Seventy-five years ago, seven orthopaedic surgeons organized themselves into a fledgling academy with a simple purpose-to facilitate the sharing of orthopaedic knowledge without exception. Inaugural president Edwin Ryerson, noted that "Knowledge is indeed that, which next to virtue truly and essentially raises one man above the other.” And he noted the hopes of the founders of the Academy who longed for “nation-wide representation…and a freer exchange of information and ideas.”

Founded in 1933, the Academy is the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons and others in the world. Today the Academy has over 34,000 members in over 100 countries. Echoing the founders’ aims for the Academy, its mission is “to champion the interests of patients and advance the highest quality of musculoskeletal health.”

To celebrate 75 years of orthopaedic achievement, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has collected stories, written a book, produced a film, built a digital timeline, and constructed a traveling exhibit. And, while it is impossible to tell every story, the Academy is proud to present this comprehensive chronicle, preserving the history and legacy of our specialty.





This material has been gathered from AAOS resources, individuals and not-for-profit and commercial organizations. It was compiled and prepared by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and is intended to contain as complete and accurate information on the subject matter as possible. However, except were specifically noted, this material does not represent official AAOS policy nor should it be construed to be the only accurate or acceptable view of subject matter.