The Hong Kong Operation
In 1951, A.R. Hodgson arrived to head the newly created Orthopedic and Trauma Unit within the Department of Surgery, which was upgraded to a full department a decade later. Hodgson and his team developed a surgical technique called anterior spinal fusion for the treatment of tuberculosis of the spine, a common ailment in those days. The surgery, first developed in 1955, proved a great success and became known as the “Hong Kong Operation.” It was revolutionary in that, up to that time, the spine had been approached surgically from the back while this called for operating on the spine from the front. It was much more effective than other ways of treating tuberculosis of the spine and put Hong Kong on the world map of orthopedic surgery.