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Per Renström was born in 1942. He was certified as a medical doctor at Göteborg University in Sweden in 1972. He finished his residency in 1977. In 1981, he gained a PhD, the research topic being below‐knee amputees. Until 1988, he worked at the Department of Orthopaedics at Sahlgren University Hospital in Göteborg. In 1988, he and his family relocated to the University of Vermont in Burlington, where he had a full professorship in orthopaedics and sports medicine. In 1997, he returned to Sweden as professor of sports medicine at the Karolinska Institutet.
Since 1967 Per has been married to Lena, who has a PhD in science education and is now working at the Education University of Stockholm.
Per has been very active in sports medicine research. His research topics include biomechanical and clinical studies, particularly of knee and ankle ligaments, Achilles tendons, and amputation and prosthetics. He is author of over 400 publications, including over 200 full scientific papers, of which 125 are in peer reviewed journals.
The book Injuries in sports, authored by Per together with Lars Peterson, is the most widely available sports injury book in the world, and a new edition came out in November 2000. Per also edited two volumes of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Encyclopedia series on sports medicine. He has published or edited 16 books and written 42 book chapters.
With his research group, Per has twice received the Albert Trillat Investigator Award (1993 and 1997) from the International Society of the Knee and the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS), and twice the O'Donoghue Award (1996 and 1998) from the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine (AOSSM). He has also received the Kappa Delta Award (1994) for outstanding orthopaedic research from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and Orthopedic Research Society, which is the most prestigious research award in orthopaedics. He received the Beijersdorf Research award from GOTS (German Orthopedic and Trauma Society) in 2000.
Per has been and is very active in sports medicine organisations. He has been secretary, vice president and president of the Swedish Society of Sports Medicine, where he now is an honorary member. He was appointed chairman of the Swedish Sport Research Council by the Swedish Government in 2000. He was vice president of the International Sports Medicine Federation (FIMS) in 1990–1998. He is a member of the Medical Commission of the IOC and the IOC Publication Advisory Subcommission. He is a founding member of the IOC Olympic Academy of Sport Sciences.
In 2003–2005, Per was president of ISAKOS, which is a world wide society for all active in orthopaedic sports medicine, arthroscopy and knee surgery. He is a member of the Medical Commission of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), former president of the International Society of Medicine and Science in Tennis, medical director of the ATP, and a former physician to the Swedish Davis Cup team.