Mr Cyril Marek
Mr Cyril Marek is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon based at Blakelands Hospital in Milton Keynes. This year he celebrates his 10th anniversary of working at the unit.
An experienced orthopaedic surgeon with a wide ranging experience of orthopaedic and trauma procedures, in his current post Mr. Marek performs a wide range of lower limb surgeries including arthroscopies, foot surgery and hip and knee replacements as well as procedures for conditions of the hand including carpal tunnel, Dupuytren’s contracture, trigger finger.
1. How long have you been working as an orthopaedic consultant and why did you choose this area of expertise?
Both my parents are doctors. The choice for me was quite obvious. I wanted to be a General Surgeon like my father. After the Medical School in 1992 I started working in a General Surgery department but soon left for a military service at the Air Force (mandatory at that time). Returning one year later there was no Registrar post in the General surgery available but there was one in Orthopedics. After passing all postgraduate studies and exams I became a Consultant in 2003.
2. People often write off injuries as a sprain but what signs should we look out for to indicate it is something more serious which may need treatment?
The seriousness and degree of trauma or condition does often not correlate with the severity of symptoms. Early Osteoarthritis can be very symptomatic whilst the wearing of bone on bone sometimes causes just a bearable ache. Mild ligament sprain can cause lots of swelling and pain, whilst a simple fracture can go almost unnoticed.
Generally if you can’t weight bear or use your limb after an injury, have a few days of resting and icing and if the symptoms persist then seek help. If you have non-traumatic pain, swelling or deformity that persists after a few weeks – go to see your doctor.
3. What are the most typical complaints or injuries you treat?
My most frequent procedure at Blakelands Hospital is Arthroscopy of the knee. I also correct lots of Hallux Valgus deformities and decompress Carpal Tunnels, but the list is much longer.
I also take my patients requiring hip or knee replacements to our bigger sister facility, Horton Treatment Centre in Banbury and perform these surgeries which require overnight stay there.
4. Osteoarthritis becomes more common as we age. Is there anything we can do to protect our joints for the future?
Generally a healthy lifestyle should improve your chances concerning development of Osteoarthritis. You should not overload your weight bearing joints by carrying too much weight on a regular basis and by being overweight. Not all sports are knee and hip friendly, so if you are a runner, try to have good footwear and run on softer surfaces and combine running with cycling and swimming.
You can use some supplements e.g. Cod Liver oil, Chondroitin and Glucosamine sulfate. I am convinced that healthy balanced diet with vegetables, meat, a spectrum of saturated and unsaturated fat, with good ratio of omega 3 and 6 oils and reduced carbohydrates (especially simple sugars and gluten containing wheat) have a great influence on Osteoarthritis development, despite it not always being scientifically proven yet.
5. Arthritis is a progressive condition that affects many of us. How bad does it have to be before you advise joint replacement surgery?
The severity of symptoms is the main trigger. If you fulfil some Osteoarthritis upon X-ray or MRI and you have tried conservative treatment without result for some time, I will ask you questions concerning the severity of pain; its character, disturbance at night and mobility. There is also a test called the Oxford Knee scores that gives us details of how much the quality of your life is affected by the condition and that is the main decision making factor.
6. You’re obviously a very busy man. How do you relax?
I enjoy my spare time with my family. We ski, cycle, scuba dive, perform karate, grow organic vegetables on the allotment and travel as much as we can.