History of COS

In Chicago in 1912 the Central States Orthopaedic Club was founded with 38 members, the President being Dr. John Lincoln Porter of Chicago, Illinois. Members, some of whom were also members of the American Orthopaedic Association celebrating its silver anniversary, were from the central states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The club was destined to become the premiere “show and tell” orthopaedic organization.

By 1923 the organization had grown and the name was changed to the Clinical Orthopaedic Society. The original ideas of the founders were “the observation in different cities of matters related to orthopaedic surgery and the free discussion amongst its members of orthopaedic methods and teaching.”

In 1932, a number of members proposed changing the Clinical Orthopaedic Society into a national organization. The Board of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, at that time, decided that a regional base was more practical. The Clinical Orthopaedic Society, in cooperation with the American Orthopaedic Association, subsequently formed the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a national orthopaedic organization with membership by application. The first meeting of the AAOS was held in Chicago in 1932 in conjunction with the 20th meeting of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society. In recent years, an effort was made to redefine the niche for the Clinical Orthopaedic Society among orthopaedic organizations.

In 1990, the Clinical Orthopaedic Society became a national organization and retained its membership. There are several membership categories: Regular, Resident/Fellow, Candidate and Emeritus.

The primary function of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society is its annual meeting. The meeting format requires patient presentation as part of any presented paper, and a central walkway to demonstrate the patients. Questions from the floor are encouraged.

In the words of the seal, “learn by seeing, hearing, fellowship and criticism.”