Established in 2008, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes those who have achieved academic excellence and made significant contributions to study of arthritic diseases of the hip, as well as the accomplishments of the distinguished persons who have created a lasting legacy in this field.

The Hip Society is honored to recognize the recipients of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Awards:  Robert B. Bourne, MD, FRCSC (O.C.) and Cecil H. Rorabeck, MD, FRCSC (O.C.)

About the Recipients

Drs. Bourne and Rorabeck trained in Canada but pursued international fellowship training in the treatment of hip disorders. They began their careers at London Health Sciences Centre, University Hospital (London, ON, Canada), where they continued to practice until their retirement. Both individuals took on roles as hospital Site Chiefs and Chairmen of The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Western University. Both gentlemen have been recognized by the University and the Department of Surgery with multiple teaching, academic and merit awards. The Dr. Cecil H. Rorabeck Award has been established for the best teacher in the operating room by the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Drs. Bourne and Rorabeck were outstanding teachers, having been involved in the residency training program at Western University their entire careers. They created an adult reconstruction program that has flourished into a global presence. The Rorabeck Bourne Joint Replacement Institute now comprises seven academic arthroplasty surgeons, all of whom are current members of The Hip Society. This unit performs thousands of primary and revision hip arthroplasty procedures every year, and continues to look after most hip arthroplasty related complications in Southwestern Ontario. It also trains seven national and international hip arthroplasty fellows every year.

Drs. Bourne and Rorabeck were the first to really design and execute randomized clinical research trials in hip arthroplasty. They also established a joint replacement database at our institution that has produced hundreds of hip arthroplasty papers. Together, they received The John Charnley Award (1985, 2001, and 2002), The Frank Stinchfield Award (1994) and The Otto Aufranc Award (1993) from The Hip Society. Between them, they have published over 500 peer-reviewed academic papers and 50 book chapters. They have presented countless abstracts and papers nationally and internationally on hip related subjects. Together, they secured over 5 million dollars in peer-reviewed research funding. Drs. Rorabeck and Bourne helped establish the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry; Dr. Bourne served as Chair of this Registry from 2000 to 2011.

Drs. Bourne and Rorabeck served as Presidents of the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society. Dr. Rorabeck served as President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association in 2002. Both individuals were active members of The Hip Society; Dr. Bourne served as President of The Hip Society in 1998. Fittingly, in 2012, both Drs. Rorabeck and Bourne were recognized together with the Order of Canada for their advancements in joint replacement procedures, which has improved the long-term outcomes of these surgeries for countless Canadians.

Together, Drs. Bourne and Rorabeck were involved in hip implant design and established humanitarian initiatives as founding members of Operation Walk Canada. This organization is a humanitarian not-for-profit volunteer medical service that provides hip and knee replacements to indigent patients in Guatemala and Ecuador. Drs. Bourne and Rorabeck have served as medical directors of their respective missions and continue to serve on the board of directors of this organization.

Past Recipients of the Award

  • 2021 Alan E. Gross, MD, FRCSC
  • 2019 John J. Callaghan, MD
  • 2018 Reinhold Ganz, MD, Professor Emeritus
  • 2016 Clive P. Duncan, MD, FRCSC
  • 2014 Chitranjan S. Ranawat, MD
  • 2013 Charles A. Engh, Sr, MD
  • 2012 Thomas H. Mallory, MD
  • 2010 Jorge O. Galante, MD
  • 2008 William H. Harris, MD