Wednesday morning we were met for breakfast at our hotel by Professor Haddad. We ate and chatted briefly before being shown to a car that would take us to Stanmore.
About 30 minutes outside of London (by car at 7am), Stanmore is one of the most unique hospitals I have ever seen. It was apparently erected rather quickly during Workd War II as a temporary hospital away from London Center. While the intention was for it to be temporary, it became busy enough that rather than scrapping it, it continued to be added onto over the years. What’s been created is a patchwork of poorly designed huts covered in corrugated metal and plywood… A far cry from the traditional elegant British architecture.
The main Orthopaedic wing is actually a long hallway that slopes downhill quite substantially making patient bed transport a challenge. In order to go from the wards to the operating theatres and back patients often need to be wheeled outside. While today was a beautiful sunny day, I was assured that this was usually not the case during the rainy season (March through November) or winter (December through February).
Alas, Stanmore as we know it will reportedly look very different in 5 years as the NHS has now dedicated funding to rebuilding Stanmore from the ground up. From what we saw of the quality of the care and thought at Stanmore, they certainly deserve a top notch facility.
Our main host at Stanmore was Professor John Skinner. We started the day there at a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) conference to review patients that have been referred to Stanmore for an opinion about their painful total joint, as well as follow up surveillance on patients with total joint prostheses that have been identified as “at risk” based on clinical outcomes.
Once done with MDT, we were taken to the Stanmore-based London Implant Retrieval Centre. This laboratory takes in explanted prostheses to provide detailed analysis of the implant in order to determine why it may have failed. The goal is to learn as much as possible from each implant to make all future implants as safe as possible.
The only thing that rivaled the LIRC’s implant analysis capabilities was their collection of historical prostheses. From what is likely the first hip replacement performed in Great Britain (the Wiles arthroplasty) to the classic Charnley prosthesis, the collection is impressive to see.
After a tour of the lab, and a brief lunch, we were put in a car and headed back to London. We were given a few hours break to ourselves, and then headed in the evening to a meeting of local London hip and knee surgeons to expose us to a greater variety of surgeons. Michael and I were asked to give presentations, and had a wonderfully attentive and inquisitive audience. Michael spoke eloquently about the treatment of periprosthetic total hip fractures, and I presented on open surgical treatment of non-arthritic hip disease.
After the meeting we had a lovely dinner, again graciously hosted by Professor Haddad, and then headed back to our hotel for the night.