Simon P Frostik 1955-2020
Simon P Frostick, was the Professor of Orthopaedics at Liverpool University and a leading light in the world of shoulder and elbow surgery. Very sadly he passed away on 8 February 2020, at the age of 65 years.
Simon was born in Kent and left Wellington School sixth form in 1972, in order to take up a place as an undergraduate at St Edmond Hall, Oxford University.
Simon from the very outset was committed to an academic career and having been elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1983, he was appointed as a clinical lecturer at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford.
In 1985, whilst in Oxford, he was appointed as Clinical Assistant to Professor G K Radda marking the start of a period of full time research utilising the techniques of magnetic resonance spectroscopy, to study muscle metabolism in both health and disease. This research led to the completion and successful defence of a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine (University of Oxford) entitled ‘Clinical and Experimental Aspects of Denervation and Reinervation’ and the award of a Hunterian Professorship at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1991.
In 1988, Simon moved to the University of Nottingham, working under the guidance of Professor W A Wallace. Initially this was as a lecturer but subsequently, as a senior lecturer and it was during this time, that Simon developed the specialist interest in shoulder and elbow surgery that was to last throughout his career.
In 1995, Simon and his family moved to Liverpool following his appointment as the Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Liverpool. Early on, he had the foresight to set up the Liverpool Upper Limb Unit as a centre of excellence for shoulder and elbow surgery. The unit has gone from strength to strength and now includes nine dedicated upper limb consultants, as well as three consultant physiotherapy practitioners.
Simon was always a pioneer of the multidisciplinary team approach and was keen to develop advanced practice in physiotherapy, working closely with his colleague, Jo Gibson.
He was extremely well published and had over 58 presentations to his name, many of those relating to shoulder and elbow surgery but, in addition, including other publications relating to peripheral nerve surgery. Simon had maintained an interest in peripheral nerve surgery dating back to his time as the Stanley Johnson Fellow in microsurgery in orthopaedics at Northwick Park Hospital in 1983. In addition, he developed a basic science research programme in Liverpool, working alongside his wife, Dr Margaret Roebuck (whom he had met as an undergraduate at Oxford University) looking at the molecular mechanisms of mesothelial cells in a variety of pathological conditions.
Simon was a keen educator and had been the training programme director for orthopaedics in the Mersey Region. He had served on and been vice chair for the Specialist Advisory Committee for trauma and orthopaedics and was chair of the British Orthopaedic Association Training Standards Committee and Curriculum Development Group. More recently, Simon had been working with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur where he had been working to design and implement a programme of post graduate training for Malaysia working with David Pitts.
In recognition of his international standing, Simon received a large number of honours. He was a corresponding member to the American Shoulder and Elbow Society and the Shoulder and Elbow Association of Australia. He had been awarded honorary life membership of the Indian Orthopaedic Association and he was a life member of the Greek Shoulder and Elbow Association.
Simon leaves behind a huge vacuum in orthopaedics in Liverpool. He will be sadly missed by colleagues and patients alike. Throughout his career, his priority was always to provide the best quality of care for his patients. He was an outstanding colleague and a trusted friend. He was never afraid to give an honest opinion, even if the answer might prove to be unpopular.
He is survived by his wife Margaret and their four daughters.
Professor Peter Brownson
DM FRCS ED FRCS (Tr & Orth)
Honorary Professor University of Liverpool
Past President British Elbow and Shoulder Society