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Hospital for Special Surgery

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Template:Infobox Hospital

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a hospital in New York City that specializes in orthopedic surgery and the treatment of rheumatologic conditions.

Founded in 1863 by James Knight, HSS is the oldest orthopedic hospital in the United States and is considered one of the top hospitals in the world for joint replacement. The hospital also performs the most knee replacement surgeries of any hospital in the United States. Thomas Sculco, M.D. serves as the Medical Director and Surgeon-in-Chief and Louis Shapiro serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer.

Additional areas of expertise at HSS include spine surgery and sports medicine. HSS physicians with a subspecialty training in the field of spine surgery focus on patients who suffer from congenital or acute spinal disorders as well as from chronic back pain. The sports medicine services at HSS treat athletic injuries of the musculoskeletal system with a special focus on shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries.

In addition, orthopedic surgeons at HSS perform limb lengthening, a procedure that uses the body's capacity to create new bone as well as the soft tissues, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves that surround and support it.

HSS also offers professional medical education programs, including continuing medical education lecture series, conferences and symposia.

The hospital has 277 active medical staff.[citation needed]


Current clinical trials focus on issues related to lupus and arthritis. In addition to clinical trials, HSS has several research programs that center on the prevention of musculoskeletal diseases. Basic and applied research conducted at the hospital addresses specific problems such as arthritis, injury, osteoporosis, scoliosis, autoimmune diseases such as lupus, and related musculoskeletal diseases as they affect children and adults.


The Hospital for Special Surgery is affiliated with the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System through the hospital's affiliation with Weill Cornell Medical College. The hospital is also affiliated with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University.

The hospital has one of the most sought after and competitive orthopedics residency programs in the world, with over 500 applicants competing for eight spots in 2009. Today, over 400 of its 500+ graduates hold positions in major orthopedic departments, many serving as department heads.

Location and Facilities

Located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, HSS is built over the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) drive and partially located in the Belaire building at 535 East 70th Street. Currently HSS has 205 beds and 29 operating rooms. HSS recently completed the construction of a new, ninth floor that adds 85,000 square feet (7,900 m2) of new space and 100,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of re-engineered and re-designed space.

HSS has several specialized centers that focus on specific patients and joint problems, including:


HSS was founded in 1863 as the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled in the home of James Knight on Second Avenue, just south of 6th Street. It opened its doors to the first patient, a four year old boy with paralysis, on May 1, 1863. There were 28 beds available, all for children. Adults were treated as outpatients. In 1870 it moved to a newly constructed 200-bed building on the corner of 42nd street and Lexington Avenue. There was no operating room until 1888 after a hospital fire. At the turn of the century, it became the target for efforts to expand Grand Central Terminal and negotiations were led by Cornelius Vanderbilt, II, a member of the Board of Managers of the hospital. In 1912, the hospital moved to a six-story building on 42nd Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue that is now the home of the Ford Foundation. The hospital moved to its present location in 1955.[2][3]


  • 1863 - James A. Knight
  • 1887 - Virgil P. Gibney
  • 1925 - William Bradley Coley
  • 1933 - Eugene H. Pool
  • 1935 - Philip D. Wilson
  • 1955 - T. Campbell Thompson
  • 1963 - Robert Lee Patterson, Jr.
  • 1972 - Philip D. Wilson, Jr.
  • 1990 - Andrew J. Weiland
  • 1993 - Russell F. Warren
  • 2003 - Thomas P. Sculco

John Robert Cobb, known for the Cobb angle, also practiced at HSS for some time.


  • 1924 - R. Garfield Snyder
  • 1944 - Richard Freyberg
  • 1970 - Charles L. Christian
  • 1995 - Stephen A. Paget
  • 2010 - Mary K. Crow


The 2012 edition of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News and World Report ranked Hospital for Special Surgery as the #1 hospital in the country for orthopedics, as well as #3 for rheumatology. HSS has been top-ranked by U.S. News and World Report for the 20th consecutive year. According to New York Magazine's "Best Hospitals" issue, HSS is the best hospital in New York City's tri-state area for knee surgery, spine surgery and hip replacement.

On July 28, 2011, Becker's Hospital Review listed HSS under 60 Hospitals With Great Orthopedic Programs.[4]

In addition to the recognition by U.S. News & World Report, 52 physicians from Hospital for Special Surgery were recently named as some of the "Best Doctors" in New York City by New York magazine. In November 2011, the American Nurses Credentialing Center announced that Hospital for Special Surgery received its third Magnet designation. Accepted throughout the healthcare industry as the gold standard for nursing, the honor makes the hospital the first in New York State to achieve this third consecutive designation.


  1. Hospital Staff. "ICC Faculty, Staff, and Independent Professionals". Hospital for Special Surgery. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  2. Levine, D. B. "The Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled Moves East on 42nd Street 1912 to 1925", HSS Journal, September 2007. Accessed October 10, 2008. "The new Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled was built on 42nd Street between First and Second avenue, that is currently the location of the Ford Foundation"
  3. Levine, David B. Anatomy of a Hospital. Hospital for Special Surgery 1863-2013. New York, NY. 2013
  4. Becker's Hospital Review

External links

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