Columbia Orthopedics' rich tradition in orthopedic surgery dates back to the founding of the New York Orthopaedic Dispensary in 1866–later renamed the New York Orthopaedic Hospital. Since that time, the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center has grown into a preeminent center for orthopedic education, research, and patient care.
The history of the New York Orthopaedic Hospital is a story of scientific and clinical progress, generosity in the care of needy patients, and collaboration among prestigious institutions dedicated to promoting the highest standard of excellence in orthopedic health and professional education.
At the time of the institution’s founding, orthopedic surgery was a nascent specialty. Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor, along with benefactors Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., Howard Potter, James M. Brown, and John Aspinwall, as well as other Trustees, established the New York Orthopaedic Dispensary in 1866.
Initially founded as a charitable organization “for the purpose of furnishing treatment to the poor, with special reference to diseases and deformities of the bones and joints requiring surgical and mechanical treatment, and for giving instruction in the same,” NYOH would evolve, but always remain focused on clinical and academic excellence in service to its patients.
Over the next 150 years, ten Surgeons-in-Chief would direct the New York Orthopaedic Hospital, now the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Their leadership, alongside the groundbreaking contributions of numerous orthopedic luminaries, would help carry on the core missions of the institution: patient care, research, and education.
Milestones in Columbia Orthopedics' History
Dr. Taylor and the Roosevelts
Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor treats Anna Roosevelt, sister of future president Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., for a spinal disease and gains an important financial sponsor - Theodore Roosevelt, Sr.
New York Orthopaedic Dispensary Founded
Founding of the New York Orthopaedic Dispensary (NYOD) at 1299 Broadway under the leadership of Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor, along with benefactors Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., Howard Potter, James M. Brown, and John Aspinwall, as well as other Trustees.
Service to Patients in Need
"This dispensary is organized for the purpose of furnishing treatment to the poor ... with special reference to the Diseases and Deformities of the Spine and Hip-joint and other of the more serious diseases of the bones and joints requiring surgical and mechanical treatment, and for giving instruction in the same." — New York Orthopaedic Dispensary Annual Report
Expansion to New Facilities
In response to the growing number of patients, NYOD moves to a location at 126 East 59th Street with new facilities, expanded services, and dedicated hospital beds
New Name, Expanded Mission
NYOD renamed as New York Orthopaedic Dispensary and Hospital, reflecting its expanded mission and addition of inpatient wards
Dr. Newton Shaffer - 2nd Chief
Dr. Newton Shaffer becomes Surgeon-in-Chief and continues Dr. Taylor's tradition of conservative, mechanical treatment
Dr. Virgin P. Gibney and Dr. Shaffer help established the American Orthopaedic Association
A Modern operating room is built in a converted patient ward with funds donated by J.P. Morgan
Dr. Russell A. Hibbs - 3rd Chief
Dr. Russell A. Hibbs, appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief, performs the first successful operation to lengthen the Achilles tendon
Expansion to Westchester County
Opening of the Country Branch and Industrial school, a 40 acre facility in White Plains, NY
World's First Spinal Fusion
Dr. Hibbs performs the first successful vertebral fusion to prevent the progression of curvature of the spine, a technique that has been called the most important advance in scoliosis treatment in 3,000 years
A State-of-the-Art Facility
NYODH moves to a newly built facility at 420 East 59th Street, which includes dedicated facilities for adult patients
A New Mission
"Patients who suffer from chronic deforming diseases ... are not incurable, and orthopaedic surgery is giving abundant proof of that fact. We must no longer be bored by the chronically sick; we must stop sending them to someone else. We must give them hope."
