The North West of England in general and Preston in particular have clear historical links with treating hip disease.
It was at the nearby Wrightington Hospital that the celebrated Professor Charnley developed his hip prosthesis in the 1960s and 70s. In approximately the same era an orthopaedic surgeon at Preston Hospital, Mr Garden gave his name to the now international system of classifying hip fractures.
The first Preston Hip Day took place on the 15 June 2005. From the very beginning I wanted the Preston Hip Day to be different from ‘yet another osteoporosis conference’. Not only do I chair the meeting but I traditionally give the first talk. I like to explore some of the basic science surrounding hip fracture and osteoporosis. Biomechanics has featured prominently in many of my papers and this reflects the considerable influence and support I have received from my father who was a lecturer on structural theory and practised as a civil engineer. The talks that follow mine have a wide remit and many are intended to give practical advice and guidance. Included among them is one that takes a particular angle on hip disease. In consequence, we have had this subject as seen from the viewpoint of an orthopaedic surgeon, a rheumatologist, an anaesthetist, and an A/E consultant...even a manager! The proceedings finish with a keynote address from a renowned figure.
At our first Hip Day in 2005 the aspiration to obtain a top speaker almost led to our undoing. We managed to secure the services of Professor Stephen Boonan, Professor of Elderly Medicine in Belgium. It seemed that he was intending to do a morning clinic and then fly to Manchester Airport and be driven to the conference in time for his talk in the afternoon. His flight was somewhat delayed and in spite of a heroic 100 mph drive he did not start his talk until over an hour after the scheduled time. The delegates however took all this in very good spirit and we certainly found Professor Boonan well worth waiting for.
In the subsequent years we have learnt from our early mistakes and we try to encourage any distant speakers to be in the vicinity in plenty of time!
I would like to take this opportunity both of thanking those delegates who have attended the conference ever since it started, as well as welcoming the newcomers.
I have no doubt that Preston Hip Day is here to stay and there will always be something new to consider and explore. I also hope that all delegates will have an enjoyable day and find that truly, this is not just another osteoporosis conference.
JOHN F McCANN