Original Article

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

, Volume 466, Issue 9, pp 2263-2267

First online:

Lewis A. Sayre: The First Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in America

  • Jay M. ZampiniAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine Email author 
  • , Henry H. SherkAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine

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Lewis Albert Sayre (1820–1900) is considered to be among the founding fathers of orthopaedic surgery in the United States. He studied medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons (now of Columbia University). Sayre later helped establish the first academic department of orthopaedics at the Bellevue Medical College where he served as their first Professor of Orthopaedics. Lewis Sayre treated a considerable diversity of musculoskeletal conditions and meticulously documented them with written notes, sketches, and photographs. As a public figure, his methods were controversial, attracting praise by some and inviting criticism by other prominent members of the international community. He made great strides for physicians, helping to charter the American Medical Association and to establish the weekly publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association.