Pioneering hip replacements | Action Medical Research

Pioneering hip replacements

Around 50,000 people a year in the UK have their lives transformed by a hip replacement operation. Many of these people have been in excruciating pain for years, barely able to walk, let alone take part in an active lifestyle.

Their new pain-free mobility is in no small part due to Action Medical Research funding which helped a distinguished orthopaedic surgeon to develop a technique that became the forerunner of modern hip replacement surgery.

Pioneering work had begun as early as the 1920s by European and US surgeons performing partial hip replacements, known as hemiarthroplasties. But the complete replacement was primarily a British affair with some of the first successful operations carried out by Sir John Charnley and his team at Wrightington Hospital, Wigan in the early 1960s.

Action Medical Research helped Sir John establish a clinical research centre for hip surgery where his revolutionary work was carried out. The charity has continued to support many other projects over the years to further develop and refine the hip replacement procedure.

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