Dr. Russell A. Hibbs
Partnership with Columbia University
Dr. Hibbs appointed as first Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Early Leadership in Surgical Education
Annie C. Kane Fellowships in orthopedic surgery established - five years before the founding of the American Boards of Medical Sub-specialties
The First Academic Medical Center
Opening of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, and the Presbyterian Hospital Fracture Service
Dr. Benjamin P. Farrell - 4th Chief
Dr. Benjamin P. Farrell Succeeds Dr. Hibbs as Surgeon-in-Chief
Dr. Alan DeForest Smith - 5th Chief
Dr. Alan DeForest Smith appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief
Merger with Columbia-Presbyterian
NYOH merger with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center approved and formalized
Dr. Robert E. Carroll - The First Hand Service
Establishment of the world's first specialized Hand Service by Dr. Robert E. Carroll
A New Home at Columbia-Presbyterian
NYOH relocated to new facilities on the 5th floor of the Presbyterian Hospital in Washington Heights
Dr. Charles S. Neer, II – The First Shoulder Service
Establishment of the world's first dedicated Shoulder Service by Dr Charles S. Neer, II
World's First Humeral Head Arthroplasty
Dr. Neer performs the first humeral head arthroplasty using a device of his own design, which is now in the collection of the Smithsonian.
Dr. Frank E. Stinchfield - 6th Chief
Dr. Frank E. Stinchfield appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief of NYOH and Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Dr. Carroll establishes the first hand fellowship in the United States
Dr. Frank E. Stinchfield
"Every man should keep his own running score in the struggle for perfection and encourage the young doctor to do the same. Every student must be made to feel in his how mind and heart the need of contributing his best ability and devout care of his patient ... And, above all, he must acquire a feeling for ... the pursuit of excellence."
Dr. Marvin L. Shelton - Pioneer and Innovator of Trauma Surgery
Dr. Marvin L. Shelton becomes the first African American board-certified attending orthopedic surgeon at CUIMC and the first to gain admitting privileges at an Ivy League institution.
Early Leaders in Hip Replacement
One of the nation's first programs in total hip replacement is established by Dr. Frank E. Stinchfield and Dr. Nas S. Eftekhar
Pioneering Work in Knee Replacement
Dr. Eftekhar performs the first total knee arthroplasty to utilize a metal-backed tibial component and modular polyethylene inserts - the Mark I
World's First Total Shoulder Replacement
The world's first shoulder replacement resulting in full range of motion is performed by Dr. Neer
Dr. Neer Establishes the first shoulder fellowship in the United States
Dr. Louis U. Bigliani serves as Dr. Neer's first shoulder fellow
Dr. Alexander Garcia - 7th Chief
Dr. Alexander Garcia appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief, and is the first to hold the title of Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Division of Pediatric Orthopedics established with Dr. David P. Roye, Jr. as Director
Dr. Harold M. Dick - 8th Chief
Dr. Harold M. Dick appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief and Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and Chairman4
Pioneering Orthopedic Research
NYOH Research Laboratory reorganized under Van C. Mow, PhD
Trauma Training Center Founded
The Trauma Training Center is founded by Dr. Melvin P. Rosenwasser, teaching orthopedic trauma principles and techniques to Columbia residents & fellows, and physicians from around the world
A Tradition of Excellence
"We [must] never lose sight of our primary responsibility, which is to maintain and enhance the tradition of excellence in orthopedics, which stretches all the way back to Charles Fayette Taylor and the back brace he made for Anna Roosevelt." - Dr. Harold M. Dick
Dr. Louis U. Bigliani - 9th Chief
Dr. Louis U. Bigliani appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief and Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and Chairman
A New Academic Home with Old History
Relocation to new academic facilities on the 11th floor of the Presbyterian Hospital, the original home of the Presbyterian Hospital Fracture Service
Training the Next Generation of Leaders
Opening of the Arthroscopy Laboratory, offering state-of-the-art instruments for training & research in advanced arthroscopic surgical technique
Dr. William N. Levine – 10th Chief
Dr. William N. Levine appointed as Surgeon-in-Chief and Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and Chairman
Establishment of The Spine Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen
Celebrating 150 Years of Excellence
NYOH/Columbia Orthopedics celebrates 150 years of excellence in orthopedic patient care, research, and education