Coventry surgeon awarded prestigious national prize

An orthopaedic surgeon at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust has received a national award.

Mr Nick Smith, a Trauma and Orthopaedic registrar, has been awarded the Robert Jones Medal and Association Prize, an annual essay writing competition, at the British Orthopaedic Association’s annual congress.

The award which Mr Smith received is given in memory of Sir Robert Jones, a surgical pioneer considered by many to be the father of modern orthopaedics.

Mr Smith used research from his PhD on meniscal transplantation in writing his award-winning essay. A meniscus is a ‘C’ shaped cartilage in the knee joint that cushions the knee and protects it from arthritis.

UHCW NHS Trust is one of the few centres in the country that offers meniscal transplants. These operations, which use donor tissue, are usually carried out in younger patients with a painful knee who have had major damage to one of their menisci, usually from a sporting injury.

Mr Smith’s essay was entitled “Meniscectomy in a young patient: is meniscal allograft transplantation the answer?” It discusses the history of meniscal transplantation, through to cutting-edge research on how well it improves pain and function, with most of this research being performed at UHCW NHS Trust and Warwick University. Mr Smith’s essay also discusses the potential for meniscal transplantation to delay or prevent arthritis, with ongoing research addressing this.

Mr Nick Smith said:
“Sir Robert Jones was a true pioneer, and it is a great honour to win this prize and in a small way be associated with his name.

“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with experts Mr Tim Spalding and Mr Peter Thompson in performing research in the field of meniscal transplantation. I am looking forward to doing more research to further our understanding of meniscal transplantation in preventing arthritis in young patients.”

Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy CEO, said:
“I’m very proud of Mr Smith for winning this prestigious award. As a Trust we have world-leading research programmes into this area of orthopaedics, and it’s fantastic to see doctors in training like Mr Smith continuing this tradition to improve care for our patients.”

Photo by Simon Callaghan Photography