Professor Dr med. Steffen Höll is regarded far beyond the Osnabrück area as a specialist for challenging endoprosthetic cases. When it comes to the often highly complex revision surgery that may be necessary in the event of problems with prostheses, the Head Physician of the Department of Orthopaedics and Special Orthopaedic Surgery at the Niels Stensen Clinics Marienhospital Osnabrück – Natruper Holz site – is the right person to approach. Thanks to his scientific work at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster and his numerous publications, Prof. Dr med. Steffen Höll is an internationally respected expert in the field of endoprosthetics, especially of the knee and hip.
Prof. Dr med. Steffen Höll still looks for challenges even after years of working as a surgeon. “Challenges spur me on”, is how the specialist in orthopaedics and trauma surgery with an additional qualification in special orthopaedic surgery describes himself. That is why he prefers to operate on larger defects where complicated reconstructions are necessary. He utilises state-of-the-art technology for his operations – with a robot helping out in some operations for knee joint replacement. For his successes in science and medicine, Prof. Dr med. Steffen Höll was awarded the Science Prize of the German Sports Aid Foundation.
Professor Höll invests a lot of work and time to perform endoprosthetic surgery at a high level. No distance is too far for him. For example, during a fellowship stay in Kurgan, Siberia, he learned a special surgical procedure that is used for leg lengthening and difficult leg axis corrections. His experience also benefits young medical professionals. In 2020, the University of Münster awarded him an extraordinary professorship.
Artificial joints: Why it’s important to make the right choice
“An artificial joint is always necessary when the patient is suffering badly under severe pain”, says Professor Höll. Factors such as age, anatomy, bone quality as well as underlying diseases and the patient’s activeness play a key role in the selection. The implant technique also depends on this. Smaller interventions can usually be performed with minimally invasive surgery. That is why Prof. Höll attaches great importance to a detailed pre-operative consultation.
Professor Dr med. Steffen Höll is a member of numerous medical societies, such as the Association of Senior Orthopaedic Surgeons and Trauma Surgeons (Verband leitender Orthopäden und Unfallchirurgen e.V.), and has extensive experience with reconstructions that may be necessary for a wide variety of reasons. In his many years as Section Head of Endoprosthetics / Revision Arthroplasty at the Clinic for General Orthopaedics and Tumour Orthopaedics at Münster University Hospital, for example, he came into contact with numerous tumour patients who needed a prosthesis due to cancer of the musculoskeletal system. Here, a different type of treatment may be necessary than in the case of sports accidents or diseases associated with wear and tear. Professor Höll has become familiar with many facets of endoprosthetic orthopaedics through his professional stations.
Computer-based assistance system: Operation with the robot
In his clinic, Prof. Dr med. Steffen Höll also works with a computer-based assistance system for knee joint replacement. This modern technology allows the operation to be planned exactly in advance and performed with the utmost precision. First, a 3-D model of the joint is made using the data obtained during the computer tomographic examination. Virtual tests determine whether the endoprosthesis is suitable and meets all the requirements for the joint.
Robot-assisted technology finally comes into play during the operation. The surgeon takes hold of the robotic arm, which has a saw blade. The calculations made by the computer with the aid of sensor navigation are transferred to the knee and offer additional safety during the operation – for example, when sawing or milling on the bone to an accuracy of 0.2 millimetres. If a tolerance limit is reached, the procedure is stopped automatically. In this way, the surgeon can position a joint more precisely and also test whether the planning corresponds to what has been achieved. “Working with the computer-based assistance system doesn’t make sense for every intervention – but in those cases where its use is possible, it’s a real advance in knee joint replacement”, states Prof Höll when describing the possibilities of the technology he uses.
Other areas of care
Besides endoprosthetics and revision arthroplasty – in which already implanted artificial joints have to be partially or completely replaced – Professor Dr med Steffen Höll offers numerous other treatment options in his department. These include foot and ankle surgery, sports orthopaedics and, of course, tumour orthopaedics. Outpatient care is also possible.