The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is active in providing educational opportunities for medical students in surgical and other aspects of the specialty.
The department consists of the following specialty areas through three adult teaching hospitals: sports medicine, adult joint reconstruction/total joint replacement, ortho-oncology, pediatric orthopaedics, hand surgery, spinal surgery, trauma, and shoulder/elbow surgery.
At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, the Orthopaedic Center for Children encompasses pediatric sports medicine, cerebral palsy, scoliosis, limb lengthening, gait analysis and a broad range of other medical and surgical orthopaedic treatments for children.
The department at Drexel University College of Medicine consists of four divisions: upper extremity surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, joint reconstruction, and orthopaedic trauma. At Hahnemann Hospital, the department also provides services in sports medicine, orthopaedic spine surgery and pediatric orthopaedics. Orthopaedic surgical procedures are performed at Hahnemann Hospital, which has approximately 60 beds available for acute orthopaedic admissions. Outpatient surgical procedures are performed for the patients' convenience.
Norman A. Johanson, M.D., Chair of the department is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon for his highly-skilled revision surgery on failed knee and hip implants.
A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and Cornell University Medical College in New York City, Dr. Johanson arrived from Temple University School of Medicine where, as an attending surgeon with Shriners and St. Christopher's hospitals, he developed specialized skills in operating on juveniles with rheumatoid arthritis and "little people," otherwise known as dwarfs.
Dr. Johanson said he is excited to be joining Drexel University College of Medicine because of its affiliation with Drexel University and its strong bioengineering department. "Drexel is experimenting with biomaterials that could help develop stronger and more wear-resistant implants in the future," explained Dr. Johanson, who is also a Fellow at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "There also have been major recent strides in engineering human tissues such as tendons, bone and cartilage. It is hoped that in the future, cells can be effectively cultured, manipulated and introduced into the patient to restore damaged parts and ultimately improve patient function."
Dr. Johanson noted that he is eager to take over the reins of what he considers to be a department enriched with talent, technology and endless possibilities. "Drexel University College of Medicine has created a unique opportunity for innovation in many areas including the arena of patient outcomes data collection," he said. "The results of medical or surgical treatment are important to measure and to manage for the benefit of our patients." Dr. Johanson has been an active participant of the Committee on Outcome Studies of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which has been at the vanguard of this movement. "National outcomes data collection and analysis is absolutely necessary for us to evaluate our successes as well as our failures." Dr. Johanson pointed out that early recognition of implant failures would be one valuable by-product of this enterprise. The experience with national registries in Scandinavian countries has demonstrated this. Dr. Johanson emphasized that, "patients are not just numbers, but are individuals whose best treatment should be supported by a thorough understanding of the collective outcomes of the past, and whose own result will, in turn, contribute toward better patient outcomes in the future."