Orthopaedics and Neuro-orthopaedics

Orthopaedics – specialists working together

At the Swiss Paraplegic Centre, the Orthopaedics and Neurology department is part of an interdisciplinary and interprofessional treatment team specialising in the treatment of disabilities of the locomotor system caused by paralysis. It is an essential factor in the treatment of problems of the locomotor system and in the care required to avoid recurrent events. The unique specialist combination of non-surgical and surgical skills enables us to play a key role in the interdisciplinary treatment of patients of all ages with a spinal cord injury.

Pain, spasticity, and their consequences

Pain caused by tendon problems in the shoulder – Spasticity caused by osteoporotic fractures of the leg – Foot misalignment with skin problems – Restrictions to movement of the hip caused by the formation of bone spurs – Muscle weakness with a reduction in everyday mobility

Symptoms and problems of the locomotor system are often a consequence of congenital or acquired paralysis. In addition to incorrect or excessive strain due to the paralysis, triggers tend to be the reshaping or breakdown of the tissue structure of bones and soft tissue, vegetative dysregulation, and inadequate protective reactions. Patients are often unable to carry out the required corrections to posture or movement, which means that numerous small episodes of strain accumulate and, over time, result in serious and limiting problems.

The consequences can be severe: skin problems all the way to exposed inflamed bone, increase in spasticity or autonomic dysfunction (sweating, circulatory problems), deterioration of the seating position in the wheelchair, decreased independence, and increased requirements for assistance in everyday life.

Wide range of treatment options from splints to surgery

In addition to the comprehensive non-surgical and orthotic treatment, points of focus within the team include shoulder surgery, foot surgery, and treatment of osteoporotic bone fractures of the lower extremities. In close cooperation with external partners, we also offer elective joint replacement surgery of the large joints and complex orthopaedic procedures. This cooperation offers unique potential in terms of orthopaedic/traumatology options, especially for patients with a spinal cord injury.

Overview of treatment options

Our specialists

  • Tobias Pötzel Chefarzt Wirbelsäulenchirurgie und Orthopädie

    Dr. med. Tobias Pötzel

    Head of Department of Spinal Surgery

    Specialist medical qualification

    Specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology of the Locomotor System

    Professional background

    since 2019
    Joint Head of Department of Spinal Surgery, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil, together with Dr. med. Raoul Heilbronner

    2015 – 2019
    Senior Consultant in Spinal Surgery and Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    2012 – 2015
    Specialty Registrar in Spinal Surgery and Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    2010 – 2012
    Junior Doctor in Spinal Surgery and Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    2003 – 2010
    Junior Doctor, qualification as a Specialist in Orthopaedics and Accident Surgery, Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik (clinic for trauma surgery), Murnau (D)

    Training and further education

    2019
    Shadowing of Dr. med. Gerd Bordon, Hospital de Manises, Valencia (E)

    2015
    Shadowing of Dr. med. Gregory M. Mundis, Scripps Memorial Hospital, San Diego (USA)

    2015
    Recognition of Diploma in Medical Professions and title of Specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology of the Locomotor System (FMH)

    2014
    EUROSPINE Diploma

    2013
    Specialist in Orthopaedics and Accident Surgery (D)

    2012
    Shadowing of Prof. Dr. med. H. Halm, Schön Klinik Neustadt, Holstein (D)

    2003
    Conferment of title of Doctor of Human Medicine

    1996 – 2003
    Degree in Human Medicine, Technical University of Munich (D)

    Membership in professional associations

    SGS
    Swiss Society of Spinal Surgery

    SSoP
    Swiss Society of Paraplegia

  • Cristian Dragalina Oberarzt Orthopädie

    Dr. med. univ. (A) Cristian Dragalina

    Consultant in Orthopaedics

    Specialist medical qualification

    Specialist in Orthopaedics and trauma surgery

    Professional background

    since 2021
    Consultant in Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    2018 - 2021
    Senior Consultant, Reha- und Kurklinik Eden, Oberried

