HRH visits British soldier Lt Alistair Spearing, undergoing ground-breaking treatment to fit prosthetic legs
On 7 May 2015, Macquarie University Hospital, Australia’s first and only private not-for-profit teaching hospital on a university campus, was honoured by a visit from Prince Harry.
His Royal Highness visited Macquarie University Hospital to meet Lieutenant Alistair Spearing, a 31-year-old British soldier who lost both of his legs above the knee in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2011. Lieutenant Spearing travelled across the world to the osseointegration clinic at Macquarie University Hospital for groundbreaking treatment from orthopaedic surgeon, Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis.
Macquarie University Hospital CEO Carol Bryant said the team was thrilled by the visit. “We’re very proud of the groundbreaking work being carried by Associate Professor Al Muderis. Our approach to treatment is to combine the best available knowledge and expertise to ensure patients like Lt Spearing receive the best possible treatment, compassion, support and care.”
Lt Spearing underwent a bilateral single stage osseointegration on 15 April. Osseointegration is where an implant is inserted into an amputee’s residual limb. When integrated with the bone, it allows for a simple, quick and safe connection between the stump and prosthesis. This provides amputees with greater mobility, comfort and quality of life.
On 28 April, Lt Spearing had his new robotic legs fitted and is undergoing daily physiotherapy. He started on crutches on 1 May and is now walking short distances.
Associate Professor Al Muderis, who treated Lt Spearing, is a leading orthopaedic hip and knee surgeon and osseointegration specialist in Australia. The osseointegration clinic at Macquarie University Hospital is fast becoming a world leader in this new technique to provide greater support and mobility for amputees.
Associate Professor Al Muderis is one of just a handful of surgeons worldwide who has special expertise in trans-femoral and trans-humeral amputations and people travel from all over the world for treatment. He has performed 115 such operations — the world’s largest number by a single surgeon.