Administrative / Biographical History

BSc Manch 1932, MB ChB 1935, DSc 1964; FRCS Eng 1936.

Charnley was born in Bury, Lancashire on 29 August 1911. He became a world famous orthopaedic surgeon combining biological and engineering expertise to pioneer effective hip replacements. After qualifying at Manchester, Charnley held junior positions at MRI and Salford Royal Hospital. After the war, during which he developed his orthopaedic expertise, Charnley was appointed Hunterian Professor in 1946. He soon afterwards became honorary lecturer in orthopaedics at the University of Manchester, and was consultant orthopaedic surgeon at MRI, Park Hospital Davyhulme, and Wrightington Hospital Wigan. He resigned from his position at MRI in the 1950s to concentrate his efforts at Wrightington Hospital. Here he devised the Charnley artificial hip joint, and established the Centre for Hip Surgery in 1962. At this centre Charnley was able to set up a sterile operating theatre where he was able to dramatically reduce the incidence of infection. Charnley was awarded many honours during his lifetime, he was a fellow of British Orthopaedic Association, was appointed to a personal Chair of Orthopaedics at the University of Manchester in 1972, received a knighthood in 1977. In 1975, Charnley was elected fellow of the Royal Society, and was the first orthopaedic surgeon to receive this honour. Charnley retired from NHS in 1976, but continued working until his death on 5 August 1982.

Related Material

See also MMC/1/Charnley .