    2015 - 2018
    Project work, Sweden

    2014 - 2015
    Junior Doctor Spinal Surgery and Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    2011  - 2014
    Junior Doctor Orthopaedics, Maria-Hilf-Krankenhaus Bergheim, Germany

    2010 - 2011
    Junior Doctor Orthopaedics and traumatology, Lukaskrankenhaus Neuss, Germany

    2009 - 2010
    Junior Doctor General surgery, St. Irmgardis-Krankenhaus Viersen, Germany

    2007 - 2009
    Junior Doctor General surgery, Heinrich Braun Klinikum Zwickau, Germany

    Training and further education

    2015
    Diploma manual medicine/chirotherapy, DGMSM Deutsche Gesellschaft für Muskuloskeletale Medizin e.V.

    2014
    Specialist in Orthopaedics and trauma surgery, Ärztekammer Nordrhein, Germany

    1998 - 2007
    Studies in human medicine and title Dr. med. univ. (A), Medizinische Universität Wien, Austria

    Memberships

    DGMSM
    Deutsche Gesellschaft für Muskuloskeletale Medizin e.V.

  • meunzel-johannes-orthopaedie-0129

    Dr. med. Johann Meunzel

    Consultant in Neuro-Orthopaedics

    Specialist medical qualification

    Specialist in General Medicine

    Professional background

    since 2020
    Specialty Registrar in Neuro-Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    2009 - 2019
    Specialist / MSc in Neuro-Orthopaedics, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil 

    1996 - 2008
    Independent, joint partner in Gemeinschaftspraxis für Kinder und Jugendliche (community practice for children and adolescents), Laupheim (D)

    1995
    Reintegration phase after service as a development aid worker

    1991 - 1994
    Director of a development aid project, operational and medical management, Jeevan Prakash Child Center (NGO), Murinjapalam Medical College, Trivandarum (India)

    1990 - 1991
    Intern, Kinderzentrum München (children's centre Munich), Munich (D)

    Training and further education

    2014
    Master of Science (MSc), Neuro-Orthopaedics postgraduate programme, Danube University Krems (A)

    2008
    Specialist in General Medicine, State Chamber of Physicians of Baden-Württemberg (D)

    2003
    Conferment of title of Doctor of Human Medicine

    1982 - 1990
    Degree in Human Medicine, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (D)

    Membership in professional associations

    APO
    Swiss Working Group for Prostheses and Orthoses

    GAMMA
    Society for the Analysis of Human Motor Function and its Clinical Application

    Society for Transition Medicine

    Transition 1525 association

    Vojta
    Swiss Working Group for Vojta Therapy

  • bohnert_laurent

    Dr. med. Laurent Bohnert

    Consulting Physician in Shoulder Surgery

    Specialist medical qualification

    Federal Diploma (FA) in Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology of the Locomotor System

    Professional background

    since 2020
    Consulting Physician in Shoulder Surgery, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil

    since 2015
    Senior Consultant in Orthopaedics, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital LUKS, Sursee

    2013 - 2014
    Specialty Registrar in Orthopaedics, Bürgerspital Solothurn

    2011 - 2013
    Specialty Registrar in Orthopaedics, Bürgerspital Solothurn

    2009 - 2011
    Specialty Registrar in Orthopaedics, Bürgerspital Solothurn

    2007 - 2009
    Junior Doctor in Orthopaedics, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich

    2006 - 2007
    Junior Doctor in Orthopaedics, Hôpital de la Providence, Neuchâtel

    2005 - 2006
    Junior Doctor in Surgery, Biel Hospital 

    2004 - 2005
    Junior Doctor in Orthopaedics, Braine l’Alleud-Waterloo Hospital (Belgium)

    Training and further education

    2012
    Specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology of the Locomotor System (FMH)

    2003
    Conferment of title of Doctor of Human Medicine

    1996 - 2003
    Degree in Human Medicine, Free University of Brussels (ULB, Belgium)

    Membership in professional associations

    AO Trauma

    FMH
    Swiss Medical Association

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