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Charles A. Engh, Sr., M.D. – Retired 2010

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Dr Charles A. Engh Sr.Dr. Charles, as he was fondly called by his patients, pioneered the development of the porous-coated cementless implant for hips and knees, an innovation that has changed the nature of joint replacement surgery worldwide. He received his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College in North Carolina and attended medical school at the University of Virginia. He completed his orthopaedic residency at Johns Hopkins and a fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC.

He practiced at National Hospital for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation in Arlington, Virginia from 1972 through 1993, which was started by his father, Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic founder, Otto Engh. From 1993 until his retirement in 2010 he practiced at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Throughout his career he focused on patient care pathways to improve the quality and consistency of the hip replacement experience.

At the start of Dr. Charles’ practice he was one of 2 surgeons in the Washington, DC area with an FDA license to use bone cement. Failures of cemented implants fueled his desire to find another method. In 1985 his work with cementless femoral fixation led to the first implant approved by the FDA for use without cement.

Dr. Charles established the Anderson Orthopaedic Research Institute in 1972 which continues to provide valued research relating to total joint arthroplasty. Reviewing data collected by the research institute enabled him to understand what contributed to the success of hip replacement. He was the first in the country to have data on the outcomes from cementless hip implants. Throughout his career, the goal behind his research was to find a hip replacement that would serve patients for their entire lives.

Dr. Charles has been the winner of several prestigious awards including, the Hip Society’s John Charnley and Otto Aufranc awards, the AAHKS Lawrence Dorr award twice and most recently the 2013 Hip Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He has published over 190 articles in orthopaedic journals and 19 book chapters, as well as a book on joint replacement.

Along with his clinical and research work, he was instrumental in the development of the Anderson Clinic Post-Graduate Medical Education Foundation which has trained over 100 hip and knee arthroplasty fellows since 1983.

During his retirement, Dr. Charles’ hobbies focus on landscaping and sailing. He has won the Annapolis-Newport 450 mile race along with many more day and distance races. In the winter, after putting in the autumn series of bushes and trees, he cruises the Caribbean.

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