Orthopaedists Respond

Orthopaedic community demonstrates its resilience, compassion in face of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

The Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually intense this year, spawning five major hurricanes. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, in particular, were especially destructive due to their intensity, duration, and sheer physical size.

Although so many different geographic regions were severely impacted by devastating winds and flooding, the hurricanes did not cause high numbers of musculoskeletal injuries. Nonetheless, the orthopaedic community responded in droves to provide both medical and nonmedical support.

Within this issue's special coverage section, AAOS Now presents accounts of individual and collective heroics, selflessness, and compassion, ranging from orthopaedic surgeons traveling by boat to rescue patients from flood waters to surgeons using pool noodles for makeshift reduction. These stories only represent a fraction of what occurred but illustrate how the orthopaedic community steps to the fore when catastrophe visits.


Stefan Kreuzer, MD, MSc, joined boat owner Truett Allen to help rescue neighbors from rising water caused by Hurricane Harvey. Here, Mr. Allen carries a woman from a home in the Memorial section of Houston as an unidentified man assists. Earlier, Dr. Kreuzer and Mr. Allen rescued one of Dr. Kreuzer's patients.
Courtesy of Allan Overand