Kenneth E. DeHaven, MD, FAOA
Honored as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession

Kenneth E. DeHaven, MD, FAOA

Kenneth E. Dehaven, MD, FAOA is being recognized as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession. He is credited with helping to pioneer arthroscopy which in turn revolutionized professional and amateur sports. The champions for this effort on his behalf are Robert D. Bronstein, MD, FAOA and Wayne J. Sebastianelli, MD, FAOA.


Dr. DeHaven graduated from Dartmouth College in 1961 and then entered Dartmouth Medical School, receiving a BMS Cum Laude degree in 1963. He then transferred to Northwestern University Medical School where he received his MD degree in 1965. His postgraduate education was at the Cleveland Clinic, finishing his orthopaedic residency in 1972. From 1967 to 1969, he served as a medical officer in the US Navy.

DeHaven was a resident in surgery at the Cleveland Clinic just as the concept of sports medicine was taking shape. The chair of orthopaedic surgery at Cleveland Clinic, C. McCollister Evarts, MD, FAOA had recruited Roy Collins, MD, to start one of the first sports medicine programs in the country. DeHaven worked with Collins and also did a three-month rotation in Atlanta with Fred Allman, MD. Allman, explains DeHaven, was “the first person in the U.S. who had gone into full-time orthopaedic sports medicine.” DeHaven soon became a leader in the field and built up a team of physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers who worked with high school, college, and professional athletes. Beginning in 1972, Dr. DeHaven pioneered the use of arthroscopy in an orthopaedic sports medicine practice. He was involved in teaching, clinical research, and providing non-surgical care for sports-related knee problems.

He joined University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Orthopaedics in 1975 as the Director of Athletic Medicine. For three decades, he served as a board-certified orthopaedics faculty member involved in teaching, patient care, clinical research, training, and mentoring many residents and fellows. He has also served as team physician for high school, college, and professional teams. In 2005 he transitioned to part-time Professor of Orthopaedics, continuing to be involved in teaching, clinical research and providing non-surgical care for sports related knee problems. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. DeHaven was the Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the URMC and Director of the University of Rochester Faculty Practice Group.

Dr. DeHaven authored or co-authored nearly 90 scientific papers, contributed to 36 textbooks or chapters in textbooks, has provided 46 visiting professorships, and given numerous other invited lectures nationally and internationally. He is most recognized for his work on the meniscus, especially meniscus repair.

He has received many honors and awards throughout his career. He is a past president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the International Society of the Knee, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). In 2006, he was elected to the prestigious Sports Hall of Fame of the AOSSM. Dr. DeHaven joined the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) in 1983 and is an alumni of the AOA North American Traveling Fellowship (NATF) in 1972. He served on the Fellows Taskforce in 2017 and the NATF Committee in 2005.

The AOA gratefully acknowledges Dr. DeHaven’s lasting legacy and significant contributions, especially in the area of orthopaedic sports medicine, and proudly recognizes him as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.


“I remember first meeting Dr. DeHaven when I was an applicant for his fellowship. He impressed me then as a great mentor, and I did match as his sports medicine fellow. As he went from teacher to friend and colleague I continued to learn from him until the day that he retired.

Dr. DeHaven was certainly a leader in orthopaedic sports medicine, and his work on showing that some meniscal tears are repairable had a lasting effect on orthopaedics to this day. However, what I think sets him apart as a Pillar is how he mentored and inspired residents and fellows that had the opportunity to train with him. Many of the residents and fellows at the University of Rochester, even those that pursued other subspecialties, were inspired by Dr. DeHaven to provide the best care possible for their patients. Many have gone on to leadership positions themselves.

We all owe some part of our success to time spent learning from Dr. DeHaven. For all that he has done for each of us and for our profession I am pleased that he is being recognized as an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.”

– Robert D. Bronstein, MD, FAOA
Dr. DeHaven’s Co-Champion


“I have known Ken DeHaven for 45 years—as a college football player, medical student, orthopaedic resident and as his orthopaedic sports medicine partner at the University of Rochester. During that time Ken became my mentor and friend encouraging me to excel and reach my maximum potential. Ken’s innovation in treating meniscus injuries, utilizing open and arthroscopic techniques, made him the father of meniscus repair. Ken’s work in the 80’s and 90’s laid the foundation of information utilized by many to advance the treatment in a specific area of orthopaedic sports medicine and this epitomizes the definition of an AOA Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession.”

– Wayne J. Sebastianelli, MD, FAOA
Dr. DeHaven’s Co-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.