Philippa Ann Rust

Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Consultant Hand Surgeon

Philippa Ann Rust

Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Consultant Hand Surgeon

  • Anatomy
  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Hooper Hand Unit, St John's Hospital, Howden Road West

Post Code
EH54 6PP

Philippa graduated from Guys and St Thomas' Medical School, University of London, following which she pursued a surgical career in London. Inspired by many great consultant trainers, as an SHO she decided to follow Orthopaedic training. But, before taking up a Registrar training post, she spent between 2000 – 2002 doing full time MD research into Tissue Engineering of Bone at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, University College London. Her thesis on this work entitled: ‘Tissue engineering bone using Mesenchymal Stem Cells’ earned her an MD (Doctor of Medicine) from UCL in 2003. Her research showed that Mesenchymal Stem Cells could be isolated from bone marrow aspirates taken from patients and then stimulated to grow on hydroxyapatite scaffolds and differentiate into osteoblasts to form a bone block. During this time, Philippa designed a novel bioreactor to enhance this process. This research resulted in several peer-review journal papers, international presentations and guest lectures for Philippa, as well as winning her prizes in UK and abroad. After Philippa finished her MD, she returned to surgical training, but continued to be involved with the research group in Stanmore where she acted as co-supervisor to a subsequent PhD student who continued her work and demonstrated that this tissue engineered bone could be implanted into sheep animal models, which was confirmed through in vitro findings. 

Early on during Philippa’s Surgical Registrar training, she elected to sub-specialise in Hand and Wrist Surgery, struck by the intricacy of the anatomy and the importance of hand function to patients’ daily lives. After gaining her FRCS(Tr & Orth), Philippa became one of the first two Hand Surgeons to be awarded the Diploma of Hand Surgery by the British Society for Surgery of the Hand/ University of Manchester. She finished her training through completing Hand Surgery fellowships at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Hand Unit (London), the Windsor Hand Clinic (Berkshire), The Plastic Microsurgery Bernard O’Brien Institute (Melbourne, Australia) and at Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane, Australia). She is now an examiner for the Diploma of Hand Surgery.

Philippa returned to the UK in 2010 to take up her Consultant post, developing the Hooper Hand Unit in the Plastic Surgery Department of St John’s Hospital (Livingston) and with the Orthopaedic Unit at the Royal Infirmary (Edinburgh); her practice now consists wholly of Hand and Wrist Surgery.

Philippa has continued to be involved in clinical research at University of Edinburgh and, in 2013, she was awarded an Honorary Senior Clinical Lectureship recognising her input. More recently she has also developed close links with Anatomy, University of Edinburgh, supervising 6 MSc students and 1 PhD student to date.

Philippa’s current research interests include:

  • Tissue engineering tendon
  • Carpal biomechanics in a cadaveric model using a custom-designed jig
  • Assessing the anatomy and management of base of thumb arthritis 
  • Patient outcome data after Hand Surgery
  • Measuring Dart Thrower’s Motion in the wrist 

Teaching overview

Philippa enjoys being involved in the innovation, development and evolution of teaching, through supervising under and post-graduate Students, appreciating the importance of not only training the Doctors, Surgeons and Scientists of the future, but also recognising that teaching stimulates and furthers her own knowledge.

Course innovation:

  • Co-founder of The Imperial FRCS(Orth) Clinical and Viva Revision Course. Having set up this course, Philippa successfully delivered the course each year (October 2007/ 2008/ 2009) in three hospitals (Charing Cross, Chelsea & Westminster, St Mary’s Hospitals) with a full faculty of 38 and student complement of 16. The course still runs annually and is in its 12thyear. 
  • Co-convener and developer of Edinburgh Hand Surgery Course, which runs annually at RCSEd

Current teaching roles:

  • Edinburgh International Trauma Course Faculty, annually since 2015.
  • Edinburgh Hand Surgery Course Faculty, annually at RCSEd since 2011
  • Lead for Hand Module of Trauma and Orthopaedics Surgical ChM online Course RCSEd/ University of Edinburgh, having written the course material in 2013 and taught on the course annually since.

Awarded Tutor of the Year for teaching on ChM in 2018.

  • St Thomas’ Hand Trauma Course Faculty, annual with cadaver teaching 
  • Member of Faculty of Surgical Trainers, RCSEd, since 2016.
  • Assigned Educational Supervisor for Core Trainees at St John’s Hospital, since 2014.
  • Member of Orthopaedic Training Committee, South East Scotland
  • Clinical Supervisor for ST and CT trainees in Plastic Surgery at St John’s Hospital

Relevant research supervision experience

  • Anatomy, University of Edinburgh MSc student projects - supervised for 6 students, resulting in successful dissertation projects with frequent distinction marks, annually 2013 - present.
  • PhD student, funded by a grant from Orthopaedic Research UK 'Establishing an in vitro model for investigating flexor tendon to bone repair'. 
  • Supervised surgical trainee papers for publication, and ongoing departmental audits, which have been undertaken from 2010 to date.
  • Supervised Intercalated medical student BSc project and SSC4 projects for University of Edinburgh Medical Students. Elective Students from other Scottish Universities have chosen to visit the Hand Unit and Philippa has supervised many projects, mostly result in journal paper publications.

Training in teaching:

  • IST training, RSCEd, 2018
  • Training the Trainers Course, RCSEd, 2014
  • Teacher Education Scheme, Guy's Hospital Medical School, 1998



Book chapters

  1. Ahmed I. Rust P. Hand and Wrist. In: Sugand K, Gupte C, eds. ABC of Orthopaedics and Trauma. 1sted. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell; 2018. p. 47 – 58.
  2. Rust P, Birks M, Warwick D. Osteoarthritis of the Hand. In Warwick D, Dunn R, eds. Hand Surgery. 2nded. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2018. p. 269 – 292.

