduct clinical research, but only when it is of relevance to his patients.
Delivering the best possible patient care in a highly specialised environment
For all three specialists at the Centre for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, the priority is providing the best possible medical care from initial contact to full recovery – using the latest techniques and methods at the cutting edge of science. This is true whether the treatment is conservative or surgical.
The ATOS Clinic, to which the German Joint Centre is affiliated, also supports this claim: they offer "cutting-edge medicine with a hotel ambience" – something that benefits all patients of this prestigious institution. Often, it is sports injuries, but sometimes simply pain in the shoulder, upper arm or elbow that people are struggling with – and often it is because treatment elsewhere has failed. After all, this is exactly what the German National Joint Centre is known for far and wide!
Arthroscopy for joint preservation
If the Heidelberg joint specialists decide that surgery is the best option, they usually use arthroscopic procedures, which are not only more conservative, but also heal more quickly. If an arthroscopy shows that joint preservation is not possible, the specialists have a wide range of endoprosthetics at their disposal: the specialists are at the forefront of development in artificial joints and are themselves involved in research into innovative methods.
The three specialists often work on replacing prostheses – for example, when prostheses are loose, unstable or when bones close to the prosthesis are fractured. One thing is clear: anyone who gets an artificial joint at the German National Joint Centre Heidelberg can expect it to last a long time.
Operations and conservative treatment methods
Following the actual treatment, the focus is on postoperative care. This involves checks during consultations to determine any changes that may have occurred.
Medical specialisation also includes interdisciplinary cooperation. In rehabilitation, for example, individual aftercare plans help to optimise the outcome of the operation. Of course, the shoulder and elbow specialists also work closely with another clinical area – the Department of Hip, Knee and Foot Surgery at the German National Joint Centre. The GNJC in the city on the Neckar River focuses on the treatment of all large joints of the musculoskeletal system.