ASES Foundation

Charles S. Neer, II, MD

Past President of ASES (First ASES President): 1982-1983

Dr. Charles Neer was born on November 10, 1917, and raised in Vinita, Oklahoma. His father was a pioneer Oklahoma Territory Physician and Surgeon and his grandfather was also a physician. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School where he also did his internship in general surgery. He started his residency on the Fracture Service of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, but this was interrupted as he proudly served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during World War II first in Europe under General George Patten and then in Asia. After his military service, he completed his training and joined the Fracture Service at the Presbyterian Hospital with its eventual incorporation with the New York Orthopaedic Hospital and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York, New York. During his 50-year association with The Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Neer became a tenured Professor of the University, Director of the Fracture Service, and Chief of the Adult Orthopaedic Service. He retired in 1990 as Emeritus Consultant in Orthopaedic Surgery and Emeritus Professor and Special Lecturer and returned to his hometown.

Within the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Association, Dr. Neer distinguished himself by being their representative to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He served on the inaugural Committee for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery for the AAOS, developed the first dedicated Fellowship for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in 1976, and carved out the first Shoulder and Elbow Clinic from the rest of the Orthopaedic and Rheumatological Services at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

Dr. Neer founded and became the first President of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons in 1982. He served as the Organizing Chairman of the IV International Congress on Surgery of the Shoulder in 1989 and was the Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.

Dr. Neer’s many academic and surgical achievements include developing the standard for classification of proximal humerus fractures used globally. He developed the non-constrained proximal humerus and total shoulder arthroplasty systems. He altered the orthopaedic understanding of impingement syndrome and rotator cuff pathology beginning with his anterior acromioplasty article in 1972. He refined concepts in shoulder instability and dislocations with his approaches involving multidirectional instability and repetitive micro trauma. Dr. Neer authored widely cited articles in each major area of the shoulder-namely fractures and trauma, prosthetic replacements, impingement and rotator cuff tears and instability. The British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2010 searched the Orthopaedic literature from 1945 to 2008 for the top 100 quoted articles. Dr. Neer had 5 articles in the top 100, more than anyone else, a remarkable achievement. His advancements are summarized in his signature book Shoulder Reconstruction. Dr. Neer was an exemplary physician, surgeon, and teacher to his peers and colleagues. His contributions to our field over his 50-year career continue to shape our discussions and likely will for many years to come. One of his great legacies is the large number of surgeons who traveled to Columbia from all over the country and the world to train under him, many of whom are leaders of our field today.

In 1985, Charles S. Neer, II, MD, created a fund to provide recognition for outstanding clinical investigation contributing to the understanding, care, or prevention of injuries to the shoulder and elbow. Named after its benefactor, this prestigious award has been presented annually since the first Open Meeting of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. In 1987, the award was expanded to include both clinical and research categories.

Support Critical Research and Specialized Education
Scroll to Top