Peer review journal publications

  • Bond S, Rust P, Boland M. The accommodation of bone anchors within the distal phalanx for repair of flexor digitorum profundus avulsions. J Hand Surgery American. In press.
  • Rust PA, Manojlovich LM, Wallace R. A comparison of dart thrower's range of motion following radioscapholunate fusion, four-corner fusion and proximal row carpectomy. J Hand Surg Eur. 2018 Sept; 43(7): 718 – 722.
  • McCann MR, Rust PA, Wallace R. The Stabilising Effect of the Anterior Oblique Ligament to Prevent Directional Subluxation at the Trapeziometacarpal Joint of the Thumb: A Biomechanical Cadaveric Study. Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2018 March;6(2):105-111
  • G. Alanazi, J. Langschmidt, P. Rust. Investigation Into the Functional Anatomy of the Flexor Tendon Pulley System of the Hand, International Journal of Surgery.November 2017, 47:S68
  • Rust PA, Ek ETH, Tham SKY. Assessment of normal trapeziometacarpal joint alignment. J Hand Surg EurVol. 2017 Jul;42(6):605-609
  • Golay SK, Rust P, Ring D. The Radiological Prevalence of Incidental Kienböck Disease. Arch Bone Jt Surg. 2016 Jun;4(3):220-3.
  • Yeoman TF,Rust PA. A rugby player's finger injury. BMJ. 2016 Apr 13;353:i1911.
  • Cliff N, Rust P. A study to investigate intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of goniometric measurements of dart throwers motion of asymptomatic wrists. Hand Therapy. March 2016;22(2):58-64.

  • Yong, Li Yenn, Rust, Philippa. Use of a cancellous screw to allow single-piece carpal bone excision in proximal row carpectomy. Current Orthopaedic Practice. March/April 2015; 26: 199–200.
  • Rust PA, Philips SA. An unusual case of triangular fibrocartilage complex tear after a wrist-lock restraint. Ann Orthop Rheumatol. 2015; 3(4): 1059.
  • Goldie S, Sargeant H, Rust P, Anderson W. A footballer’s finger injury. BMJ. 2013; 15: 347.
  • Rust P, Tham S. Ligament Reconstruction of the Trapezial-metacarpal Joint for Early Arthritis: A Preliminary Report. J Hand Surgery American. 2011; 36(11):1748-52.
  • Rust PA, Bennett T. An uncommon cause of a common problem. Hand Surgery. 2009; 14(2-3): 131-134.
  • Rust PA, Eckersley R. Twenty questions on tendon injuries in the hand. Review article. Current Orthopaedics. 2008; 22(1): 17-24.
  • Rust PA, Tanna N, Spicer DDM. Repair of ruptured quadriceps tendon with Leeds-Keio ligament. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2008;16(4):370-372.
  • Rust PA, Kalsi P, Cannon SR, Briggs TW, Blunn GW. Will mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into osteoblasts on allograft? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2007;457:220-6.
  • Rust PA. The day I was involved in a major incident (St Mary’s Hospital, London bombings, 7 July 2006). British Orthopaedic Association. 2006;53.
  • Rust PA, Tingerides C, Cannon SR, Briggs TWR, Blunn GW. The effect of cryopreservation on the osteogenic potential of human mesenchymal stem cells. Cryoletters. 2006;27(1):17-28.
  • Korda M, Blunn GW, Phipps K, Rust PA, Di Silvio L, Coathup MJ, Goodship AE, Hua J. Can mesenchymal stem cells survive under normal impaction force in revision total hip replacements? Tissue Engineering. 2006;12(3):625-630.
  • O’Neil J, Rust P, Knight D, Ricketts D. Greens could be bad for you: A study of the inappropriate use of theatre greens. Southern Medical Journal. 2005;98(10):1053-4.
  • Rust P, Gill K. Dr Foster and the league tables. Fact or fiction? The Orthopaedic Association. 2004;30:55.
  • Keong N, Ricketts D, Alakeson N, Rust P. Pressure sores following elective total hip arthoplasty: pitfalls of misinterpretation.  Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons. 2004;84:174-176.
  • Rust P, Dewar D, Shenton K, Cummins R. Breast infection with Dirofilaria repens– first reported UK case. The Breast. 2002;11(2):203-204.
  • Rust P, Hunt I, Jowett A, Rottenberg G, Wallis D. Alcohol and X-rays in emergency department.Emergency Medicine Journal. 2001;18:460-461.
  • Rust P, Ashkan A, Ball C, Stapleton S, Marsh H. Two cases of Gliomatosis Cerebri. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2001;8(4):361-3.
  • Hunt I, Rust P. Toxicology screening in Trauma. Journal of Accident & Emergency Medicine. 2001;18:147.

Awards and Grants

  • Tutor of the Year, Orthopaedic ChM course, 2018
  • Orthopaedic Research UK Grant, awarded 2016 for PhD student tissue engineering tendon
  • British Association of Hand Therapists Grant, awarded 2015
  • Australian Orthopaedic Association Research Trust Grant, awarded March 2009
  • Lipmann Kessel first prize, Charing Cross Hospital, March 2003
  • St Mary’s Christmas Presentations third prize, December 2003
  • Bone Society Conference prize abstract, Maastricht Netherlands, October 2003
  • Culyer Research Fund, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, July 2000
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, awarded at Buckingham Palace, July 1994