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Stephen M. Howell, M.D.

Meet Dr. Howell

With more than three decades of experience as a clinician, researcher, and innovator in total knee replacement (TKR), anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, and meniscal injury, Dr. Howell’s clinical practice focuses on the treatment of degenerative processes and sports-related injuries to the knee. He performs over 450 TKRs and 100 ACL reconstructions per year.

Creator of the kinematic alignment method causing a paradigm shift in TKR, Dr. Howell’s published experience demonstrates that patients report less pain, a quicker recovery, better pain relief, better function, better flexion, and a more natural feeling knee when treated with this method. Implant survival at three and six years are also equivalent or better than for knee replacement using traditional mechanical alignment.  A published randomized clinical trial independently confirmed the excellence of the kinematic alignment approach.

Dr. Howell is an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Davis.  His work improving the understanding of TKR, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and surgical treatment of meniscus lesions is based on a long-standing collaboration with Distinguished Professor Maury L. Hull PhD.  In addition to their many research projects, Drs. Howell and Hull have collectively educated and graduated 3 PhD students and 24 master students in mechanical or biomedical engineering over the last 20 years. Dr Howell has published over 120 scientific articles in peer-review journals.

Dr. Howell frequently shares his clinical experiences and research findings as a presenter and invited speaker at national and international meetings and at universities worldwide. He regularly hosts experienced orthopedic surgeons from around the world who seek education in his techniques by observing patient care in the office, hospital, and operating room.

As a consultant for major orthopaedic implant companies, Dr. Howell’s experience and innovations have a worldwide reach.  Dr. Howell has developed instrumentation, implants, and educational materials for Zimmer Orthopaedics to help surgeons across the globe perform kinematically aligned TKR.  He is also a consultant for Biomet Sports Medicine and has developed instrumentation, implants, and educational materials for ACL reconstruction, which are used nationally and internationally.  Dr. Howell holds 13 US patents, two European patents, and has two patents pending for which he receives royalties.

A member of many prestigious professional societies, Dr. Howell is a past-president of the International ACL Study Group, and a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopedic Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, as well as the Arthroscopy Association of North American. He is on the editorial board of the American Journal of Sports Medicine and Arthropedia.

A 1981 graduate of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Howell served his internship at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in 1986.   Before entering private practice in 1989, Dr. Howell served in the Air Force as an active duty orthopaedic surgeon at Travis AFB where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He completed 14 additional years as a reservist, which included a recall to active duty for Gulf War I.

For additional information on Dr. Howell’s experience and background, his CV is available for downloading.

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