Presentation of the researchers at HUS Musculoskeletal and Plastic Surgery - Helsinki University Hospital / HU

Juho Salo

Chest wall resection and reconstruction

Chest wall resections is a surgical challenge because of the complex anatomy of the chest wall and its protective function for vitally important organs. Large chest wall defects result from tumor resection, infection, trauma, radiation therapy, or congenital deformities. The most common oncologic indications for chest wall resection are bone and cartilage tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, advanced lung cancer, and breast cancer. The focus of our project is surgical outcome, patient survival and quality of life in this oncological chest wall resection and reconstruction patient group.

Tuomas Brinck

Specialist in ortopaedics and traumatology. Doctoral thesis in 2017 discussed severely injured patients’ treatment and outcome at tertiary trauma centre. Enthusiasm for traumatology, simulation training, and severely injured patient’s process in hospital.

Andrew Lindford

PI, Docent, MBBS, PhD

Andrew is a Plastic Surgeon with a clinical subspecialty focus in Burn surgery and head and neck cancer reconstruction. His current research interests cover diverse subjects including burn wound healing with novel techniques, facial allotransplantation, quality of life in burn patients and is the lead researcher in a Nordic randomised controlled trial comparing different therapies in severe frostbite.

His hobbies include ice swimming, skiing, football and piano.

The impact of a burn injury on the quality of life and the psychometric properties of the scar assessment questionnaires translated into Finnish

The aim of this research is to study the quality of life after a burn injury, and validate the scar assessment questionnaires and burn patient’s quality of life questionnaire which have been translated into Finnish.

In collaboration with: 

Dr. Jussi Repo has participated in different research projects in Musculoskeletal and Plastic Surgery Research Center, Helsinki, since 2012. His main research interests are epidemiological studies on surgery, evidence-based medicine, psychometrics (theory and techniques of measurement), and treatment effectiveness.

Thomas Ibounig

MD, Orthopedic surgeon, PhD student

Who am I? Father of three lively boys, Husband, Shoulder and Elbow surgeon at the Helsinki University Hospital

What is my role in FICEBO? Clinical researcher, doing my PhD on the FIMAGE study

Favorite part of my job? Learning Developing Interacting with colleagues and patients

Why did I decide to enter my field? Clinical work: I just always knew it back from my middle school days, never really thought about it Research: To get a wider perspective and more detailed view of things

Who/What inspires me? People who do the right thing no matter the cost. My kids. Society has (not yet) succeeded in spoiling their ability to be their true self and live the moment with such admirably intensity (equally true for good and bad ones).

My favorite book and why? Lord of the Rings The Wheel of Time The Power of Now. Gives you a glimpse of understanding how human minds might work (or prevent themselves from working sometimes).

Kaisu Ojala

Kaisu is a plastic surgeon with special interest in reconstructive surgery on pelvic and urogenital regions, sex reassignment surgery, breast surgery and burns. 

Gender reassignment surgery

Transgender people experience incongruity between biological sex (that assigned to them at birth) and experienced identity.  Being transgender is often, although not always, associated with gender dysphoria, a potentially disabling condition in which the discordance between a person's biological sex and gender identity results in distress, with high associated rates of self-harm, suicidality and functional impairment.  Gender reassignment is effective treatment for gender dysphoria with psychiatric counselling and therapy, exogenous hormones and surgery being the mainstay of treatment.  Our study focus is outcome of surgical treatment including aesthetic outcome and effects of gender reassignment surgery on quality of life.

Nora Suojärvi

The topic of my research is cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in wrist imaging. I have studied the reliability of the radiographic parameters related to distal radius fractures and the role of CBCT in fracture diagnostics. I am currently finishing my PhD studies on this research. My research is part of a larger research project related to automatic image analysis of wrist CBCT images. We have determined the normal anatomy of the distal radius and currently, we are improving the automatic image analysis software to recognize fractures, osteoarthritis and to analyze carpal alignment and ligament injuries.

Eerik Hällfors

Division of Shoulder and Elbow Sugery
M.D., Specialist in Orthopaedics and Traumatology

In the current study our Nordic collaboration study group is researching supervised physiotherapy efficacy in two-part proximal humerus fractures, treated non-operatively. Our aim is to find out is physiotherapist supervised rehabilitation better than home based non-supervised physiotherapy.

Our study group objective for this study is to investigate the efficacy of physiotherapist-supervised rehabilitation compared to home-based non-supervised rehabilitation in patients older than 60 years after two-part proximal humerus fracture, treated non-operatively.  

Mikko Miettinen

MD, Orthopaedic surgeon

Treatment of Hallux Rigidus (HARD):

Prospective, randomized, controlled trial of arthrodesis versus watchful waiting in the treatment of hallux rigidus

Why is the study needed? Hallux rigidus is a common problem of pain and stiffness of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) caused by degenerative osteoarthritis. Every year over 500 first MTPJ arthrodesis are performed in Helsinki University Hospital alone. Surgical treatment is widely emphasized despite absence of any high-quality evidence suggesting operative treatment yields better results compared to non-surgical care. In this clinical trial, the gold standard surgical procedure, arthrodesis, will be compared to watchful waiting.

What is the primary objective of the HARD study? We aim to carry out a prospective and randomized comparison between surgery (First MTPJ arthrodesis with a plate fixation) and watchful waiting in the treatment of patients with hallux rigidus.

There will be 45 adult patients in both groups to achieve a sufficient statistical power for the study. The primary outcome is pain (measured by the Numerical Rating Scale, NRS) in movement at six months after randomization. After the primary outcome time point patients will be followed up to 5 years.

