Keith Willett

Keith Willett

Professor Keith Willett

Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery


Professor Willett graduated in medicine from Charing Cross Hospital Medical School (University of London) in 1981 and completed his Specialist Higher Surgical Training in Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery in 1991. He then did a Clinical / Research Trauma Fellowship at the renowned Sunnybrook Trauma Centre in Toronto, Canada.

He has been in clinical practice as a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford since 1992. He co-founded the unique consultant delivered Oxford Trauma Service in 1993 and his clinical practice has been exclusively with the immediate treatment, rehabilitation and reconstructive surgery of patients sustaining musculo-skeletal and soft tissue injuries. Unlike most orthopaedic surgeons, his practice is dedicated to those patients who have sustained injuries. His practice reflects Oxford’s role as a regional and national referral centre for complex trauma and multiply injured patients.

He also held a consultant appointment at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford in post-injury reconstruction surgery and was an Honorary Senior Clinical Lectureship in Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery until 2004 when he was elected as Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery in the University of Oxford. He has extensive experience of trauma care, service redesign and healthcare management. In 2009 he was appointed by the Government’s Department of Health as the National Clinical Director for Trauma Care and was charged with developing and implementing government policy across the NHS to radically improve the care of older people with fragility hip fractures and to introduce Regional Trauma Networks and Major Trauma Centres. By 2012 both reorganisations and care pathways were successfully in place across England. In 2012 Professor Keith Willett was appointed as National Director for Acute Episodes of Care to the NHS England and is now seconded full-time from the University.

Related Research and Teaching:

Since 1992 he has been a regular faculty member and lectures each year on national and international orthopaedic trauma surgery courses at both basic and advanced level; he is also internationally sought after to teach on clinician-led health management.

Professor Willett has a particular interest and has published research relating to the care of the multiply injured patient, acetabular and pelvic fractures, fractures in the elderly, limb fracture surgery, fracture biomechanics, accident prevention and clinical outcome studies of orthopaedic trauma surgery techniques. In 2003 he founded the Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education focusing on outcomes of treatment in the injured patient and established the Oxford Trauma Research Group. His recent major research grants relate to the study of ankle fractures in older people and platelet rich plasma as an accelerant of tendon healing.


View recent publications. Arranged by year. Sorted by date of publication. Sort by title? Where possible, links point to PubMed. Click icon to switch to Europe PubMed Central UK PubMed Central icon


  1. Shipman A, Alsousou J, Keene DJ, Dyson IN, Lamb SE, Willett KM et al. Quantitative biomechanical comparison of ankle fracture casting methods. Biomedizinische Technik. Biomedical engineering. 2015 Jun; 3(60): 263-267. doi: 10.1515/bmt-2014-0069


  1. Keene DJ, Williamson E, Bruce J, Willett K, Lamb SE. Early Ankle Movement Versus Immobilization in the Postoperative Management of Ankle Fracture in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2014 Aug: 1-40
  2. Cole E, Davenport R, Willett K, Brohi K. The burden of infection in severely injured trauma patients and the relationship with admission shock severity. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Jan. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31829fdbd7
  3. Chesser T, Fox R, Harding K, Barnfield S, Halliday R, Greenwood R et al. The administration of intermittent parathyroid hormone affects functional recovery from pertrochanteric fractured neck of femur: A protocol for a prospective mixed method pilot study with randomisation of treatment allocation and blinded assessment (FRACT. BMJ Open. 2014; 1(4). doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004389
  4. Willett K, Keene DJ, Morgan L, Gray B, Handley R, Chesser T et al. Ankle Injury Management (AIM): design of a pragmatic multi-centre equivalence randomised controlled trial comparing Close Contact Casting to Open surgical Reduction and Internal Fixation in the treatment of unstable ankle fractures in patients > 60 years. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2014: 79. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-79


  1. Hamilton TW, Hutchings L, Alsousou J, Tutton E, Hodson E, Smith CH et al. The treatment of stable paediatric forearm fractures using a cast that may be removed at home: Comparison with traditional management in a randomised controlled trial. Bone Joint J. 2013 Dec; 12(95-B): 1714-1720. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.95B12.31299


  1. Roberts I, Perel P, Prieto-Merino D, Shakur H, Coats T, Hunt BJ et al. Effect of tranexamic acid on mortality in patients with traumatic bleeding: Prespecified analysis of data from randomised controlled trial. BMJ (Online). 2012 Oct; 7877(345). doi: 10.1136/bmj.e5839
  2. Wu O, Briggs A, MacIntyre K, Kemp T, Gray A, Rowley J et al. Mobile phone use for contacting emergency services in life-threatening circumstances. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2012 Mar; 3(42): 291-298. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2011.02.022
  3. Keene D, James G, Lamb SE, Walton J, Gray B, Coleman D et al. Factors associated with mobility outcomes in older people post-ankle fracture: An observational cohort study focussing on peripheral vessel function. Injury. 2012
  4. Ardolino A, Cheung CR, Sleat GKJ, Willett KM. Regional networks for children suffering major trauma. Emergency Medicine Journal. 2012


