Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

Our orthopaedic experts provide care for patients with a variety of diseases and injuries of the bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Our physicians work with teams of physical therapists and other rehabilitation specialists to manage care for every orthopaedic condition, with a special emphasis on pediatric care. Our physicians have led the world in developing effective treatments for a birth deformity known as clubfoot. In addition, our clinicians employ the most up-to-date techniques for diagnosis and treatment of a range of diseases and injuries.

UI Hospitals and Clinics FAQ's and Visit Information

Orthopaedic Specialty Clinics Cover the Following Areas

  • Clubfoot

  • Congenital Dislocation of the Hip

  • Hand Reconstruction

  • Metabolic Diseases

  • Neck and Back

  • Neuromuscular Diseases

  • Scoliosis

  • Sports Medicine

  • Trauma

  • Tumors

  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

  • Amputees


A clubfoot is a birth defect. The foot is twisted in (inverted) and down. Without treatment, persons afflicted often appear to walk on their ankles, or on the sides of their feet. It is a common birth defect, occurring in about one in every 1,000 live births. Approximately 50% of cases of clubfoot are bilateral. In most cases it is an isolated dysmelia. Incidence in males is higher than in females.

Congenital Dislocation of the Hip

Congenital hip dislocation must be detected early when it can be easily treated by a few weeks of traction. If it is not detected, the child's hip may develop incorrectly seen when the child begins to walk. If one hip is affected the child will be have a limp and lurch and with bilateral dislocation there will be a waddling gait. Congenital hip dislocation is much more common in girls than boys.

Hand Reconstruction

The hands are critical to nearly every activity of daily living. Diminished function of the hand and wrist may result from injury (trauma), degeneration of the joint(s) (arthritis), or diseases of the surrounding tissues (ligaments and tendons). Reconstructive surgical interventions may offer patients the opportunity to modify these conditions in a positive way. UI Hand Center Page

Metabolic Diseases

A number of systemic diseases (those that affect the entire body) may also have a negative effect on the musculoskeletal system. Some of these disorders are genetic in origin, while others are acquired. Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation specialists may provide patients with care that can diminish the effects of these disorders - diminishing pain and increasing patient function over time.

Neck and Back

Pain localized to the neck and back (the spine) has the potential to change a patient's ability to work, function at home, and participate in recreational activities. The multidisciplinary approach to spinal care in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation seeks to treat patients whose lives have been affected by spinal pain. From specialized non-operative approaches to complex surgical procedures, our providers seek to help those with spinal conditions. UI Spine Center page

Neuromuscular Diseases

Often diagnosed in the first third of life, neuromuscular diseases have the potential to produce limb deformity, alter neurological function, and negatively affect an individual's ability to be mobile. A number of treatments exist in the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation realm for Neuromuscular diseases. A comprehensive approach is generally advised and may be initiated through evaluation in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.


Treatment of scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and spinal deformity formed the cornerstone of orthopaedic surgery practice in the early days of the "specialty" of orthopaedics. Today both surgical and non-surgical interventions may play a positive role in the treatment of children and adults with spinal deformity. Our orthopaedic approach remains patient centered and multi-disciplinary. UI Spine Center page

Sports Medicine

Athletes of all ability may suffer an injury at any point in their career. Though not all will require surgery, a number of procedures have revolutionized the treatment of patients who've be injured during recreational activities. The practice of sports medicine often includes a combination of minimally invasive techniques and aggressive rehabilitation. A patient-focused approach is also critical to achieving medical success and returning athletes to play in a timely fashion.· Sports Medicine page


Injury to the musculoskeletal system from traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle crashes, falls, and work injury may be potentially devastating to a person's lifestyle and career. Working with efficiency, care, and well designed surgical technique may be critical to a patient's recovery and return to the community. Trauma specialists seek to assist patients in regaining function that has been lost despite some of the most complex acute orthopaedic challenges.


Primary tumors of bones and muscles are relatively rare, but have the potential to create tremendous disability and reduce lifespan. Secondary tumors (metastatic) may be the result of the spread of tumor from another body part. Musculoskeletal Oncology specialists in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation deal with all of these diagnoses in a multi-disciplinary way. We work with our colleagues in Medical and Radiation Oncology to create a comprehensive plan for patients burdened with these challenging diagnoses.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

"PM&R" or "Physiatry" is a specialty that focuses on the non-surgical care of patients with musculoskeletal disorders of all types. Physiatrists focus their expertise on rehabilitation, specialized non-surgical procedures, diagnostic modalities (such as EMG and ultrasound), and team-based care to create a patient focused plan. Often this care includes co-management of patients with ongoing surgical needs.


Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. Unlike many non-mammalian animals (such as lizards which shed their tails), once removed, human extremities do not grow back. A transplant or a prosthesis are the only options for recovering the loss.

Schedule an Appointment

scheduleTo schedule an appointment with the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, please call

You may contact the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics anytime, day or night.

For UI Health Access (your 24-hour source for health information) call: 319-384-8442 or

For general patient information, call:

Clinical Outreach Services

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers care in the following cities:

Ames - Orthopaedics Pediatrics
McFarland Clinic
1215 Duff Ave.
Dr. Stuart Weinstein

ChildServe Center
5406 Merle Hay Road
Johnston, IA  50131
Dr. Heather Kowalski (2nd Wed of each month)

Patient Education

  • Your Orthopaedic Connection Contains information on conditions and treatments, injury prevention, and wellness & exercise.
  • To Parents of Children Born with Clubfeet A reprint of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti's book entitled "Congenital Clubfoot: Fundamentals of Treatment" is now available. To order your copy, please call (319) 356-3469.
  • The Sarcoma Registry for Outcomes and Results (ROAR): This project is designed to improve the lives of individuals afflicted by sarcoma, now and in the future.

Information & Referrals

For consultation or referral, or to obtain information on patients, please call UI Consult toll-free at 1-800-322-8442.

Consultations are enhanced by mailing or faxing pertinent clinical information in advance, if possible. Please direct department and division addressed correspondence to:

Department of Orthopaedics
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242-1009
Fax: 319-353-7199 (monitored weekdays)