Where are we now? The trial will be conducted in Helsinki University Hospital. Approval of the both institutional and ethical review boards of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District will applied in the beginning of 2020. We will launch the trial in autumn 2020. We are planning to publish the study protocol during the course of the study. Patient recruitment and the primary outcome time point will be reached in January 2024.

Atte Manninen

Plastic surgeon

Our study group focuses on facial transplantation surgery. Doc Patrik Lassus as the head of the group is also the lead surgeon of two facial transplantation surgeries performed in Helsinki. Our part of the study includes 3D-planning and -modeling, stability of the transplanted bones and occlusion, functional outcomes (ie. speech, breathing, swallowing, mastication etc.) and airway changes during follow-up.

Pauliina Homsy

Breast surgery can have a strong impact on a woman’s body image and quality of life. BREAST-QTM is a questionnaire designed to assess the health related quality of life in women having breast surgery. Originally developed in US English, the questionnaire has a modular structure. In this project we will produce and psychometrically validate the Finnish version of BREAST-QTM questionnaire sections for breast conserving therapy, mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and breast reduction. We will then use the questionnaire to assess the effect of breast surgery on the health related quality of life of patients at the Helsinki University Hospital Cancer Centre and the department of Plastic Surgery.

Pauliina Homsy: I am interested in the psychosocial effects surgical interventions have on patients. Only a few tools directly applicable for the assessment of the health-related quality of life of plastic surgery patients are currently available in Finnish. Therefore, as well as studying the impact of breast and facial surgery on our patients, I aim to make more of the internationally used patient reported outcomes instruments available for Finnish professionals. In addition, I am conducting research towards a second medical PhD on the long-term outcomes of liposarcoma, or fat cell tumour, treatment.

Mervi Rautalin

MD, plastic surgery resident, PhD student

Breast cancer patients health-related quality of life (HRQoL) – surgical treatments, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness study

This prospective study evaluates the HRQoL of breast cancer patients after different surgical treatments. The aim is to investigate the usefulness of different quality of life measuring tools, to evaluate how different surgical treatments affect breast cancer patients in terms of quality of life and study cost-effectiveness of treatments.

Sina Hulkkonen

ENTRAP: Epidemiological studies of Nerve entrapment and TRauma in the Finnish Population

Entrapment neuropathies are one of the most common diagnoses hand surgeons encounter in their daily practices, and peripheral nerve injuries while on-call. They may cause remarkable heathcare costs, and severe disability to the patient. Although common, their incidence and risk factors are not well known. The ENTRAP project aims to bringing new information about the epidemiology of nerve entrapment and nerve injury, for hand surgeons, general practitioners, therapists, as well as patients. The high-quality registries of the National Welware Insitute provide excellent facilities for epidemiological studies in hand surgery.

Sina Hulkkonen is a newly-graduated PhD, clinical instructor in hand surgery in the University of Helsinki, and a hand surgery resident in Helsinki University Hospital. In November 2019, Sina defended her doctoral dissertation ”Incidence and risk factors of carpal tunnel syndrome, and ulnar and radial nerve entrapments”. She is a passionate researher – especially when it comes to epidemiology of hand surgery. Sina enjoys teaching young colleagues, statistics with R, giving oral presentations and lecturing. She is a wife and  mother of two, who loves endurance sports and good food. 

Turkka Anttila

Turkka Anttila, MD is a hand surgery resident in Töölö hospital working part time in FractAid project. His PhD focuses on the distal radius fracture detection and fracture displacement research. The vastness of the project is a challenge, but also offers multiple possibilities to develop uniq research settings.

Samuli Aspinen

M.D., Ph.D, Samuli Aspinen does research in the field of hand and general surgery with a special focus on clinical trials and regenerative medicine. He is a hand surgery resident and expects to finish his residency in late 2020.

A multicenter double-blinded randomized controlled trial comparing Proximal ROw carpectOmy and four-corner Fusion (PROOF-trial) for post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the wrist

Proximal row carpectomy (PRC) and scaphoid excision with four-corner arthrodesis (FCA) are common motion-preserving, salvage procedures for the treatment of post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the wrist, especially scaphoid nonunion (SNAC) or scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC). Though FCA is considered as the golden standard, the optimal operative treatment is so far unknown. Given the prevalence and disability associated with these conditions, it is imperative that practitioners can critically evaluate these procedures to provide treatment with reproducible results. This randomized, double-blinded, controlled multicenter trial was designed to address the question whether PRC can provide a similar postoperative course with comparable results and less complications compared to FCA.

Tuomas Huttunen

Resident in plastic surgery 

The study is a retrospective study that aims to clarify if there is a delay of the adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients who undergo mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) in Helsinki University Hospital (HUH). A total of 755 under 70 year old patients with breast cancer who underwent mastectomy as a primary operation followed by adjuvant chemotherapy at HUH from January 2012 to July 2018 are included in this study. A total of 196 these patients underwent IBR. The data that is collected of the patients includes the age of the patient, date of operation, date of the first chemotherapy, the biological information of the tumor (ER, PR, MIB-1, HER2), the size of the tumor, the histological type of the tumor, the nodal status, the type of axillar surgery, the method of the breast reconstruction, the possible symmetric operation of the other breast. Also patients BMI, diabetes status and smoking status are collected. Furthermore the possible postoperative complications are collected. The time from the operation to first date of chemotherapy is studied. Later the aim is to collect data of the possible tumor residives and survival of the patients.