MAYWOOD, Ill. – Every year for the past seven years, Loyola University Medical Center orthopaedic surgeon Pietro Tonino, MD, has travelled to Vietnam to see patients and teach arthroscopic surgery techniques to physicians.
Now, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is awarding Dr. Tonino its Medal for Vietnamese People’s Health in recognition of Dr. Tonino’s “great contributions to the development of Vietnam’s health sector.”
Arthroscopic surgery (also known as arthroscopy) is a minimally invasive technique to examine and sometimes repair joint problems. A camera attached to a narrow tube enables the surgeon to see inside the joint. The surgeon can repair joint damage with thin surgical instruments inserted through additional small incisions.
Dr. Tonino has performed more than 10,000 arthroscopies since 1987. He has taught the technique to about 350 Vietnamese orthopaedic surgeons, who in turn are teaching arthroscopy to other surgeons.
In Vietnam, Dr. Tonino also teaches diagnostic skills and how to communicate with patients.
“This program is not only about arthroscopy, but also about how to respect and treat our patients like they are members of our family,” Dr. Tonino said.
Dr. Tonino is program director of Sports Medicine and a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.