To further the understanding and dissemination of fundamental research into spinal disorders DISCS’ has created an annual lectureship at which the world’s most eminent researchers, physicians and surgeons are invited to speak. Named after the founder of DISCS, this annual lectureship is one of the most prestigious invitations in the orthopaedic community.


12th Henry Crock Lecture was entited ''Errors in Surgical Management of Back Pain in the Past''

Held on the 3rd November 2017 and was given by Professor Robert C Mulholland, the Spinal Surgeon Emeritus Nottingham University Hospital.

11th Henry Crock Lecture was entitled ''New Trends in Communication: Improving the Consultation Experience''

Held on the 4th November 2016.

Lisa is an associate professor at the University of Southampton and consultant physiotherapist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. She currently holds a National Institute for Health Research senior clinical lectureship, focussing on researching the communication and decision-making that occurs during consultations between physiotherapists and people with back pain. Lisa was awarded a Fellowship by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in 2013 for her work as a leader, clinician, researcher and educator. She is the current President of the Society for Back Pain Research and last month was elected to the Membership Committee of Eurospine.

Communication impacts upon every clinical encounter, and has been described as ‘The most important aspect that health professionals have to master’. Lisa drew on her research improving communication and patient experience in consultations between physiotherapists and people with back pain where, in a cross-sectional study and a longitudinal study. She visited patients at home, observed their initial physiotherapy consultations and interviewed patients and physiotherapists, generating over 100 audio-recordings. This work enabled the content of back pain consultations to be measured and categorised for the first time in the musculoskeletal physiotherapy setting and showed that experienced clinicians ask more about the emotional aspects of back pain than less-experienced staff. Further work is underway looking at expectations, perceptions of diagnosis and how fears and concerns are expressed. Effective communication impacts upon the outcome and experience for every patient presenting with back pain. Investing time in further developing communication skills should be an on-going priority for all clinicians to help ensure patients feel valued and heard.

10th Henry Crock Lecture was presentation orientated.

Held on the 30th September 2015.

Research Presentations:

Investigating mechanisms of low back pain.

Investigating the mechanisms of needle injury to the disc.

Thermally triggered injectable hydrogel which induces mesenchymal stem cell differentiation to promote regeneration of the intervertebral disc.

A Novel Approach to treat Chronic Low Back Pain patients.

9th Henry Crock Lecture was entitled ''Chronic low back pain is an inevitable and untreatable consequence of Western society''

Held on the 24th September 2014.

There were outstanding talks by Dr le Maître, Reader from Sheffield Hallam University, on new developments in stem cell research with proposals to deliver novel therapies for disc pain. This was followed by a talk by Paul Strutton Senior lecturer from Imperial College London, who had just been awarded the presidents for medal excellence in teaching, on the role of muscle interaction and the central nervous system particularly in back pain. Both speakers had been funded by DISCS

John O’Dowd spinal surgeon and President of the Society of Back Pain Research, delivered a hugely enjoyable and a provocative lecture on the role of surgery in non-specific low back pain, emphasising the need for biopyschosocial management and questioning role of surgical treatment.
After the lecture, the audience which was mixed of both lay and heath service professionals took part in lively debate on the need for more research and activity in this area of low back pain.

8th Henry V Crock Lecture entitled “Engineering, Physics, The Spine and Back Pain” March, 2010

Held on the 13th November 2013.

We were extremely fortunate that this lecture was given by
Professor David Hukins, Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the
School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Birmingham. Professor
Hukins is Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Engineering, where he was
formerly Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering. He is also visiting
Professor at Imperial College, Associate Professor at Xi’an Jiatong
University, and Associate Researcher at the University of Nottingham.

The fascinating lecture was be preceded by a presentation by Dr
Christine le Maitre, whose work at Sheffield is to identify
differential intracellular signalling pathways between catabolic and
anabolic actors in the intervertebral disc is part funded by DISCS. There
was wine and canapés after the main lecture and networking.

We were joined by academics, physicians, surgeons, therapists and funders.

7th Henry V Crock Lecture entitled from Bastion to Birmingham

Messages for Civilian Trauma Practises, was delivered at Imperial College London by Professor Sir Keith Porter on the 26th September 2012

Professor Porter is professor of Clinical Traumatology at the University of Birmingham and was knighted for his services to the armed forces.

