Professor David Barrett BSc (Hons) FRCS

Professor David Barrett is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee surgery. He practises at Southampton University Hospital, where he is also Professor of Orthopaedic engineering with a special interest in knee joint design. He also has clinics in the private sector at the Spire Hospital in Southampton and at the Wessex Nuffield.

Professor David Barrett developed his interest in knee surgery following a knee fellowship at Harvard Medical School and subsequently returned to the Institute of Orthopaedics to hold a lecturer's position developing his research in knee joint design and function.

Following his appointment as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee surgery in 1994 at Southampton University Hospital, this interest led to his appointment as Senior Lecturer and subsequently Reader in the School of Engineering Sciences, Southampton University.

Over the 14 years of his appointment he has developed techniques in knee surgery to maximise the functionality of knee joint replacements, developed computer navigation in operative knee surgery and more recently has developed the technique of selective compartmental resurfacing of the knee. This had led to an international referral practice and an international lecture commitment to varied orthopaedic societies.

His research interests into knee joint design has led to a novel and productive partnership with the School of Engineering Sciences between the medical and surgical departments of the University Hospital and the School of Engineering Sciences at Southampton University along with the Department of Computational Mathematics.

By facilitating co-operation and development between these diverse and varied departments, Professor Barrett has been able to establish and co-direct the Bioengineering Group within the School of Engineering Sciences to develop over 10 years to a unit consisting of eight permanent staff with a grant income of over £1.5 million per year and this has benefited from grants in the past from a number of medical and engineering funding bodies.

His interest in the predictive kinematics and the effect of knee joint design on function and wear is the key to the department's activity and has led to a number of novel knee joint designs as well as new co-operation in an unusual research collaboration between commercial companies in the orthopaedic sector, the engineering department and the surgical unit at the hospital.

This has been of benefit to all three groups involved and has led to some innovative and groundbreaking research in the use of dynamic finite analysis to predict the effect of design on wear and function within the human knee, this work is unique to Southampton. Professor David Barrett was awarded his Professorial Chair in 2002 on the basis of this development and contribution.

Currently, Professor David Barrett has developed and researched the concept of partial knee resurfacing with a new type of prosthesis, allowing some or all of the sections of the knee to be treated whilst maintaining the undamaged natural structures.

This more recent development is suitable for the younger, more active patient with early arthritis. The partial nature of this procedure gives rise to a much speedier recovery and much higher activity potential.

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