Orthopaedics

Centar za ortopediju

St. Catherine's orthopedic surgeons are recognized nationally and internationally for their surgical technical excellence and innovative abilities to solve both simple and difficult orthopedic problems. By collaborating with scientists all around the world our surgeons develop new solutions for patients that improve healing, speed rehabilitation and improve outcomes.

At St Catherine, your team of orthopedic surgery experts uses the latest techniques and technology to improve care for people with musculoskeletal problems. From diagnosis through treatment, orthopedic surgeons are at the forefront employing advanced technologies in the best interest of patients.

Orthopedic surgeons at the St. Catherine specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves (musculoskeletal system).

Orthopedic surgeons work with a team of doctors and in other areas to determine the most appropriate treatment option for your individual needs.

Orthopedic surgeons at St. Catherine have expertise in all areas of orthopedics, including:

  • Joint replacement (adult reconstruction, revision and replacement)
  • Fracture care and trauma
  • Hand surgery
  • Arthroscopy
  • ACL injury
  • Shoulder surgery
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Pediatric orthopedic conditions
  • Sports injuries
  • Meniscus transplantations
  • Regenerative Orthopedics and Tissue Engineering

Before and after surgery, assistance from physician specialists trained in radiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and other medical and surgical areas help speed recovery for our surgical patients.

In addition, our orthopedic surgeons team are engaged in clinical trials in area of musculoskeletal disease, offering our patients the most current options for diagnosis and treatment.

St. Catherine Hospital is among a few European institutions that started with applications of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in clinical practice in order of treating cartilage defects. Besides that, St. Catherine’s orthopedic team made, for the first time in the region, a new medical alternative: the meniscal transplant, an hour-long, outpatient, arthroscopic procedure that utilizes donor tissue to replace damaged meniscus, which can dramatically and substantially slow the onset of arthritis.

In short years since the hospital has been established, our achievements have been outstanding. Not only we are the official hospital of the Croatian Olympic Committee, we are the official hospital of the Croatian Football Federation. Our forward-thinking vision and ever evolving practices have ensured that we have treated more than 200 top athletes in the past few years. Namely, every professional athlete’s goal is to come back as soon as possible into full sport activities after an injury. We are extremely proud to say that we can offer that kind of healthcare as a center of excellence for sports medicine, regarding both the expert staff and the equipment we contain.

The orthopedic department offers top-performance diagnostics, best techniques of surgery and individually adapted rehabilitation in a single, unique place in Croatia.

Techniques used at the St Catherine Specialty Hospital are a la carte: a personalized approach is offered to each patient from the moment they enter the hospital until the moment they return to their normal life. All procedures are individually designed according to the patient’s needs and condition.

ACL reconstruction


ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction — such as basketball, soccer, football, tennis, downhill skiing, volleyball and gymnastics.

In an ACL reconstruction, the torn ligament is removed and replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee or from a deceased donor. This surgery is an outpatient procedure that's performed through small incisions around your knee joint.

An ACL reconstruction is performed by a doctor who specializes in surgical procedures of the bones and joints (orthopedic surgeon).

Hip replacement


During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of your hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce pain and improve function.

Also, called total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery may be an option for you if your hip pain interferes with daily activities and more-conservative treatments haven't helped or are no longer effective. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement.

St. Catherine doctors with training in bone and joint surgery (orthopedic surgeons), physical medicine and rehabilitation, and imaging techniques (radiologists) work together as a team to treat people who have hip replacement surgery.

This becomes particularly important in surgeries to correct complex problems in hip joints that have significant deformities.

The St. Catherine Hospital Total Joint Registry contains information on every joint replacement surgery performed St. Catherine’s. The registry helps doctors determine which surgical technique and prosthesis type will be the most effective for you.

Techniques for hip replacement are evolving. As surgeons continue to develop less invasive surgical techniques, these techniques might reduce recovery time and pain.Orthopedic surgeons at St. Catherine’s use new combinations of regional anesthesia and pain relief techniques that can reduce the need for general anesthesia and intravenous narcotic pain medications, which can speed recovery.

