The history of medicine is dotted with quantum advances due to discoveries and inventions from great minds. Hippocrates (460 to 377BC), widely considered to be the father of modern medicine, described spinal deformities and coined the terms scoliosis. Galen (130 to 210AD), a Greek surgeon described the musculoskeletal and nervous system, and is considered the father of modern sports medicine. Joseph Lister (1827 to 1912) introduced the concept of antiseptic surgery and that revolutionized the surgical management of orthopaedic injuries. While in the 1960s and 1970s, introduction of minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, state-of-the-art joint replacement materials and advanced imaging capabilities including digital x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography, all contributed to further improvements in the care of orthopaedic patients.
Since the formation of our department in 1961, development in orthopaedic surgery in Hong Kong paralleled the global scene, and indeed in multiple instances, led the world, with procedures such as the “Hong Kong Operation” for the treatment of TB spine, microvascular reconstruction, spine deformity management, novel hip, spine and finger implants and the treatment of hip fractures, to name but a few areas of excellence. In addition, the orthopaedic research laboratories was created with contributions to the understanding of orthopaedic biomechanics and biology, as well as electrophysiology and signal processing.
We celebrated the department’s 50th anniversary in 2011 with the aptly named theme of “Transcending the Past – Creating the Future”. Indeed, much has happened since that time, keeping our department at the forefront of developments in orthopaedics and traumatology. We have indeed “transcended”, with contributions to musculoskeletal biology and genetics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, 3D printing and new implant designs, regenerative medicine, robotic surgery and powered exoskeletons. These novel developments contribute to the maintenance of our upward momentum.
However, most importantly, no department can excel without her member’s contributions. I am proud of our heritage with hospital authority doctors working hand-in-hand with university doctors and researchers for the provision of high-quality care, advancement of knowledge, and for the teaching of the next generation of doctors. I am pleased to see that our passion for excellence in everything we do, have attracted some of the best talents to join the department which will ensure that the department will continue to excel in the years to come.
Many activities have been planned over this year, please look over this website and join in as many as you can. I do understand that this is a special year, with a global pandemic changing the way that we interact and practice. Nevertheless, all activities are planned with contingencies in mind, in case we cannot meet in person.
So please do join me in celebrating our successes.
Happy 60th Anniversary!
Professor Kenneth MC Cheung
Chair Professor and Head of Department
Jessie Ho Professor in Spine Surgery