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Division of Orthopaedics

People at a Musculoskeletal Institute event.

The Division of Orthopaedics in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care is committed to cutting-edge research, education and care for conditions related to musculoskeletal pain and function. Orthopaedic surgeons treat a wide variety of issues with bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Division faculty lead the Musculoskeletal Institute at UT Health Austin — Dell Medical School’s clinical practice — where a multidisciplinary team of experts provides care for everything from severe osteoarthritis to mild ankle sprains in the context of the patient’s overall health and goals. Faculty members also provide adult and pediatric orthopaedic care at other practices throughout the Austin area in the division’s eight subspecialties: fractures, pediatrics, arthroplasty, spine, hand/upper extremity, bone tumors, sports medicine and foot/ankle.

Educational Programs

Division faculty contribute to the department’s educational mission through the following offerings.

Undergraduate Medical Education

Second- and fourth-year Dell Med students complete two-week clinical experiences dedicated to career exploration. One of the elective options is a rotation in Orthopaedic Surgery, led by David Laverty, M.D.

Fourth-year Dell Med students have the option to complete a four-week clinical experience dedicated to career exploration. Opportunities include:

The division hosts an opportunity for an acting internship in acute care surgery for fourth-year Dell Medical School students preparing to enter residency. The four-week rotations include increased responsibility with the care team.

Fourth-year medical students from Liaison on Committee on Medical Education or American Osteopathic Association accredited institutions are eligible to apply for the acting internship in orthopaedics or pediatric orthopaedic surgery.
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Graduate Medical Education

Orthopaedic students in a lab.

The division is home to the Dell Med Orthopaedic Surgery Residency, which provides a transformative educational experience with a focus on value-based, patient-centered health care delivery. The residency is led by program director A.J. Johnson, M.D., and associate program director Austin Hill, M.D. Explore the curriculum for details on subspecialty rotations.

The Joseph M. Abell Fellowship in Arthroplasty and Value-Based Health Care Delivery is a one-year program with a comprehensive and rigorous training experience in the evaluation and management of osteoarthritis and lower extremity arthroplasty problems. The program’s mission is to train surgeons to be compassionate, capable care providers and leaders of health systems. Training results in a broad knowledge base and skill set related to the management of lower extremity joint problems; value-based health care delivery and payment models; and integrated delivery systems. The fellowship is led by Karl Koenig, M.D.

Clinical Programs

At UT Health Austin’s Musculoskeletal Institute, members of the division are part of a team of orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrists, associate providers, physical therapists, social workers and dietitians who provide the right care for the right patient at the right time. For some patients, nonsurgical interventions such as lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, medication and injections can help improve pain and function, while surgery may be the best course of action for others.

Faculty Practices

Dell Med orthopaedic surgery faculty encompass all subspecialties and provide care across the entire Austin metropolitan area. The division includes members of the largest pediatric orthopaedic group in Central Texas, with nine surgeons, as well as representatives of several major multispecialty orthopaedic surgery, spine surgery and plastic surgery groups. More than 40 regular and affiliate faculty participate in the educational opportunities for Dell Med students and residents.

Research

Research focus areas include health care delivery innovation, the biopsychosocial model, cost-effectiveness of devices and interventions, patient-reported outcomes measures and qualitative evaluations of care delivery.

Division faculty collaborate with researchers from The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, Cockrell School of Engineering and Moody College of Communication. Division research staff conduct clinical research projects with faculty in their community orthopaedic practices including Texas Orthopedics, ATX Orthopedics and Austin Regional Clinic.

Explore Dell Med’s Research Networking System for information on faculty members’ research areas of interest and publications or see Dell Medical School’s research groups.

Events

Contact Lauren Uhler if you’re interested in attending the department’s biweekly research team meeting. The division partners with the department to host faculty development events and continuing medical education offerings in addition to the following events.

The annual spring symposium provides an opportunity for faculty, residents and students conducting research in or with the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care to present their research and network.

Orthopaedic Grand Rounds is held monthly on the first Thursday from 6:30-7:30 a.m. The division also hosts a monthly journal club dedicated to the review of articles from Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The club is held on the third Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:30 a.m. All Orthopaedic Thursday morning conferences are held in the first floor auditorium of the Health Discovery Building.

The division hosts several orthopaedic subspecialty conferences regularly, including conferences for hand, spine and arthroplasty. Please contact Zachary Jacquez for more details if you are interested in attending.