‘I have always wanted to be an orthopaedic surgeon,’ says Nima Heidari. ‘My father too is an orthopaedic surgeon although he never particularly encouraged me to do orthopaedics, but it’s something that I’ve always found fascinating. One of the main drivers for me is my love of mechanics – to have an understanding of how things work.’
Heidari is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in foot and ankle conditions and limb reconstruction. His NHS Practice is at the Royal London Hospital, while his private practice is mainly with the regenerative clinic in the Harley street area. ‘Since starting at the Royal London seven years ago, I have developed a foot and ankle unit and set up a regional bone infection unit where I run a tertiary practice dealing with complex lower limb deformities, infections and complications,’ he tells Spear’s. ‘With the Regenerative Clinic, I work with a group of eminent orthopaedic surgeons using the latest and most up to date techniques to preserve and improve joint function, reduce pain and to try and avoid complex surgery – a bit of a paradigm shift for someone who works as a surgeon.’
Speaking in detail about his research findings, he says one of the most common treatments undertaken at the clinic is to use patients own reparative cells to treat conditions – particularly arthritis. ‘One of the most common arthritic joints we treat is the knee, which we have treated using fat derived cell therapies. We found that 80-83 per cent of patients who’ve come to us with quite debilitating pain through arthritis of the knee have made dramatic improvements to pain at one year, with a single treatment resulting in considerable pain relief,’ he says.
One of the themes that gained an enormous amount of traction in the world of orthopaedics is joint preservation, according to Heidari. ‘Trying to avoid complex surgery and use the body’s own reparative properties using stem cells, blood product and a variety of other compounds to reduce pain and improve function. This is something which is gaining traction across the world,’ he explains.
The regenerative clinic attracts patients from all over the world. ‘We have been incredibly driven in trying to maintain communication with our patients,’ says Heidari. ‘We collect data and follow up patients regularly to clearly understand how their pain is doing following interventions. We are expanding on this by establishing academic links with universities and applying for grants to lead research and be involved in studies to be able to expand on the current knowledge that we have, to preserve joints and use stem cells.’