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ISPO mourns loss of Professor Kingsley Peter Robinson

It is with great sadness that we would like to inform you of the passing of Professor Kingsley Robinson on 3rd August 2021. Professor Robinson led the Amputee Service at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, London for many years until his retirement in 1997.

Dr Sooriakumaran, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine at Queen Mary’s for over 30 years provides a summary of Professor Robinson’s extensive clinical work.

Professor Kingsley Peter Robinson

A rehab minded vascular surgeon who was instrumental in setting high standards in amputation surgery.

Professor Robinson worked as a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and Queen Mary’s University Hospital from 1967 to 1997. He inspired the creation of a nationally funded 12 bedded Limb Surgery Unit (LSU) at Queen Mary’s University Hospital, dedicated for amputee management. The Unit was later renamed the Douglas Bader Unit (DBU) in 1998, which has national recognition. As a Director of the unit he spearheaded research projects working with the then Limb Fitting Centre (LFC) and Bioengineering Research and Development Unit (BRADU). He co-authored the Handbook of Amputation Surgery in 1978 which was used as the manual for good practice. In 1982 he researched and pioneered the skew flap amputation that transformed the quality of below knee amputation. The Robinson flap is now considered the international gold standard for below knee amputation surgery. He also published widely on other levels and outcomes of lower limb amputation.

Professor Robinson continued to work tirelessly to improve mobility and the quality of life of amputees. He led a group of clinicians and researchers to study Osseointegrated Prostheses for Rehabilitation of Amputee (OPRA), the pioneering Branemark Swedish method. He was successful in securing Department of Health funding and ethics approval for the first osseointegration programme in the UK. In 1999, he was appointed Visiting Professor to the Biomedical Engineering Centre, University of Surrey. Young and active amputee patients who were unable to use prostheses with conventional suspension benefited immensely from the OPRA technique. The expertise on OPRA in the UK was very limited and Professor Robinson dedicated his retirement to closely follow up these patients.

Professor Robinson performed and taught amputation to be a ‘Reconstruction Surgery’ for prosthetics rather than the traditional ablative approach. He is recognised as the surgeon who transformed amputation surgery with reduced complications and improved quality of life. His bedside manner, clinical acumen, meticulous surgical technique, teaching skills, research and dedication to improve rehabilitation outcomes were admirable and an inspiration to all who had the pleasure of working alongside him.

Dr S Sooriakumaran FRCS FRCP

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