Knee replacement


Knee replacement surgery — also known as knee arthroplasty can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. During knee replacement, a surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.

The first artificial knees were little more than crude hinges. Now, you and your doctor can choose from a variety of designs that take into account your age, weight, activity level and overall health. Most knee replacement joints attempt to act like your knee, with its ability to roll and glide as it bends.

The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is to relieve severe pain caused by osteoarthritis. People who need knee replacement surgery usually have problems walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs.

An orthopedic surgeon performs knee replacement procedures. Before the procedure, the surgeon takes your medical history and performs a physical examination to assess your knee's range of motion, stability and strength. X-rays can help determine the extent of knee damage.

Knee replacement surgery requires anesthesia to make you comfortable during surgery. Your input and personal preference help the team decide whether to use general anesthesia, which makes you unconscious, or spinal or epidural anesthesia, which leaves you awake but unable to feel pain from your waist down.

Your doctor or anesthesiologist might advise you to stop taking certain medications and dietary supplements before your surgery. You'll likely be instructed not to eat anything after midnight before your surgery.

For most people, knee replacement provides pain relief, improved mobility and a better quality of life. Talk with your doctor about what you can expect from knee replacement surgery.

Three to six weeks after surgery, you generally can resume most daily activities, such as shopping and light housekeeping. Driving is also possible at around three weeks if you can bend your knee far enough to sit in a car and if you have enough muscle control to operate the brakes and accelerator.

After you've recovered, you can enjoy a variety of low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, golfing or biking. But you should avoid higher impact activities — such as jogging, skiing, tennis and sports that involve contact or jumping. Talk to your doctor about your limitations.

St. Catherine Hospital as the Center for Sports Medicine


Afterwards, because of our unique approach to the treatment, numerous of worldwide patients have been either treated or diagnosed in our hospital, out of which some include: Garry Kasparov (former World Chess Champion), Marin Čilić (Winner of the US Open 2014), Aleksandr Viktorovich Khoroshilov (the first Russian male to win a World Cup Race (Schladming, 2015) since 1981) Gordan Giriček (NBA player: Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Utal Jazz), Bojan Bogdanović (NBA player: Brooklyn Nets), Ivica Kostelić (former World Cup alpine ski racer and two-time Olympic gold medalist), Janica Kostelić (former World Cup alpine ski racer and four-time Olympic goldl medalist), Blanka Vlašić (a high jump indoor World Champion), Niko Kranjčar (football player: Queens Park Rangers and Croatian National Soccer Team), Maria Clara Salgado Rufino (member of Brazilian Volleyball Team), Mathieu Carle (Canadian Ice Hockey player), Ivano Balić (one of the best handball players of all time), Mirko Filipović (K-1 champion), Burak Yilmaz (Beijing Guoan, China and The Turkey National Football Team), Mario Mandžukić (Juventus, Italy and The Croatian National Football Team), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid, Spain and The Croatian National Football Team), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona, Spain and The Croatian National Football Team), Ivica Olić (Wolfsburg, Germany and The Croatian National Football Team), Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid, Spain and The Croatian National Football Team), Šime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid, Spain and The Croatian National Football Team), Stipe Pletikosa (Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, and The Croatian National Football Team), Niko Kranjčar (Glasgow Rengers and The Croatian National Football Team), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim 1899, Germany and The Croatian National Football Team), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool, England and The Croatian National Football Team), Alen Halilović (HSV and The Croatian National Football Team), Ibanez Luis Ezequiel (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Josip Pivarić (Dinamo, Zagreb, Croatia and The Croatian National Football Team), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Germany and The Croatian National Football Team), Marko Pjaca (Juventus, Italy and The Croatian National Football Team), Nikola Kalinić (Fiorentina, Italy and The Croatian National Football Team), Marcelo Brzović (Internacionale Milano, Italy and The Croatian National Football Team) and dozens of others.

St. Catherine’s orthopedic team:


Dr. Damir Hudetz, M.D., PhD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Head of Orthopedic Department
Prof. Darko Antičević, M.D., PhD., Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Željko Jeleč, M.D., PhD, Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Eduard Rod, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Trpimir Vrdoljak, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon

Centar za ortopediju
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