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One Year Hip....Meets 40 Year Hips!

Newsdate: 28 November 2013

In the photo from left-to-right: Harry Hagan, Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr. John Hodgkinson, Rita Brown, WWL Deputy CEO Silas NichollsTwo record breaking patients who underwent hip replacement surgery at Wrightington Hospital almost 40 years apart returned to the hospital this week to celebrate the health and lifestyle improvements made possible by the skills of the hospital’s renowned orthopaedic surgeons.

Marguerita (Rita) Brown, born in Bradford, West Yorkshire and a long term Nottingham resident, was 52 when she underwent total hip replacement surgery performed by Professor Sir John Charnley at Wrightington Hospital in 1973.

Forty years on and Rita’s Wrightington hips remain in excellent condition, as the sprightly 92-year-old confirmed when she returned to Wrightington to donate one of her own paintings for permanent display at the northwest’s only NHS Centre of Excellence for orthopaedic surgery.

Staff at Wrightington Hospital rolled out the red carpet for Rita as she enjoyed a tour of hospital facilities accompanied by Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr. John Hodgkinson, as well as a visit to the world famous Charnley Museum with Senior Research Fellow, Paul Siney.

“After treatment and surgery at two other hospitals, my doctor said there was only one place to go, and of course, that was Wrightington Hospital,” says Rita.  “I spent a month here and had the best treatment possible. Now 40 years later, my Wrightington hips still feel wonderful.”

Joining Rita for the celebrations hosted by the private patient John Charnley Wing at Wrightington Hospital was retired English teacher Harry Hagan from Bury, who made history in November 2012 by volunteering to have hip replacement surgery broadcast ‘live’ as part of the hospital’s 50th Anniversary John Charnley celebrations.

A keen tennis player and Chairman of Bamford Tennis Club near Rochdale, Harry doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon. And thanks to hip replacement surgery at Wrightington, he won’t have to.

Choosing Wrightington ahead of hospital’s closer to home following a friend’s recommendation, Harry is now fully recovered from his surgery. After a summer climbing the Cumbrian hills and playing tennis regularly, Harry has nothing but praise for the care and treatment he has received at Wrightington Hospital.

“The pain got to a point where I stopped doing certain activities that I had done for years, and needed to plan other activities around what my hip would react to,” recalls Harry Hagan. “I finally decided I needed surgery and, after considering hospitals close to home, a friend recommended Wrightington. It was one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had!”

“Rita has kept in touch with Wrightington over the years and reading one of her handmade cards I realised what a talented artist she is,” says John Hodgkinson. “So I suggested she might like to donate one of her paintings for us to display in the hospital. Both Rita and Harry’s hip operations went very well and we’re pleased to give them both a whole new lease of life.”
As a former President of the British Hip Society, John Hodgkinson knows better than anyone that surgical technique plays a significant part in the longevity of Wrightington Hospital hip replacements. 

 “80 per cent of hip replacements last 20 years and many Wrightington hips last far longer,” advises Mr Hodgkinson, “To have both hips in excellent working condition after 40 years is a remarkable testament to the skill of Professor Charnley and the longevity of Wrightington Hospital hip replacements.”

 “Wrightington Hospital enjoys a worldwide reputation as a Centre of Excellence for joint replacement surgery, which is complex and comes at a substantial cost, both personally and for NHS finances, if a second replacement is required. Patients should be comforted that research continues to highlight the long-term success of hip replacement surgery at Wrightington for more than 50 years.”

WWL continues with plans to develop Wrightington Hospital with work currently underway to build a new access road and planning permission approved in September for a major redevelopment to ensure the hospital enjoys a bright future to match its illustrious past.
Chris Knights, WWL Project Director says: “The new access road signals the start of a £23.5 million investment and improvement programme at the hospital over the next three years. Furthermore, it is also excellent news for orthopaedic patients as well as two additional modern, state-of-the-art theatres that will further improve patient experience, the additional capacity will allow us to treat 2,500 more patients per year and will help to reduce inpatient waiting times.”

In the photo from left-to-right: Harry Hagan, Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr. John Hodgkinson, Rita Brown, WWL Deputy CEO Silas Nicholls