Charles S. Neer, II, MD, FAOA
Recognized as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

Charles S. Neer, II, MD, FAOA

Charles S. Neer, II, MD, FAOA is being honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession for his contributions to the field of shoulder and elbow surgery and for training generations of orthopaedic surgeons. The effort to recognize Dr. Neer was championed by Louis U. Bigliani, MD, FAOA.


A longtime distinguished faculty member at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Neer was a founding member and the first president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, developed novel procedures and prostheses, and was a true pioneer in shoulder arthroplasty. He also established a fracture classification system that is now used by orthopaedic surgeons worldwide.

Dr. Neer graduated from Dartmouth College and obtainned his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He began a residency at Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, but his training was interrupted by WWII, where he was called to service. He proudly served as a Captain in the U.S. Army first in Europe and then in Asia.

After the war, he completed his training and joined the Fracture Service at The Presbyterian Hospital with its eventual incorporation with The New York Orthopaedic Hospital and The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Dr. Neer remained on the faculty at Columbia throughout his career. He became a tenured Professor of the University, Director of the Fracture Service, Chief of the Shoulder Service, and Chief of the Adult Orthopaedic Service until his retirement in 1990 as Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Until his passing in 2011, Dr. Neer continued as Emeritus Consultant in Orthopaedic Surgery and Emeritus Professor & Special Lecturer in Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery.

A prolific writer, Dr. Neer and the Shoulder Service at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center published hundreds of articles on every aspect of shoulder surgery. He also created a fund to provide recognition for outstanding clinical investigation contributing to the understanding, care or prevention of injuries to the shoulder and elbow. This award has been presented at the annual meetings of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.

Throughout his prestigious career, he received many honors nationally and internationally, especially for his contributions in shoulder surgery and reconstruction. For the AOA and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, he served as representative to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The AOA acknowledges Dr. Neer’s amazing legacy to the orthopaedic community and recognizes him as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.


“As a student, resident, fellow and attending physician, Dr. Charles Neer was an inspiring mentor to me and to many of the leading shoulder orthopaedic surgeons in the world. He truly was a pioneer of modern shoulder surgery. He made many original contributions to the field of shoulder surgery through his numerous classic publications. His contributions included shoulder fractures, degenerative arthritis, and the concepts of subacromial impingement and multidirectional instability and furthermore, he developed successful operative procedures to correct these problems. 

Dr. Neer was a founding member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, and The International Board of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. He started the first Shoulder Service and Fellowship in 1977 at The Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Neer was a proud and loyal member of the AOA and it is my honor and privilege to be his champion for his recognition as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.”

– Louis U. Bigliani, MD, FAOA
Dr. Neer’s Champion

For a list of those who contributed to this Pillar honor, please click here.

If you are interested in becoming a Champion for an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession, you can find more information here.

Entire listing of AOA Pillars of the Orthopaedic Profession can be found here.