Charnley, John

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 29 August 1911 Bury, Lancashire, England
d. 5 August 1982 Lancashire, England
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English orthopedic surgeon, pioneer of ultra-clean-air operating-theatre environments and of total hip-joint replacement.
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During his medical training at Manchester he qualified for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons and obtained his FRCS in 1936, within a year of becoming medically qualified. Following military service as an orthopaedic specialist, he was appointed a consultant at the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1947.
Charnley investigated the problems of joint lubrication using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and a series of 300 initially successful cases laid the foundation for further developments, involving total hip-joint replacement, when in 1962 high-density polythene became available as a suitable inert material. The need for a totally sterile operating environment in which to carry out such procedures led him to develop ultra-clean-air operating-theatre modules which proved to have wide application in relation to other surgical disciplines and to the problems of hospital building. To further these principles he resigned from the Royal Infirmary and was the guiding spirit in the establishment of the centre for hip surgery at Wrightington Hospital in Lancashire, which gained wide international recognition.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Knighted 1977. FRS 1964. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. British Medical Association Gold Medal 1978.
Bibliography
1961, "Arthroplasty of the hip", Lancet.
1974, Wound Infection after Hip Replacement Performed in a Clean-Air Operating Room, Wrightington.
1970, Acrylic Cement in Orthopaedic Surgery, Baltimore.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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