October 23rd, 2019

Basil Boyd’s name can be found in the record books as a pioneer in orthopedic surgery techniques, but his legacy lives on in a new generation of physicians.

Since 1985, the Basil Boyd Award has been presented to an orthopedic surgery resident during Oscar Miller Day in Charlotte, NC. 2019 was no different.

For those who knew Basil Boyd, an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in both Foot and Ankle and Spine, it makes sense that a research award would someday bear his name. “Dr. Boyd was one of the stalwarts of the Miller Clinic transforming it into one of the premier orthopedic groups of the Southeast,” Dr. Bruce Darden said as he introduced the award. “Dr. Boyd had a keen interest in research.”

Dr. Darden, of the OrthoCarolina Spine Center, was once a student of Dr. Boyd’s then a colleague in the 1980s and reflects fondly on his mentor, “The interest that he instilled in research especially the first two years of the Basil Boyd research award, where Dr. Bob Anderson and myself took home the first two awards. We both followed in Dr. Boyd’s specialties and both became Directors of the Research Advisory Committee for OCRI.”

Each year, residents from across the southeast submit research abstracts for consideration as it relates to the specific orthopedic specialty hosting Oscar Miller Day. Guest speakers serve as the judge as residents present their research to a hotel ballroom packed with medical professionals.

On October 4, 2019, three such residents were selected to give their speeches during the 39th Annual Oscar Miller Day Research Symposium:

  • David Macknet, MD presenting “Liposomal Bupivivaine for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Does Not Effectively Decrease Post-Operative Pain”
  • Fielding Callaway, MD presenting “Skull Clamp Application: A Safe Team-Based Approach and Literature Review”
  • Nicholas Johnson, MD presenting “Comparison of Subcutaneous Fat Thickness in the Lumbar Spine Related to BMI Between Males and Females.”

At the end of the day, it was Dr. Nicholas Johnson from the Atrium Health Department of Orthopedic Surgery that took home the top prize.

“I was extremely honored.” Dr. Johnson said after winning the 2019 Basil Boyd Award. “It is important to me to participate in research to ultimately help guide treatment for patients.”

Johnson’s research looked at the depth of lumbar fat thickness on MRI and how it correlates with Body Mass Index (BMI) of patients. “Lumbar fat thickness has been shown to be a risk factor for infection after lumbar back surgery so we wanted to look at how it correlated with BMI when measured on MRI,” Dr. Johnson explains. “We hope that we can validate using this as a modifier for predicting surgical site infection as opposed to BMI alone.”

Dr. Boyd is a legend among the clinic halls at OrthoCarolina and you can say he was passionate in many areas of his life, especially as the team physician for Davidson College athletics. “He may have been the only team physician in the country who has accumulated both unsportsmanlike conduct on the football sidelines as well as a technical foul on the basketball court,” Darden recounts.

His legacy and enthusiasm for orthopedic research will live on through the Basil Boyd Resident Research Award for many years to come.