  1. Theodorides AA, Fishlock A, Mataliotakis GI, Giannoudis PV, Pollard TCB, Kelley T et al. Treatment of post-operative infections following proximal femoral fractures: Our institutional experience. Injury. 2011 Dec; SUPPL. 5(42). doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(11)70130-9
  2. Sleat G, Willett K. Evolution of trauma care in the UK: current developments and future expectations. Injury. 2011 Aug;42(8):838-40. Epub 2011 Jun 2. No abstract available
  3. Klenerman P, Webb A, McPherson T, Brennan N, Petrou A, Prassas E et al. Proceedings of Research in Clinical Practice 2010: Research in Clinical Practice was held at the Academic Centre of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, on Wednesday, 10 November 2010. QJM. 2011 Apr; 4(104): 345-364. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcq251
  4. O'Reilly D, El Turabi A, Coats T, Willett K. Trauma surgery: An opportunity and a challenge. INJURY-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE CARE OF THE INJURED. 2011 Feb; 2(42): 117-118. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2010.12.001
  5. Sleat KJ, Ardolino AM, Willett KM. Outcome measures in major trauma care: A review of current international trauma registry practice. Emergency Medicine Journal. 2011


  1. Thakar C, Alsousou J, Hamilton TW, Willett K. The cost and consequences of proximal femoral fractures which require further surgery following initial fixation. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2010 Dec;92(12):1669-77
  2. Vondy A, Willett K. Trauma care in England: London's trauma system goes live. Emerg Med J. 2010 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Butler DP, Anwar I, Willett K. Is it the H or the EMS in HEMS that has an impact on trauma patient mortality? A systematic review of the evidence. Emerg Med J. 2010 Sep;27(9):692-701. Epub 2010 Aug 2
  4. Willett K, Al-Khateeb H, Kotnis R, Bouamra O, Lecky F. Risk of mortality: the relationship with associated injuries and fracture treatment methods in patients with unilateral or bilateral femoral shaft fractures. J Trauma. 2010 Aug;69(2):405-10
  5. Butler DP, Willett K. Wii-habilitation: is there a role in trauma?. Injury. 2010 Jul;41(7):671-3
  6. Hamilton TW, Alsousou J, Willett KM. Do buckle fractures of the paediatric wrist require follow up?. EMERGENCY MEDICINE JOURNAL. 2010 May; 5(27): 413. doi: 10.1136/emj.2009.088625
  7. Morris C, Doll H, Theologis T, Wainwright A, Davis N, Churchman D et al. OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT PHASES OF THE OXFORD ANKLE FOOT QUESTIONNAIRE FOR CHILDREN. VALUE IN HEALTH. 2010 May; 3(13): A184. doi: 10.1016/S1098-3015(10)72900-4


  1. Morris C, Doll H, Davies N, Wainwright A, Theologis T, Willett K et al. The Oxford Ankle Foot Questionnaire for children: responsiveness and longitudinal validity. Quality of life research. 2009 Dec; 10(18): 1367-1376. doi: 10.1007/s11136-009-9550-7
  2. Hutchings L, Willett K. Cervical spine clearance in pediatric trauma: a review of current literature. J Trauma. 2009 Oct;67(4):687-91. No abstract available
  3. Hutchings L, Atijosan O, Burgess C, Willett K. Developing a spinal clearance protocol for unconscious pediatric trauma patients. J Trauma. 2009 Oct;67(4):681-6
  4. Khan MEA, Mathew S, Salam S, Lambert S, Price JD, Willett KM. Patient selection criteria for primary total hip arthroplasty in displaced intracapsular hip fractures: Are they appropriate?. European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. 2009 Oct; 5(35): 470-474. doi: 10.1007/s00068-009-8222-1
  5. Alsousou J, Thompson M, Hulley P, Noble A, Willett K. The biology of platelet-rich plasma and its application in trauma and orthopaedic surgery: a review of the literature. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2009 Aug;91(8):987-96. Review
  6. Willett K, Marsh D, Moran C, Giannoudis P, Bircher M. British Orthopaedic Association standards for trauma. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2009 Aug;91(8):985-6. No abstract available
  7. Morin AK, Willett K. The role of eszopiclone in the treatment of insomnia. Adv Ther. 2009 May;26(5):500-18. Epub 2009 Jun 2


  1. Leeson P, Al-Mousawi A, Timperley J, Mitchell AR, Willett K, Wilson N et al. Patent foramen ovale closure before orthopedic trauma surgery to reduce risk of recurrent systemic fat embolism. J Trauma. 2008 Aug;65(2):467-9. No abstract available
  2. Al-Khateeb H, Willett K. Sleeve fracture of the patella: an unusual mechanism of injury. J Trauma. 2008 Jul;65(1):E8-9. No abstract available
  3. Willett KM, Pandit H, Upadhyay A. Internal Versus External Fixation For Treating Distal Tibial Pilon Fractures In Adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008; 1


