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Ian Nelson trained at Westminster Medical School in London and graduated in 1979. He trained in Orthopaedic Surgery at University College Hospital in London, and was a lecturer at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. In 1989 he was a paediatric and spine fellow at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital in Hong Kong. In 1992 he was appointed in Bristol and he now works at Southmead Hospital and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
His major areas of interest are the treatment of spinal deformities in children and adults and the management of disorders of the lumbar spine. He also treats spinal infections, trauma, and tumours. He has published and presented papers on bracing in scoliosis, anterior surgery for idiopathic scoliosis, the outcomes of infections of the spine, unusual fractures of the spine, the use of traction films in scoliosis, the outcome of pedicle screw constructs in scoliosis surgery, and disability in patients with degenerative changes in the lumbar spine. He is part of the Bristol group involved in research into scoliosis in a longitudinal cohort of children born in Bristol in the early 90s and funded by the BSRF.
Ian has been Secretary and President of the British Scoliosis Society, and has been Secretary of the British Association of Spine Surgeons. He is an active fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society and is chairman of the BSRF council.