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Since 1760, a long tradition of orthopaedic surgery has existed at The London, when the first archives relating to surgery appeared.  These included the setting of fractures and drainage of abscesses.

In 1791 William Blizard, a general surgeon, performed the first amputations following the advice of John Hunter. Blizard’s manual became the standard text of the ship’s surgeon on Nelson’s fleet.

In 1839 William John Little, an ex-student of The London Hospital Medical College was elected as Assistant Physician to The London.  He later went on to raise funds and founded the Institute of Orthopaedics in Bloomsbury Square, known today as the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.


The Royal procession passing the London Hospital, 1887 (The Museum of London)

Orthopaedic surgery was not separated from general surgery until 1943 when the Orthopaedic and Accident department was established by Sir Reginald Watson-Jones and Sir Henry Osmond-Clarke.  Based upon the experience of Watson-Jones in pre-war Liverpool, his famous book Fractures and Joint Injuries became a major work of reference and influenced orthopaedic departments worldwide.  With the addition of Scotty Law and Oliver Vaughan-Jackson, a formidable orthopaedic department was established.

Michael Freeman joined The London Hospital Orthopaedic department in 1968.  He began work on what would turn out to be the first cemented condylar total knee replacement.  Freeman began and co-directed the Biomechanics Unit of Imperial College with Dr S Swanson (PhD) and collaborated in the design and implantation techniques of the knee.  In 1980, with the help from Dr K Samuelson (MD), the implant evolved into the Freeman-Samuelson knee prosthesis.

The Royal London Hospital Orthopaedic and Trauma Society (RLHOTS) was reformed by four Royal London registrars (Ali Noorani, Wai Weng Yoon, Nima Heidari, Nic Wardle) in 2007 who continued to organise the yearly event in its entirety until 2011 when the baton was handed on to a new committee.

The annual RLHOTS meeting continues to be part of the RLH rotation's academic timetable to this present day.

The future success of the Royal London Hospital Trauma and Orthopaedic Society depends on your support and commitment!



The Royal London Rotation is a group of like-minded individuals with a common passion for Orthopaedics, Trauma and excellence in surgery. We aim to create the next generation of outstanding Orthopaedic Consultants, ready to serve our patients and our NHS. 

We love our speciality and wish to give back through excellence in research, teaching and above all training. 

Our registrars have access to some of the best placements and jobs available and have become the pride of many departments. 

Join us for a chat on our forum page, our annual academic meeting RLHOTS or for a drink during one of our social events if you would like to find out more. 

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