I've just got back from a the Wrightington Sporting Shoulder Conference. This was the second time that I've presented at the conference and it is always amazing to sit and watch the surgeons present the lastest surgical techniques (even if some of it is a bit tough for me to handle straight after lunch!).
This year was superb and I was in esteemed company. The surgical team included Joe de Beer, Lennard Funk, Giuseppe Porcellini and Dan Guttman. The line up of physio's was equally impressive and I really enjoyed the sessions from Ann Cools and Jo Gibson (something of a legend when it comes to shoulder rehab in the UK!). The gap between physio's and strength and conditioning is narrowing and I thought I was 'aggresive' when it came to accelerating the rehab process but I think Jo and the team that work at Wrightington are giving me a run for my money! As Jo said, she likes to get her patients moving day one after surgery (gone are the days of walking around with your arm in a sling for weeks), after all if the surgeon has done a good job then there shouldn't be problem!
I was delivering two sessions, the first of which was on Saturday morning and covered late stage rehab from shoulder injuries. During lunch I had a chance to visit the Charnley Museum at Wrightington. The museum is dedicated to the pioneering work of Sir John Charnley. Sir John Charnley was an orthopaedic surgeon who spent years at Wrightington perfecting artificial hip replacements in the early 1960s. It was a fascinating tour. We started off in what looked like a garage workshop. This was the hospital metal workshop where Charnley tasked the metalworkers with producing the early prototypes! We then looked around the museum, the displays housed the original hip replacements, tools etc as well as the original clean air sytem that Charnley developed to helped reduce infection rates!
After lunch I was able to relax and become a delegate for the afternoon! There were some fascinating lectures and I really enjoyed listening to Stuart Cosgrove talk about the techniques he uses to help power lifters and body builders recover from shoulder surgery. Stuart is a physiotherapist based in Manchester and was a competitive body builder himself (NABBA Mr UK in 1987, Mr Britain, 1996, UK Squat Champion, 1989 and physio to non other than Dorain Yates and Ricky 'the hitman' Hatton!) If you tear your pec, Stuart is the man to see!
The next day was a chance to get a little bit more practical and I took the delegates through some practical examples of the exercises that I use to help the clients that I work with get back to full fitness following shoulder surgery. This type of session is always my favourite as it is a chance to get 'hands on'.
As always this conference is one of the highlights of my year because it is so different to the majority of seminars that I attend.