Mr Duncan Whitwell specialises in the treatment of hip and knee and orthopaedic oncology disorders. After graduating from Nottingham University, Mr Whitwell undertook his basic surgical training at Bristol Royal Infirmary; did his specialist training under the Oxford Region Orthopaedic Training Scheme and held the Queensland Orthopaedic Oncology Fellowship in 2004 before taking up his current post in 2005.
In his role as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Whitwell focuses on routine and complex hip and knee reconstructive joint replacement, performing in the region of 300 joint replacements every year, approximately a third of which are revision procedures. His caseload includes referrals from other revision hip surgeons based in southern England and these problematic cases often feature extreme bone and soft tissue damage and therefore demand advanced bone and soft tissue reconstruction techniques.
Demand for his services has seen Mr Whitwell develop a tertiary referral practice for complex revision joint replacements that require advanced reconstructive techniques for large bone loss, techniques he has refined through the treatment of patients with bone cancer, notably, in the pelvic area. International surgeons visit his practice to observe Mr Whitwell applying these techniques and he has been invited to perform complex orthopaedic operations in Malta, Sweden, Iceland, Holland, Pakistan and India.
The Oxford Sarcoma Service, which he joined in 2005 and where he is a lead consultant, has seen a subsequent 100% increase in patients treated, with expansion of the referral region. It is one of five nationally approved centres for the treatment of rare primary bone tumours and sarcomas and one of the world’s leading centres for the treatment of adults, adolescents and children with rare musculoskeletal disorders including primary malignant bone tumours and soft tissue sarcomas. The service sees 400 new patients each year from the UK and overseas including patients with primary bone and soft tissue sarcoma and metastatic disease.
He regularly lectures to international audiences on complex revision arthroplasty and orthopaedic oncology as well as speaking at national orthopaedic meetings. His work with undergraduates and postgraduates includes holding the post of Senior Lecturer on the UK Miller Orthopaedic Review Course which is held in Oxford annually and aims to train surgeons to a more advanced level.
Mr Whitwell has been Chair of the Sarcoma Tumour Group (TSSG) since 2007, where his main objective has been to ensure the service is compliant with National Sarcoma Guidelines.
In 2010, Mr Whitwell established a national Metal Hip Research Group, which he co-chairs, to coordinate research into the cause of early failure of metal on metal bearings and he lectures frequently on sarcoma and skeletal metastatic disease, to raise awareness about, and improve treatment of, these rare conditions.
Mr Whitwell was chosen to represent the British Orthopaedic Association on the prestigious ABC fellowship tour of premier orthopaedic departments in the USA in 2012. He has also established, chaired and runs seven annual oncology courses in Africa and Southern Asia in order to accelerate clinical organisation and specialisation in these regions.
He currently runs two fellowships: one UK-based and an international fellowship, which has had fellows from New Zealand, India, Qatar, Pakistan since its formation in 2012.