Sir John Charnley / Medical Pioneer

Words by Angela Barlow

Image by Steve McCabe

Charnley presented an ambitious vision for a total hip replacement to the British Medical Association. His innovation is still helping people walk pain-free today.

Charnley was a surgeon with a love of engineering and a determination to advance medical science. Fuelled by this passion he designed an implant and procedure that revolutionised treatment of the hip. 

His quest for perfection led him to address aspects of surgery, including the development of special surgical suits and clean-air theatres, to fight infection.

Charnley’s impact was recognised with a knighthood in 1977. His legacy lives on in operating theatres across the world.

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