Rancho Mirage, California September 2008
I travelled via Chicago where the tail end of Hurricane "Ike" reached northwards bringing floods to the States of Indiana and Michigan. I was fortunate in that there was only a short delay in my flight to Los Angeles before continuing my journey to the sizzling, sundrenched desert for the meeting – from one extreme of weather to the other!
I was invited to attend this meeting via the Donaldson Arthroplasty Research Foundation (DARF). Tom Donaldson and Ian Clarke have set up a unique course where there is an interface between tribologists, bio-engineers and surgeons all searching for the Holy Grail – the everlasting hip and knee arthroplasty!
Although the course had a relaxed atmosphere it was a hot bed of intellectual orthopaedic debate. The course co-ordinators brought their own personal style of chaos to the meeting, but a shrill whistle would swiftly bring the fraternity to order! Despite this, they were immensely gifted in the way they brought clarity to the subjects they debated.
I was provided with a "full house" for this programme. My remit was to participate in the cadaver laboratory session and to perform a minimal anterior approach to the hip with Erik de Witt. I also discussed the European views on hip resurfacing, metal on metal results of total hip arthroplasty and presented the European perspective on ceramic on ceramic bearing hips.
I was also one of the invited dinner speakers to present on Total Hips in Europe: An Inside View.
The meeting was a great success and I was made to feel very welcome by the faculty and everyone participating in the meeting.