Edward N. Hanley, Jr., MD, FAOA
Honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

Edward N. Hanley, Jr., MD, FAOA

Edward N. Hanley, Jr., MD, FAOA has been recognized by his peers as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession for his leadership, mentoring, and lifelong contributions to orthopaedic surgery during his distinguished career. The champion for this effort on his behalf is Steven L. Frick, MD, FAOA.


Edward Nathaniel Hanley, Jr., is Professor and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Carolinas Medical Center/Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC. Born in South Carolina, he received his education at Dartmouth College (BA) and the University of Vermont (MD) and completed his orthopaedic training and a research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Following this, he remained as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh until assuming the chair position at Carolinas Medical Center in 1989. He retired from this position in 2018.

As Chairman, Dr. Hanley directed the educational programs and oversaw clinical care and research efforts in this area at Carolinas Medical Center. He is Clinical Professor of Surgery and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Hanley has served as President of the Academic Orthopaedic Society (1999), the Cervical Spine Research Society (2004), the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (2004), and Chair of the Committee on the Spine for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (1993-1996). He has participated in numerous NIH activities and many Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Panels for the US Food and Drug Administration and as a consultant for NASA. In 2004-2005, he served as President of the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA); the oldest orthopaedic organization in the world, whose mission is devoted to leadership in orthopaedics and society. He served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the most prestigious scientific publication in orthopaedics. Dr. Hanley has been named as a “Best Doctor” on a yearly basis and has led his department to be named in the “top fifty” in orthopaedics in US News and World Report on multiple occasions. In 2018, he was named the North Carolina Orthopaedic Association Honored Surgeon of the Year.

Dr. Hanley’s clinical and research interests have primarily been in the area of spinal diseases and their treatment. He has spoken extensively on these subjects in the United States and around the world and received several research awards and recognitions. In 2014, he received the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Wiltse Lifetime Achievement Award. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles, 40 books/book chapters, and hundreds of articles, editorials, reviews, and multi-media presentations on orthopaedic topics. He has trained, mentored, and influenced hundreds of orthopaedic residents and fellows.

In 2017, the Edward N. Hanley, Jr., MD Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery was established at Carolinas Medical Center of Atrium Health. In 2018, Claude T. Moorman, III, MD was named President of the Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute and the Edward N. Hanley, Jr., MD Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The AOA congratulates and appreciates Dr. Hanley’s significant contributions to the orthopaedic specialty, and proudly recognizes him as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.


“Edward N. Hanley Jr, MD epitomizes value-based leadership in orthopaedic surgery. He set standards in every group and organization he worked in over his career, valuing professionalism, dignity, integrity, diversity, science, service to patients and society, and a commitment to excellence in education. When faced with decisions, he could be counted on to “do the right thing”. He had appreciation for history and the giants who came before him (especially his mentor Albert Ferguson),but was driven by a vision for the future.

His leadership was important in moving the AOA to focus on leadership development, and his service to patients, residents, faculty and colleagues make him an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession. When the campaign to recognize him began, it was rapidly evident how his former residents and faculty felt about Ed’s influence on their lives. He created an environment where they could learn to be excellent surgeons, and he inspired them to be contributors and leaders in groups, communities and society.”

-Steven L. Frick, MD, FAOA
Dr. Hanley’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.