Dr. Edwin Warner Ryerson was born in New York City, graduated from Harvard, then trained at Boston Children’s Hospital . After visiting centers in Berlin and Vienna he moved to Chicago in 1899, where he accepted a post at Rush Medical College. In 1916 he was named professor and head of orthopaedics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Owing to WWI he entered military service in 1918–1919. Afterward he became head of orthopaedics at Northwestern University until his retirement from the university in 1935. He continued in private practice until 1947, when he retired to Florida.
Dr. Ryerson maintained a lifelong interest in teaching and service to the orthopaedic community. He became a member of the American Orthopaedic Association in 1905 and was President in 1925. Dr. Ryerson was active in the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, which also had a role in forming American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons . In the archives of the AAOS, he was described as “a forensic and parliamentary expert” . He was a founding member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1934, became its vice President in 1935, and served on the Board until 1940 .
The article reproduced here describes the triple arthrodesis . Ryerson modified a technique earlier described by Hoke which advocated fusing the subtalar and talo-navicular joints . According to Campbell  Ryerson popularized the name “triple arthrodesis.” Hoke had not mentioned fusion of the calcaneo-cuboid joint, although Gill, in a discussion following Hoke’s description states, “an additional arthrodesis os calcis and cuboid is unnecessary.” Thus, it is possible Ryerson introduced the third fusion of the triple arthrodesis, although the record is not clear on this point. Ryerson’s operation, however, was commonly used to stabilize the hindfoot in polio patients, and continues to be used less commonly today for other indications. It is likely Ryerson met Adolf Lorenz (1854–1946), the Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Vienna at the time of his visit [8, 10]. Lorenz, in turn, had trained with Eduard Albert (1841–1900) who conceived the idea of arthrodesis for paralyzed extremities [2, 3]. As with most surgeons of the time, Ryerson wrote on a wide variety of topics related to spine surgery, infection, and congenital anomalies, although he seemed to have a particular interest in foot surgery.Edwin W. Ryerson, MD is shown. Photograph is reproduced with permission and ©American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Fifty Years of Progress, 1983.
A Tribute to the First President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Edwin W. Ryerson, M.D. 1872–1961. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1965;47:1274–1275.Albert E. Einige Fälle künstliche Ankylosenbildung an paralytischen Gliedmaßen. Wien med Presse. 1882;23:725.Albert E. Some cases of artificial anklyosis of paralytic extremities. In: Bick EM, ed. Classics of Orthopaedics. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company: 1976.Brown T. The American Orthopaedic Association: A Centennial History. Chicago, IL: The American Orthopaedic Association; 1987.Campbell WC. Operative Orthopedics. Saint Louis: C.V. Mosby Co.; 1939.Heck CV. Commemorative Volume 1933–1983 Fifty Years of Progress. Chicago, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; 1983.Hoke M. An operation for stabilizing paralytic feet. Amer J Orthop Surg. 1921;3:494–507.Kotz R, Engel A, Schiller C, ed. 100 Jahre Orthopädie an der Universität Wien. Vienna, Austria: Verlag der Wiener Medizinischen Akademie; 1987.Ryerson EW. Arthrodesing operations on the feet. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1923;5:453–471.Skopec M. Adolf Lorenz und das Ringen um die Verselbständigung der Orthopädie in Wien. In: Wyklicky H, ed. 100 Jahre Orthopädie an der Universität Wien. Vienna, Austria: 1987:1–45.Wickstrom JK. Fifty years of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. 1934. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990;257:3–10.