Founded in 1953 as a separate department of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is committed to delivering the highest quality of diagnostic and therapeutic patient care to both adults and children for a diverse spectrum of orthopaedic disorders. To this aim, the department seeks to meet the needs of 21st-century orthopaedic care not only by integrating the latest biological and technological advancements in orthopaedic science, but by leading the development of novel treatment modalities through distinguished basic science and clinical research programs. The department seeks to be a leader in educating the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons through its residency and fellowship training programs, which include comprehensive, in-depth exposure to all specialties of orthopaedic care and advanced surgical experience.
Founded in 1909 as a Division of General Surgery and subsequently named a separate department of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1953, this surgical specialty flourished initially under the direction of Drs. David Silver, Paul Steele, Albert Ferguson, and James Herndon. In 1998, Freddie H. Fu, MD was appointed chairman and awarded the David Silver Chair in orthopaedics. Through the years, the department has attained a national and international reputation for teaching and developing recognized leaders in orthopaedics. Many important contributions to advanced understanding of orthopaedic diseases have emanated from the department. The department's research budget has grown steadily, covering diverse but interrelated areas such as arthritis; cartilage metabolism; the bio-mechanics of soft tissue, implants, joint, and bones; gene therapy; robotics and computer-assisted surgery; and spinal deformity.
Under the prior leadership of Dr. Fu, a talented staff of established clinicians and scientists is furthering the department's international standing. The faculty is committed to providing excellence in clinical care, a focused education in various subspecialties, and cooperative participation in innovative research. Part-time faculty take a dynamic interest in teaching and providing clinical guidance in all orthopaedic areas and, in many instance, complement full-time faculty expertise in subspecialty areas. Continued expansion of the basic science faculty and development of a large facility for studying biomechanical and development aspects of musculoskeletal diseases have made this one of the premier programs in the country.
Since Dr. Fu's unfortunate passing in September 2021, Dr. William F. Donaldson has been appointed as Interim Chair. Dr. Donaldson’s goal is to build on the foundation created by Dr. Fu and those before him and make an even stronger department going forward.
The Steel I-beam. Since the turn of the century, this structural device has changed the way the world builds.
Today, the I-beam stands as a symbol of strength and support reflecting the mission of the UPMC Orthopaedic Department. To provide a structurally solid framework for the delivery of orthopaedic care. To allow for the continued pursuit of excellence in resident education. And the ongoing challenge of developing new treatments in orthopaedics.
The steel I-beam was created in Pittsburgh and has changed the landscape of the world. Today, it stands as our symbol of commitment to change the landscape of orthopaedic care.