The Finnish Society for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery hosted the 8th Triennial Nordic Shoulder and Elbow Conference in Helsinki 16.-17.5.2019.

Triennial? Yes, meaning that since 1998, the shoulder and elbow specialists from Sweden, Norway and Denmark have gathered together every three years to ponder on the fascinating art of treating patients with musculoskeletal complaints around these joints. And how does Finland fit into this picture? After careful consideration – according to the rumors, and a lot of good-old Finnish style persuasion – we Finns were finally accepted to this prestigious group and given the honour of hosting the 8th such gathering in Finland.

Finns took on the challenge under the leadership of Dr. Ilkka Sinisaari and under the auspices of the Finnish Society for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (FSSES). The program committee was chaired by Dr. Mika Paavola along with Kaisa Lehtimäki from Turku.

A pre-course event gave us the opportunity to meet colleagues and friends (old and new) from the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe in a relaxed atmosphere and introduce them to some of the most important aspects of Finnish culture: water, sauna and food. We started out on a boat ride through the Helsinki archipelago, built up some steam in a traditional Finnish smoke sauna and enjoyed some flame grilled salmon afterwards.

Finnish archipelago



Building up steam in the smoke sauna

Thursday started off with a welcome speech by Ilkka Sinisaari (President of the Finnish Society of Shoulder and Elbow surgery), followed by a symposium on scientific evidence and clinical practice. To kick off the first session, the FICEBO leadership (Teppo Järvinen and Simo Taimela) took the stage and gave the audience a crash-course on clinical epidemiology. But the true star of the session was Dr. Imran Sajid, who gave an amazing talk on the psychology behind resistance to change.


In the session that followed, entitled “When the going gets tough”, some of the most esteemed shoulder and elbow surgeons in the world shared their opinions and experiences with the audience: Lionel Neyton (Lyon) talked about glenoid bone loss, Karl Wieser (Zürich) about posterior shoulder instability and glenoid retroversion, Tapio Flinkkilä (Oulu) about dysfunction and pain after reverse prosthesis and Lars Adolfsson (Linköping) about elbow instability.

The first day was drawn to a close – according to some visitors – by one of the best free paper sessions seen in recent years. Kari Kanto presented the 5-year results of our FIMPACT trial and Simo Taimela shared the 2-year results of the same trial on return to work -outcomes. Tuomas Lähdeoja summarized the results of a systematic review on subacromial decompression surgery. Our FICEBO researchers were in great company: Juha Kukkonen and Stefan Moosmayer presented their 5- and 10-year data on rotator cuff surgery (repair vs. conservative treatment), while Janne Lehtinen and Juha Paloneva rounded up the session with their 2- and 12-year follow-up results of RCTs on subacromial pain surgery.

The Friday morning sessions were dedicated to upper extremity fracture treatment. Lasse Rämö talked about trigger points for operative treatment in humeral shaft fractures in the first session and presented fresh-out-of-the-oven 1-year results of an RTC comparing ORIF versus functional bracing for humeral shaft fractures.

Lasse preparing for his talk on humerus shaft fractures

Among the contributors, Tore Fjalestad (Norway) talked about greater tuberosity fractures, Bakir Sumrein (Tampere) about results from a re-categorized Neer classification for proximal humerus fractures, Antti Launonen (Tampere) about 2 year RCT results of displaced two-part humerus fractures comparing ORIF versus non-operative treatment, and Hanna Björnsson-Halgren (Sweden) about results comparing two different surgical approaches when treating distal humerus fractures.

In summary, the meeting was a great show of high-quality research performed in the Nordic countries and increasing collaboration between individual researchers and research groups.

Thank you all and see you again in Norway in three years’ time!

Course Certificate

Course Pictures