1929 - 2012 (83 years)
||Alan Justin Greenway Howse [1, 2, 3] |
||Abt May 1929
||Hendon RD, Middlesex 
||13 May 1929
||Stanmore, Middlesex 
||Alan J G Howse [4, 5] |
||Justin Howse [1, 6] |
||Between 2002 and 2003
||39 Sandy Lodge Road, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire 
||11 Whyke Road, Chichester, West Sussex 
||27 Dec 2012 
- See also http://livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk/biogs/E003598b.htm
Obit from the Daily Telegraph, 2013 Feb 4
Justin Howse, who has died aged 83, was the foremost orthopaedic surgeon to the dance world, and the preserver of many a stellar performing career, including those of Margot Fonteyn and Judi Dench.
He used his pioneering approach with equal success to treat the injuries of Surrey county cricketers, badminton players and orchestral musicians, prompting a new awareness that these professions required specialist medical support. A strict believer in good technique, he held that even the most rigorous dance, music and sport, if practised and taught with proper understanding of the body, should not lead to injury.
He also broke with conventional orthopaedic thinking by often recommending physiotherapy and better training for a patient, rather than surgery. Indeed, as Emeritus Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Central Middlesex Hospital, Howse was sought out by a wide range of performers and athletes who found that his approach reduced the trauma and uncertainty of operations, and enabled them to learn to avoid the causes of injury instead.
Howse was able to restrain his patients from premature returns to the stage. A recovering Judi Dench, for example, pulled out of the starring role of Grizabella in the original 1981 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats on his advice. He also refused to perform a risky operation that Margot Fonteyn requested on an injury, saying he did not wish to be known as the surgeon who ended the ballerina’s career.
Alan Justin Greenway Howse was born on May 13 1929 at Stanmore, Middlesex, the elder child of the engineer Henry Howse and grandson of the Guy’s Hospital consulting surgeon Sir Henry Howse, President of the Royal College of Surgeons. His mother Dorothy’s uncle was the physicist Lord Kelvin.
Justin attended Uppingham School, Rutland, and was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps for his National Service, which sponsored his medical training at Middlesex Hospital. After his first job, at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, he moved into orthopaedics and in 1966 became consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Central Middlesex and St Vincent’s Orthopaedic Hospital, Eastcote, specialising in lumbar and major joint surgery. A keen DIY man, he took what he called a carpenter’s interest in artificial joints, and invented the Howse Hip, a new type of hip replacement incorporating plastics along with metal.
A keen Highland dancer from boyhood, due to his Scottish mother, Howse danced well enough to be regularly hired at Hogmanay gatherings during his early career, and would bring along his personal piper. The fees were essential to his family finances, he said, but the dancing also informed the direction he took professionally - though, having inherited his engineer father’s mindset, he said it was the mechanics of the dancing body that primarily interested him.
In 1966 he became orthopaedic consultant to the Royal Ballet and its school, where he soon became convinced that dance injuries were largely the result of faulty technique and training. He maintained: “In an effort to prevent injuries, all ballet teachers should have a simple basic knowledge of anatomy.” In his capacity as the Royal Ballet School’s orthopaedic consultant, he also vetted the physical suitability of every child applying to enter the school and is said to be a model for the doctor shown in the film Billy Elliott.
During the 1970s Howse’s caseload was influenced by the rise of West End musicals and changes in British ballet to embrace contemporary European trends, which placed heavier demands on the range and versatility of dancers. As well as Fonteyn, he regularly treated other leading ballet stars, such as Wayne Sleep, Merle Park and Deborah Bull. He was also the first name called upon by Cameron Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber productions to treat injured performers.
In 1980 Howse founded Britain’s first specialist dance injury centre, the Remedial Dance Clinic in Harley Street . In 1988 he wrote Dance Technique and Injury Prevention (now retitled Anatomy, Dance Technique and Injury Prevention), with the aid of the Royal Ballet physiotherapists Shirley Hancock (for the first two editions) and Moira McCormack (for the third and fourth). The book, which addressed specific conditions and established the importance of a well-understood diet and proper body balance, is still considered key to good dance practice. So impressive was his grasp of classical ballet’s demands on the body that the Royal Ballet’s founder, Dame Ninette de Valois, recommended in the book’s foreword that choreographers should study it before thinking up some of their steps.
Howse successfully used his therapeutic approach with musicians and sportspeople too, serving as orthopaedic consultant to Surrey County Cricket Club, the Badminton Association of Great Britain and the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, as well as the Royal Academy of Dance, the English National Ballet company and school, and other ballet schools.
He founded the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, and was one of its first co-presidents - in 2010 he was awarded the association’s Lifetime Service Award. He was also a leading light of the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, as trustee and medical adviser.
In 2004 he was elected an honorary fellow of the Institute of Sports and Exercise Medicine, and in 2009 an honorary member of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain. He was also patron of the West Midlands Youth Ballet.
While training at the Middlesex in 1953, Justin Howse married nursing sister Sherley Fawkner, who survives him with their four children.
Justin Howse, born May 13 1929, died December 27 2012
||9 May 2021 |
||Henry Arthur Greenway Howse, b. 7 Apr 1899, St George, Hanover Square, Belgravia, London , d. Abt Nov 1977, Watford RD, Hertfordshire (Age 78 years) |
||Elizabeth Helen Clark, b. 24 Jun 1902, d. Abt May 1976, Marylebone RD, London (Age 73 years) |
||Abt Feb 1927
||Bromley RD, Kent 
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- [S995] Daily Telegraph, 2013 February 4.
- [S1877] Royal College of Surgeons, livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk, http://livesonline.rcseng.ac.uk/biogs/E003598b.htm.
- [S810] Electoral Roll.
- [S476] BMD register (England & Wales) - births - multiple sources.
available online from various sources
- [S475] BMD register (England & Wales) - marriages - multiple sources.
available online from various sources
- [S510] Birth record - daughter.