  1. O'Connor-Read L, Teh J, Willett K. Radiographic evidence to help predict the mechanism of injury of pediatric spiral fractures in nonaccidental injury. J Pediatr Orthop. 2007 Oct-Nov;27(7):754-7
  2. Tharmarajah P, Pusey J, Keeling D, Willett K. Efficacy of warfarin reversal in orthopedic trauma surgery patients. J Orthop Trauma. 2007 Jan;21(1):26-30


  1. Spiteri V, Kotnis R, Singh P, Elzein R, Madhu R, Brooks A et al. Cervical dynamic screening in spinal clearance: now redundant. J Trauma. 2006 Nov;61(5):1171-7; discussion 1177
  2. Kotnis R, David S, Handley R, Willett K, Ostlere S. Dynamic ultrasound as a selection tool for reducing achilles tendon reruptures. Am J Sports Med. 2006 Sep;34(9):1395-400. Epub 2006 Jun 26
  3. Madhu R, Kotnis R, Al-Mousawi A, Barlow N, Deo S, Worlock P et al. Outcome of surgery for reconstruction of fractures of the acetabulum - The time dependent effect of delay. JOURNAL OF BONE AND JOINT SURGERY-BRITISH VOLUME. 2006 Sep; 9(88B): 1197-1203. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.88B9.17588
  4. Pollard TCB, Newman JE, Barlow NJ, Price JD, Willett KM. Deep wound infection after proximal femoral fracture: consequences and costs. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2006 Jun; 2(63): 133-139. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2006.01.015


  1. Gwilym S, Howard DP, Davies N, Willett K. Harry Potter casts a spell on accident prone children. BMJ. 2005 Dec 24;331(7531):1505-6. No abstract available
  2. Auplish S, Pasapula C, Lo S, Willett K. The standard of care of trauma patients prior to inter-hospital transfer to a specialist trauma centre. ANNALS OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND. 2005 Nov; 6(87): 483
  3. Alam A, Willett K, Ostlere S. The MRI diagnosis and management of incomplete intertrochanteric fractures of the femur. JOURNAL OF BONE AND JOINT SURGERY-BRITISH VOLUME. 2005 Sep; 9(87B): 1253-1255. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.87B9.16558


  1. Harvie P, Gundle R, Willett K. Traumatic periprosthetic acetabular fracture: life threatening haemorrhage and a novel method of acetabular reconstruction. INJURY-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE CARE OF THE INJURED. 2004 Aug; 8(35): 819-822. doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(03)00218-3
  2. Bloomer R, Willett K, Pallister I. The stove-in chest: a complex flail chest injury. Injury. 2004 May;35(5):490-3
  3. Aslam N, Willett K. Functional outcome following internal fixation of intraarticular fractures of the distal humerus (AO type C). Acta Orthop Belg. 2004 Apr;70(2):118-22


  1. Price AJ, Willett K. Consultant and unit profiling to optimise higher surgical training in trauma and orthopaedics - The Oxford Model. Annals Royal College of Surgeons - Bulletin 2003;85:78-81


  1. Frederick K, Willett K, Bixby E, Orzel M-N, Stewart-Brown S. Will changing the emphasis from 'pulseless' to 'no signs of circulation' improve the recall scores for effective life support skills in children?. Resuscitation. 2002 Dec; 3(55): 255-261. doi: 10.1016/S0300-9572(02)00269-1


  1. Black JJM, Brooks RA, Willett K. Clearing the cervical spine in the unconscious trauma patient. EMERGENCY MEDICINE JOURNAL. 2001 May; 3(18): 233. doi: 10.1136/emj.18.3.233-a
  2. Deo SD, Tavares SP, Pandey RK, El-Saied G, Willett KM, Worlock PH. Operative management of acetabular fractures in Oxford. Injury. 2001; 7(32): 581-586. doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(00)00200-X


  1. Frederick K, Bixby E, Orzel M-N, Stewart-Brown S, Willett K. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the Injury Minimization Programme for Schools (IMPS). Injury Prevention. 2000 Jun; 2(6): 92-95. doi: 10.1136/ip.6.2.92
  2. Haikel S, Willett K. Traumatic rupture of the superior gluteal artery with a stable pelvic fracture. INJURY-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE CARE OF THE INJURED. 2000 Jun; 5(31): 383-386. doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(99)00292-2
  3. Palmer SH, Handley R, Willett K. The use of interlocked 'customised' blade plates in the treatment of metaphyseal fractures in patients with poor bone stock. Injury. 2000 Apr; 3(31): 187-191
  4. Cole AS, Hill GA, Theologis TN, Gibbons CLMH, Willett K. Femoral nailing for metastatic disease of the femur: a comparison of reamed and unreamed femoral nailing. INJURY-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE CARE OF THE INJURED. 2000 Jan; 1(31): 25-31. doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(99)00195-3


  1. Lockey AS, Handley R, Willett K. 'Clearance' of cervical spine injury in the obtunded patient. INJURY-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE CARE OF THE INJURED. 1998 Sep; 7(29): 493-497. doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(98)00107-7


  1. Williams A, Price N, Willett K. Epidural anaesthesia and urinary dysfunction: The risks in total hip replacement. JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE. 1995 Dec; 12(88): P699-P701