1918 – British Orthopaedic Association

The BOA evolved during the First World War in 1918. It was founded by 12 surgeons who wanted to help soldiers injured in combat.

“The ground gained for orthopaedics in wartime will not, I trust, be lost in peace time. In the interest of the public it is desirable that many injuries which formerly were treated by the general surgeon should henceforth be treated by the specialist…” E. Muirhead Little, first President of the BOA, 1918-1919

1920 – Sir Robert Jones

In 1920, Sir Robert Jones, became the BOA President. He served for five years, where he became known as the ‘Founder of Modern Orthopaedic Surgery’.

“My opinion is that no soldier should be discharged from the Army until everything is done to make him a healthy and efficient citizen… If a soldier knows beforehand that we are striving to make him functionally useful, and not necessarily with the intention of sending him to fight, the psychological effect is such as to materially expedite his recovery.” Sir Robert Jones, BOA President 1920-1925

1929 – First joint overseas meeting with the American Orthopaedic Association

In 1929 the first joint meeting with the American Orthopaedic Association took place in London.

“The renaissance of orthopaedics in the first world war stemmed from the visions and actions of one man, Robert Jones… It was at this time that the bonds of friendship and understanding between the orthopaedic surgeons of the United States and of this county, so secure and so significant to-day, were first forged.” Sir Harry Platt, BOA President 1934-1935

1938 – Sir Philip Wiles

In 1938 Sir Philip Wiles performed the first total hip replacement in the World and later became BOA President 1955-1957.

“The student who spent half his time in the orthopaedic wards would indeed be fortunate because the types of cases he was taught on would be more representative of those afterwards met in practice – in my hospital more new patients attend the various clinics for which the orthopaedic department is responsible than attend the clinics of all the four general surgical firms added together.” Sir Philip Wiles, BOA President 1955-1957

1947 – Introduction of the National Health Service

In 1947 came the introduction of the National Health Service extending free specialist care to all hospitals.

“The large increase in the numbers of consultants throughout the country was brought about by the National Health Service, and in turn led to increased membership of the Association, and to the changes in it’s function.” A History of the BOA, The first seventy-five years