Books by Bob

Keep an eye on this page for news about Bob’s first novel, Hip! All profits from sale of book will be will be donated to a charity in support of cancer research, patient care and education.

Coming soon: “Hip”

A novel by Bob Bell, MDCM, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, FRCSE (hon)

Dr. Andrei Kovalov, a brilliant but unscrupulous scientist, is at the top of his game working with the world’s premier hip replacement surgeon in Boston. The scientist has uncovered a major breakthrough in hip replacement design by coating the surface of a hip implant with a small molecule which encourages bone ingrowth into the implant. His team expects to sell millions of the new “super-B.I.G.” implant, which is going to create massive profits for the Boston medical industrial complex.

But Kovalov also knows from implanting the new device in arthritic dogs that the implant can cause very dangerous bone cancer two to three years after surgery. He has decided to hide and destroy this evidence.

Patrick Maloney certainly didn’t expect to end up in Boston. An unlikely circumstance elevated Maloney from a third-rate residency to a top job in international surgery in one of the premier hospitals in the world. When he discovers the cancer risk in the new “super-B.I.G.” implants, he’s not afraid to speak truth to power – even when his surgical future, as well as his relationship with the woman he has fallen in love with, are put at risk.

In a series of twists and turns, “Hip” is a journey through the Boston medical world as Patrick, and his mentor Sandy, work out a surprising solution that will delight the reader.

Trained as a bone cancer surgeon in Boston, Bob Bell takes us into the deep underworld of scientific corruption that could potentially hide lethal complications of implants that achieve approval by the federal regulator responsible for new surgical devices. The 510 k pathway to licence is predicated on simply demonstrating that a new device is similar in design to an implant already licensed for use without showing that it is either effective or safe.

More than 1 million Americans will get a joint replacement in the next year and this number is growing by 5% every year. The desire of middle-aged folks to avoid the disability caused by arthritis means that Americans are asking for surgery earlier and earlier in the course of their arthritic disease. However, as the popularity of the Netflix documentary “The Bleeding Edge” also shows, patients and doctors are becoming increasingly worried about the side effects of implanting various devices in the body for decades and concerned about the low bar for approval of new technology used by the federal regulator.

“Hip” takes these risks to a new level and shows how a new major advance could have lethal complications. Readers will be entertained, educated and frightened by the plausibility of what Kovalov could accomplish.

All profits from the book will be donated to a charity in support of cancer research, patient care and education.

Photograph: “Book” by Daniel Wehner. Used under Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 International. Image cropped from original.