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Leading the way in sports’ surgery…

The internationally renowned Internal Brace was developed by SPACE Orthopaedic Director Professor Gordon Mackay between 2011 and 2014.

The Internal Brace is effectively a tiny bungee cord made of a super-strong polymer which is attached to two screws inserted into the bones at each end of the ligament/tendon. This brace stabilises the joint, and allows the patient to begin light exercise within a week. Ligaments/tendons which reattach themselves naturally to the bone are stronger than if re-attached by surgery. If a ligament/tendon reattaches itself naturally then in the short-term there is none of the loss of function or pain associated with conventional surgery.

As well as a quicker recovery time, greater functionality and significantly less long – and short-term health implications, because the Internal Brace technology is relatively simply the operation takes no longer and costs no more than conventional surgery. It also cuts down on post-op physiotherapy with directed and targeted exercise being undertaken earlier than usually possible.

Your initial assessment and any post operative follow up will be undertaken by Professor Mackay at Inner SPACE in conjunction with our physiotherapy team.  

Following your operation you will gradually increase the directed intensity and duration of exercise. The ligament/tendon grows through the lattice-structure of the bungee-cord and then quickly and naturally reattaches itself to the bone. Because the affected area does not need to be incapacitated, it does not need to be put in a plaster cast, which would normally result in a loss of condition for the surrounding muscles and extends recovery time. 


This new approach results in an accelerated healing time. Instead of taking an average of 16 to 24 weeks to recover full function after a conventional ligament/tendon reconstruction, an Internal Brace will bring that time down to an average of 8 to 12 weeks.

As detailed in the case studies, one top-level rugby player, Rory Hutton (see video below), was back playing his first game of league rugby eight weeks to the day after sustaining a severe ankle injury. He had ankle ligament reconstruction plus Internal Bracing.

Team GB bobsleigh pilot John Jackson was only able to compete in the Winter Olympics because he opted for an Internal Brace to repair a damaged Achilles’ tendon.

International Netball players who have regained pre-injury levels of function 12 weeks after ACL rupture were treated with the internal brace. MRI has confirmed ACL healing. Preservation of nerve and blood supply with IB fixation and the avoidance of donor site problems could explain the exceptional outcomes. Duration of recovery is determined by the individual and the unique nature of their injury.

The Internal Brace is quickly becoming a standard procedure in skiing and impact sports, especially in the USA, where it is being used in the NFL and NBA

For further information on Professor MacKay and the Internal Brace please follow the links below

Written by Grant Forrest

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