Mr. A. J. G. (Justin) Howse, MB BS FRCS FISEM
May 13, 1929 – December 27, 2012
Presented at the IADMS 20th Annual Meeting, October 28, 2010, Birmingham, UK
Mr. Justin Howse was educated at Uppingham School and at Middlesex Hospital, University of London. He served as Registrar in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at St. Richard’s Hospital, Chichester; as Orthopaedic Registrar at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospitals, London; and as Senior Orthopaedic Registrar at Middlesex Hospital, London. In 1966 he became Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Central Middlesex Hospital, London and St. Vincent’s Orthopaedic Hospital, Eastcote. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Howse began working as Orthopaedic Consultant to the Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School, taking over from Mr. Ivor Robertson.
In 1972, Mr. Howse published an article entitled "Orthopaedists Aid Ballet” in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, which is fascinating in its prescience. Building on the work of Mr. Robertson, Mr. Howse writes, "All injuries…are the result of faulty dance technique.” Then, in the space of twelve pages he discusses the athletic nature of dance, the types of injuries (from neck to foot), the methods of treatment, and the psychological aspects of rehabilitation. He goes on to say "in an effort to prevent injuries, all ballet teachers should have a simple basic knowledge of anatomy to enable them to understand more fully and appreciate an individual student’s difficulties.” In 1988, Mr. Howse provided a means to follow this recommendation; he published a book entitled Dance Technique and Injury Prevention. Now in its fourth edition (with the word Anatomy added at the beginning of the title), the book covers basic anatomy and physiology before discussing the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of dance injuries.
In 1980, Mr. Howse established the Remedial Dance Clinic (later the RDC Physiotherapy Clinic) on Harley Street in London. For the next twenty years ballet, contemporary, and musical theatre dancers – from London, the UK, and around the world – came for consultation and treatment. Physicians, surgeons, and physiotherapists from these same places came to observe Mr. Howse and learn about the care of dancers. It was eye-opening for visitors to observe a busy orthopaedic surgeon relating many injuries to dance technique, and rather than recommending surgery, working closely with physiotherapists and dance teachers to heal these injuries.
Over the years Mr. Howse also served as Orthopaedic Consultant to Surrey County Cricket Club, Badminton Association of Great Britain, The Royal Academy of Dance, The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, The English National Ballet Company and School, and many other ballet schools.
Mr. Howse was one of the founders of IADMS, served as the first Co-President (with Dr. Allan Ryan) from 1991 to 1993, and served on the Board of Directors from 1991 to 1997.
The International Association for Dance Medicine & Science is pleased to honor Mr. Justin Howse for his lifetime of service to dancers and to the dance medicine and science communities.