by Dr Wim Rijnen, Orthopedic Surgeon, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

From 2-20 September 2019, I had the privilege to attend the British Hip Society (BHS) travelling fellowship in the United Kingdom. This was the first time that a fellow from the European Hip Society (EHS) could apply for this travelling fellowship. I was together with Brian Fuller, a fellow from the American Hip Society. In 2.5 weeks we travelled from London all the way to Glasgow. It was a fantastic experience, we had the opportunity to meet the most prominent hip surgeons in the UK, share experiences and discuss cases. I would like to thank the board of the EHS for selecting me for this fellowship, the BHS for organizing the fellowship and a special thanks to professor Fares Haddad for giving a EHS fellow the opportunity to attend this fellowship and taking care for us during our travelling in the UK.

The first day of the fellowship started in London. We were welcomed in the University College in London (UCL) by Mr Sujith Konan [EHS Visiting Fellow 2016]. After a visit at the outpatient department, there was a meeting with the hip fellows from the UCL to discuss complex cases. The next day started again in the UCL with a program in the operating theatre with robotic assisted hip surgery. Then we went to the Royal London Hospital where we were welcomed by Mr Pramod Achan. There was an academic meeting with the orthopedic staff. In the Good Samaritan, a pub around the corner, the meeting proceeded, and after dinner Mr Achan took care of us showing London by night. The next day, we visited Stanmore hospital. There was a start with a multi-disciplinary infection meeting. After that we went to theatre for a revision case with a patient specific made implant. After visiting the Stanmore retrieval lab, we went back to the city of London and travelled to Exeter.

In Exeter, we were welcomed by Mr Matt Wilson, Mr Matthew Hubble, Mr John Charity and Mr Andrew (John) Timperley. We had the ability to see different kinds of surgery, a femoral bone impaction grafting, a robotic assisted hip surgery, the SPAIRE approach and got tips and tricks in properly cementing a hip prosthesis. The next day, Mr Wilson had organized a cadaver workshop combined with interesting presentations about the impressive Exeter philosophy. Later that day, after attending theatre again, we travelled to Cardiff. […continued…]

"Having time to talk about hip surgery with people that do things differently or sometimes more the same is very beneficial. It makes you think about the way you are dealing with surgical difficulties and can be very reflective"

[…continued…] Mr Steve Jones was our host in Cardiff. On Saturday morning, he had organized an acetabular revision operation, followed by presentations about acetabular revisions and instability of the hip. Later that afternoon, we went to a Rugby match, had a great dinner and spent some time with the local Welsh people. After visiting Cardiff castle on Sunday, we travelled to Nottingham.

Mr Andrew Manktelow took us for a drink in the oldest pub in the UK after which we had a great dinner. On Monday morning, there was a very interesting video conference with hip surgeons in surrounding regional hospitals. Cases were discussed and plans made for surgery. This was followed by an infection and staff meeting. Then we saw very interesting and complex cases at the outpatient department. The day was ended with some interesting cases in theatre after which we travelled to Liverpool.

In Liverpool, we were guests at the meeting of the British Orthopedic Association. We had the opportunity to meet new people, saw interesting presentations, including the Charnley Lecture by Professor Henrik Malchau and the Robert Jones Lecture by Professor John Skinner. On Tuesday night, we attended a very nice dinner of the BHS board in Liverpool town.

Mr Anil Gambhir took us to Wrightington on Thursday. In Wrightington, we went to the centre for hip surgery, where Charnley did his first hip operations. Mr Gambhir took us to the impressive theatre were we could assist him in some surgical procedures. Mr Bodo Purbach gave us a tour through the famous Charnley museum and took through some interesting cases. After that, we went back to Liverpool where we were the guest of a dinner of the Low Friction Society. The next day, there was a meeting of the Low Friction Society which we attended and gave presentations. In the afternoon, we went back to Wrightington for hip surgery.

On Saturday the 14th of September, professor Haddad had organized tickets for a football match at Manchester United. We saw them beating Leicester city. Mr Gambhir took us to a superb Indian restaurant in Manchester. Then we travelled to Sheffield.

Mr Andy Hamer was our host in Sheffield. He took us to a pub in the peak district where we had dinner withfour more orthopaedic surgeons. The next day we went to a factory tour. Two different factories were visited where hip prosthesis were manufactured. Very interesting to see all different steps in the process. In the afternoon we met Dr Rob Townsend, a microbiologist in Sheffield. With him, we had an inspiring talk about the treatment of prosthetic joint infections. After an academic meeting with the orthopaedic staff, we went in town for a great dinner. The next day, we went into theatre and left again to travel to Glasgow.

In Glasgow, Mr Dominic Meek and Mr Sanjeev Patil were our hosts. On Wednesday 18th September, Mr Patil gave us a great presentation about adolescent hip surgery. In the afternoon Mr Meek performed a stem and cup revision in a patient with acetabular and femoral bone defects. The next day, we did some sightseeing of Glasgow and went to visit the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. There was a final academic meeting after which we went in town for our final dinner of the fellowship. Different surgeons from different hospitals in Glasgow came by for a great evening. Brian and myself had a final beer before we flew back home on Friday 20th September.

This travelling fellowship was inspiring, intense and a great experience. We had interesting conversations with different orthopedic surgeons throughout the country. Many new friendships were made with colleague hip surgeons. Having time to talk about hip surgery with people that do things differently or sometimes more the same is very beneficial. It makes you think about the way you are dealing with surgical difficulties and can be very reflective. We had the opportunity to see many different people working in theatre, outpatients and meetings. I took lots of new ideas and thoughts with me back home to explore in my daily practice.

The man I travelled with, Brian Fuller, became a new and very respected good friend. Together we had great fun, good laughs and interesting discussions about our orthopaedic work. My cementing practice and his American cementless one were very controversial, we managed to come together in that quite a bit. We will stay in touch for sure.