He also heads the National Centre for Research into the Treatment of Trauma

His lecture which revealed how the military cares for its injured soldiers really did give insight as to how civilian practises could be improved when patients had life threatening injuries.

Teaching soldiers to look after each other when injured in combat, combined with rapid and skilled transfer of the inured soldier to a hospital equipped to deal with serious injuries had made an enormous difference to the injured soldier’s survival.

These lessons could also be learnt in NHS with senior staff being involved early on in the management of the injured patient especially following trauma to the spine.

The lecture was received with enthusiasm by an audience which was a mixture of health care professionals and lay members of the who supported DISCS.

Prior to this outstanding lecture Dr Christine Le Maître senior lecturer in molecular biology at Sheffield Hallam University gave a fascinating over view of her research which had been funded by DISCS.

This work which studies degenerate discs as a cause of back pain examined the effects of different intracellular signalling pathways and how they are activated by both catabolic and anabolic factors in the degenerate intervertebral disc. By these studies it is possible not only to understand the process of disc degeneration but also to develop selected therapeutic approaches to help patients who suffer from back pain.

6th Annual Henry V Crock Lecture

Jeremy Fairbank is Professor of Spinal Surgery at Oxford University and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Oxford.

He studied medicine at Cambridge University and at St. Thomas’s Hospital London and trained as an orthopaedic surgeon in London on the St Bartholomew’s Hospital programme and was a spinal fellow at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital Oswestry where he established the Oswestry Disability Index. This index is now used worldwide for assessing back pain and the results of treatment of back pain.

Jeremy Fairbank was initially appointed Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Birmingham before joining the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre at Oxford in 1989. His research interests are in the effectiveness of different treatments for degenerative diseases of the spine.

Professor Fairbank has published widely on all aspects of spinal disorders and treatment of back pain and he led an MRC study into the effectiveness of spinal fusion in patients with low back pain.

Professor Fairbank will be addressing the subject of:

“Have advances in spinal surgery made any differences to the outcomes?”

5th Annual Henry V Crock Lecture

The 2010 Henry V Crock lecture was delivered by Alison McGregor, Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics at Imperial College London and head of the Human Performance Group.

Professor McGregor leads a programme of research into rowing performance and with the GB rowing team she is continuing studies in preparation for 2012 Olympic Games.

Alison is an investigator in the Medical Engineering Solutions in Osteoarthritis Centre of Excellence which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the ESPRC.

Professor McGregor is President Elect of the Society for Back Pain Research and is on the executive committee of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.

4th Annual Henry V Crock Lecture

The 2009 Henry V Crock lecture entitled “Technology and Surgery” was delivered by Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham KBE on Thursday 29 October 2009 at Imperial College, London. Professor Darzi is a special adviser to Government on health, and currently holds the Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London where he is head of Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics.

3rd Annual Henry V Crock Lecture

The 2008 Henry V Crock lecture was delivered by Professor Keith Luk, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at Hong Kong University. The subject of his lecture was Intervertebral Disc Transplantation. This fascinating lecture was given at Brunel University on 1st October 2008 at the beginning of the 2008 spinal course at Brunel University and Imperial College London.

2rd Annual Henry V Crock Lecture

The 2007 Henry V Crock lecture was delivered by Dr Leonard Fass, Director Academic Relations GE Healthcare, on the 10th October 2007 at Imperial College London. The subject was A Journey Around The Spine and was centred around the amazing ability of modern imaging especially MRI to evaluate and understand the process of spinal diseases, particularly the importance of improved visibility to the detection and understanding of the biochemistry of the intervertebral disc.

Inaugural Henry V Crock Lecture

The inaugural lecture, held in conjunction with Imperial College and the Institute of Musculoskeletal Surgery on 6th September 2006, was given by Harry Crock himself, entitled “Reflections on 50 years in Orthopaedics”. The event attracted a large and international audience, and was poignant, amusing, informative, and ultimately challenging in Mr Crock’s call for the percentage of spinal trauma’s resulting in paralysis to be dramatically reduced, an outcome he believes is attainable.