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Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Ertel, FACS image

Department of orthopaedic and trauma surgery with spinal centre

Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Ertel, FACS
orthopaedic and trauma surgery, hand surgery, spinal surgery

About the department

The department of orthopaedic and trauma surgery with spinal centre at the University Hospital Charite Berlin specialised in accident, reconstructive and spinal surgery. It is one of the five certified trauma centres in Berlin. The unit has a modernised rescue station for emergency traumas at its disposal. In addition, the department is equipped with 16 examination rooms, three operation rooms and other facilities. The trauma surgery medical team closely cooperates with anesthesiologists, cardiologists, neurosurgeons and thoracic, vascular and abdominal surgeons. As the unit of the university hospital, the clinic is a high-quality training centre in orthopaedic and trauma surgery. Furthermore, the specialists follow the medical standards of the German Society for Trauma Surgery. 

The department of orthopaedic and trauma surgery is focused on accident trauma treatment, including traumas of the upper and lower extremities and the spine. The other focal points include osteology and endoprosthetic medicine. Spine surgery is a particular focus of the department, and hand surgery.

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Treatment and diagnostic focus of the department


  • sonography
  • computed tomography (CT)
  • MRI
  • X-Ray diagnostics
  • bone density measurement
  • laboratory diagnostics
  • a bone tissue sample (biopsy)
  • high-resolution 3D measurement of bone strength/structure (micro CT )
  • measurement of muscle density (pQCT)
  • hand strength testing

Spine surgery:

  • microsurgically-assisted nucleotomy
  • endoscopically assisted nucleotomy
  • vertebral fusion: supported thoracoscopically and laparoscopically
  • intrathecal electrothermal therapy (IDET)
  • electrothermal disc decompression
  • HF facet denervation
  • computed tomography-assisted infiltration
  • postnucleotomy Syndrome (PNS)
  • cervical and lumbar disc arthroplasty
  • bony relief (decompression) of spinal canal narrowing
  • vertebral slippage : degenerative and congenital
  • correction of spinal deformities and scoliosis
  • vertebral body removal/vertebral body replacement
  • spinal cord decompression
  • kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty for osteoporotic fusion fractures


  • disturbance of digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchial asthma
  • hormonal disorders of the parathyroid gland
  • inflammatory rheumatic diseases
  • bone softening due to vitamin D deficiency
  • bone marrow disease (Paget's disease, mastocytosis, plasmacytoma)
  • brittle bone disease
  • fibrous dysplasia
  • hypophosphatasia
  • bone marrow oedema

Hand surgery:

  • degenerative joint diseases: Bouchard's, Heberden's arthrosis, polyarthritis, rhizarthrosis
  • Dupuytren's contracture, burn contracture
  • сompression syndromes of nerves and muscles
  • mucoid cysts on the fingers
  • benign and malignant tumours
  • tendon constrictions
  • tennis elbow and golfer's elbow
  • rheumatoid arthritis, tenosynovitis
  • bone necrosis: Lunatum malacia or M. Kienböck, M. Preiser, M. Mauclaire
  • congenital malformations 
  • pseudarthrosis
  • improperly healed fractures
  • bonded tendons
  • joint contracture
  • old tendon injuries
  • post-traumatic painful osteoarthritis
  • nerve damage, neuromas, CRPS (Sudeck's disease)
  • elbow instability 
  • amputation, crush and blast injuries 
  • paronychia, panaritium
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Doctor profile


  • 1978-1985 Medical studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich


  • 1985-1993 Surgical clinic and polyclinic of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Hospital Munich
  • 1986-1987 Hand surgery, Grosshadern Clinic
  • 1991-1993 Accident surgery, Grosshadern Clinic
  • 1993-1994 Clinic for Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Zurich
  • 1996 Fellowship in Pelvic Surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 1997 Fellowship for pelvis and acetabulum surgery, orthopedic surgery, Inselspital Bern
  • 2001-2007 Balgrist University Hospital
  • 5-year participation in the emergency doctor service of the professional fire brigade of the city of Munich
  • 5-year participation in the emergency doctor service of the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund
  • 18 months ward physician in the surgical intensive care unit, Clinic Grosshadern
  • 2001 Professor for trauma surgery
  • 2001 Director of the clinic for trauma and reconstructive surgery, University Hospital Charite, Berlin

Awards, memberships, publications

  • Author of more than 350 publications
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