Cardiff, Wales—A senior orthopedic surgeon at the University Hospital of Wales has pioneered a new technique—inspired by hair plaiting—for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate knee ligament.
John Fairclough, MD, was looking for a solution to the difficulty of repairing damaged knee ligaments and strengthening the tendons between the femur and the tibia. Inspiration came from an unexpected source: while watching his wife plait the hair of his 12-year-old daughter, Fairclough recognized the advantages of plaiting four strands of tendons together. However, creating a four-strand plait seemed beyond the skill of his wife or others he consulted.
Fitzpatrick M. New Twist in Knee Repair. JAMA. 2000;283(10):1278. doi:10.1001/jama.283.10.1278-JMN0308-2-1