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The x-ray of an arm repaired by an orthopaedic surgeon. A rod can be seen within the bone.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Transforming bone health and reconstruction through education, research and clinical practice

Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery provides collaborative and comprehensive clinical and academic training for the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons. The team’s world-class faculty are highly trained in an array of orthopaedic subspecialties and are committed to the continuation of orthopaedic excellence.


The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is committed to the education of medical students, residents and fellows. Thirty-one full-time teaching faculty work alongside volunteer faculty to train the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons.
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Under the direction of accomplished research faculty and through the generous support of grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has multiple active studies with emphasis on orthopaedic trauma, bone healing and regeneration, biomechanics and joint replacement and more.
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Clinical Care

In addition to training medical students, residents and fellows, faculty in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery practice at four clinical facilities on the Indianapolis campus, treating the entire musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles and spine.
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Dr. Brian Mullis looks into the camera while performing surgery. He is wearing blue scrubs and a camo scrub cap. Two surgeons are assisting him.

Annual Report

Read about the department's successes in the last year. Meet the faculty, staff and learners who make the department great, and learn more about their hard work and fascinating discoveries.

Download the 2022 Annual Report
30 Adult Faculty Surgeons
5 Pediatric Faculty Surgeons
4 Research Faculty Members
14787-Wurtz, L

L D. Wurtz, MD

Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

The primary research focus of Dan Wurtz, MD, is in the field of musculoskeletal oncology, and the diagnosis and treatment of primary and metastatic bone malignancies.

Read Bio L D. Wurtz, MD

Emily T. Cha, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery

Emily T. Cha, MD, is an IU School of Medicine alum and an assistant professor. She specializes in general orthopaedic surgery and is among the department’s newest faculty recruits.

Melissa A. Kacena, PhD

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Melissa Kacena, PhD, leads the department's basic science division. Her research focuses on improving bone health, and she has worked in collaboration with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Read Bio Melissa A. Kacena, PhD

18051-Mullis, Brian

Brian H. Mullis, MD

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Brian H. Mullis, MD, is the residency program director and a tenured professor. His specialty is orthopaedic trauma including acute upper and lower extremity trauma and post-traumatic reconstruction. 

Read Bio Brian H. Mullis, MD

Tradition of Excellence

For more than 60 years, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at IU School of Medicine has attracted the best and brightest medical students, residents and fellows throughout Indiana and across the globe. Orthopaedic surgery trainees are at the forefront of medicine and assist the department’s faculty physicians in providing patient care using the most advanced technologies.

Graduate Medical Education Programs

IU School of Medicine offers a five-year orthopaedic surgery residency program as well as a one-year adult Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship. Residents experience a broad spectrum of orthopaedics as they rotate through seven clinical facilities across Indianapolis. The Adult Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship encompasses nearly all aspects of lower extremity adult reconstruction and requires fellows to demonstrate exemplary inpatient and outpatient musculoskeletal care for patients with emphasis on evidence-based decision-making. The curriculum for both programs is predicated on ACGME’s six core competencies.