History

Our department has a history worthy of celebration. Since 1913 when John Bowman, the ninth President of the University of Iowa, appointed Arthur Steindler as Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery, the University of Iowa Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation has become an internationally recognized preeminent clinical, educational and research program. This success is due to the education and talent of generations of faculty, residents, staff and alumni of the residency program and the medical school.

Over the last 100 years, Iowa Orthopedics has helped advance the entire specialty of orthopedics. The Department’s studies of the cell, molecular and matrix biology of bone, cartilage, growth plate, tendon and ligament and intervertebral disc and the injuries and diseases that affect these tissues have led to many of the most important developments in musculoskeletal research. This work continues in the Ponseti Biology Laboratory and the Spine and Bone Healing Laboratory. The University of Iowa Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory has been a world leader in advancing understanding of the mechanics of the musculoskeletal system, the invention of new joint replacements and methods of fracture fixation and innovative approaches to measuring the wear of joint replacements and the mechanical forces that cause osteoarthritis. Clinical research based in the Department has helped guide improvements in the treatment of patients with fractures and joint injuries, severe arthritis that requires joint replacements and skeletal deformities including congenital hand deformities, clubfoot, scoliosis and hip dysplasia. The Department’s teaching programs have educated generations of medical students and orthopedic residents, and many former Iowa Orthopedic residents have become leaders in Orthopedic surgery. The Department’s nationally recognized residency program attracts the best medical students from schools throughout the United States. Faculty have earned national and international recognition for their clinical expertise, research, and regional, national and international leadership positions, and participation in groups dedicated to improving national health policy. Four faculty have served as president of the world’s largest Orthopedic society, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, four faculty have served as president of the world’s oldest Orthopedic society, the American Orthopedic Association, five faculty have served as president of the Orthopedic Research Society and six faculty have served as directors of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery – an exceptional record of leadership and accomplishment.