Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked as No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report, and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In 2008 and 2007, HSS was a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award.

HSS has contributed to advances in hip and knee replacement surgical techniques and devices and has one of the most sought after residency programs in orthopedics.

Additional areas of expertise at HSS include spine surgery, sports medicine, orthopedic trauma, hand surgery and foot and ankle surgery. 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. Its sports medicine physicians are experts in advanced surgical techniques, many of which were pioneered at HSS. An elite group of professional sports teams and organizations utilize HSS physicians and athletic trainers. This group includes the New York Mets, the New York Football Giants, the New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls Soccer, Nets Basketball, the National Retired Basketball Players Association and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni. In addition, HSS sports medicine specialists serve on the U.S. Olympic Committee medical staff team that will cover the 2008 Games in Beijing.

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


HSS utilizes clinical therapies and interventions to carefully evaluate how best to apply the most recent innovations in orthopedics and rheumatology. Current clinical trials focus on issues related to lupus and arthritis. In addition, 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.


Located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, HSS is built over the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) drive and provides breathtaking views of the East River for patients recovering and visiting family members. Currently HSS has 162 beds, 26 operating rooms and conducts more than 20,000 surgeries annually.

Medical Firsts

Many of today’s standard surgeries performed throughout the country were pioneered by HSS doctors who continue to develop innovative diagnostic tools and surgical techniques. Some of the accomplishments HSS physicians are credited with:

  • Being the world leader in orthopedic surgery and performing the most hip replacement and knee replacement procedures of any hospital in the nation
  • Pioneering the technology and design of contemporary total knee replacement
  • Designing a revolutionary fiber optic probe for distinguishing healthy and diseased cartilage during surgery
  • Developing new imaging protocols for MRI evaluation of cartilage
  • Being pioneers in the development of minimally invasive spine surgery techniques
  • Developing the surgical techniques for minimally invasive hip and knee procedures, minimizing hospital stays for qualified patients
  • Leading the world in the application of regional anesthesia techniques

Specialized Centers

HSS has several specialized centers that focus on specific patients and joint problems. These include its Womens Sports Medicine Center, the Gosden-Robinson Early Arthritis Center, the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research and the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Diseases.


All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College.