Meet Richard

Richard

Walk for Wishbone Tauranga, 19 May 2019

Tauranga-based orthopaedic surgeon Richard Keddell is something of a Walk for Wishbone veteran. He has been involved in pretty much every walk since they began in 1995, including being national coordinator for many of them.Richard is a former president of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association (NZOA) and is now on the Wishbone Orthopaedic Research Foundation, which distributes funds that support and advance orthopaedic surgery in New Zealand.

He says his patients love taking part in the walk.

“They’re very enthusiastic about it. I’ve really encouraged them to do it because walking is so fundamental to a significant amount of orthopaedic work; often what we are doing is getting people to walk again. A fundraising walk like this is particular to our specialty, and makes a lot of sense.

“There are usually a number of orthopaedic surgeons at the walk – people love catching up with their surgeon in a social environment.”

Richard says the spot-prizes also go down well.

“There might be a prize for the person who has had the longest lasting joint replacement, or the most recent one. People appreciate the camaraderie that develops relative to the type of orthopaedic surgery they’ve had. There are also often displays of things such as new and old implants.”

Walk for Wishbone raises money for orthopaedic research, which Richard says is vital if we are to continue to develop and trial new and better surgical and treatment approaches and techniques.

“New Zealand has always been a been great contributor to orthopaedic research; including joint replacements, trauma and other orthopaedic conditions. We are well respected in the world for that. However, this vital research is becoming increasingly expensive.

“One of the newer things happening is multi-centre research. For example, there will be a trial on a new procedure, and surgeons in Toronto, London, Sydney and New Zealand will be involved in the same trial. If we are looking at an operation or procedure that we might do small numbers of; you can relatively quickly build up really good information. But it all costs money, and that’s why fund-raising events like the Walk for Wishbone are so important.”

Richard’s message to those who have had orthopaedic surgery, or who just might fancy doing something a bit different, is to give Walk for Wishbone a go.

“It’s a great opportunity to show off the benefits you’ve had from orthopaedic surgery and an opportunity to support further research in orthopaedic surgery, but it’s also a lot of fun.”

Richard will be at the Tauranga Walk for Wishbone, being held at Tauranga Domain on Sunday 19 May at 10am. There are also walks in Wellington, at Hataitai Park on Sunday 28 April at 2pm and at Auckland’s Eden Park on Sunday 26 May at 12 noon. More information is available on the Walk for Wishbone website: www.walkforwishbone.org.nz