Freddie Fu

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Freddie H. Fu, M.D.

Freddie H. Fu, M.D.,(傅浩強; pinyin: Fù Hàoqiáng), a specialist in sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery, is the David Silver Professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 2010 he was appointed by the University of Pittsburgh as the eighth distinguished service professor. On September 21, 2012, Starzl received the Lasker Award.

Fu is also serves as the head team physician for the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department. He also holds secondary appointments at Pitt as professor of Mechanical and Material Sciences, Physical Therapy, and Health and Physical Activity. Additionally he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Point Park University and an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

Family history

He is the fifth generation of the Fu Family who has resided in Hong Kong. He was born in Hong Kong in 1950 and lived on Bonham Road. His family has been primarily involved in the business community in Hong Kong for over 100 years. The Fu ancestry has been traced back for 27 generations through middle to southern China. His great-uncle, Fu Ping-Ch’ang, played an important role in the history of modern China and the Constitution of the Republic of China. In 1942, he was appointed Ambassador to Moscow, and four years later signed the Paris Treaty. Fu Ping Ch’ang graduated from Hong Kong University in 1916 majoring in civil engineering and in 1931 was the first Chinese to receive an honorary degree from Hong Kong University.

Education

Fu attended St. Paul’s College in Hong Kong. He was the Second Prefect of the class of 1969. In 1969 Fu was captain of St. Paul’s championship A Grade basketball team coached by Kenneth Ng. Fu also played lead guitar for a rock and roll band he started at St. Paul's.

In 1970, he followed his older brother and enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He received his bachelor of science degree and graduated summa cum laude in 1974 and his BMS degree in 1975. Fu then enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and received his MD degree in 1977. He completed his orthopedic residency and joined the Pitt faculty as an assistant professor in 1982.

Career and accomplishments

Fu is an active member, holding many offices in numerous academic organizations including the Herodicus Society, American Orthopaedic Association, and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). In 2008 & Mrs. Fu made a $1 million commitment to OREF to fund a new research award. This award will support research directed by a female orthopaedic surgeon researcher on a topic related to sports medicine or by an orthopaedic surgeon researcher of either gender on a topic of special interest to female athletes. Fu was president of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society and, in 2008, assumed the presidency of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and was the first foreign-born president in AOSSM’s 40-year history.[1] In 2009, he was named President of the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, the “United Nations of Sports Medicine” with a membership of 4,000 doctors from 96 countries. In 2011 he received the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Diversity Award,[2] which recognizes members of the Academy who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making the field of orthopaedic surgery more representative of and accessible to diverse patient populations. Fu is the ninth recipient of the Diversity Award and first Asian American. In 2012, Fu received the Sports Leadership Award from Dapper Dan Charities, which was subsequently re-named the Freddie Fu Sports Leadership Award and will remain in perpetuity.[3] On March 7, 2013, Fu was honored with a University of Pittsburgh 225th Year Anniversary Medallion at a University of Pittsburgh Alumni event in Hong Kong. The medallions were presented by Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Clyde Jones, president of the Medical Health Sciences Foundation and chief development officer of UPMC. In September 2013, Fu was honored by the German-speaking Society for Arthroscopy (AGA) for the 20th anniversary of the AGA-Pittsburgh Clinical and Research Fellowships. Also in September 2013, Fu was guest speaker at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine's White Coat Ceremony, where he delivered a speech titled "Thoughts for Young Doctors". In May 2014, Fu was the awarded the 4th honorary membership in 30 years of the European Society for Sports Traumatology Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy at the 16th Congress in Amsterdam.

Pitt Orthopaedic Research

The Research Division of Pitt Orthopaedic Surgery has been awarded numerous research grants including many from the National Institutes of Health. Over 30 scientists and 100 lab employees work in 14 diversified and comprehensive laboratories dedicated to outcomes, molecular therapeutics, cancer, orthopaedic engineering, biodynamics, cartilage restoration, growth and development, knee biomechanics, mechanobiology, concussion, cellular and molecular engineering, and spine, stem cell, and neuromuscular research. Fu’s major research interests lie in clinical outcomes following sports-related injuries, as well as orthopaedic bioengineering. He has pioneered numerous innovative arthroscopic surgical techniques to treat injuries to the knee and shoulder and has performed extensive knee joint research in biomechanics, in vivo kinematics, comparative anatomy, and stem cell and regenerative medicine involving the knee. These efforts have led to the publication of 471 peer reviewed articles, 116 book chapters, and 29 major orthopaedic textbooks on the management of sports injuries (as of 10/18/2012). Fu also has a total of 9 videos that are featured on the website VuMedi [1], which is the website equivalent a of “YouTube” for surgeons. His VuMedi series of anatomic ACL reconstruction videos have been viewed a total of 474,678 times with 571 comments (as of 10/18/2012).

In 1996 and again in 2014, Fu received the prestigious Kappa Delta Award for his shoulder and ACL research, respectively. The Kappa Delta Award is fondly referred to as the “Nobel Prize of orthopaedic research” and considered by the AAOS to be the highest recognition of excellence and promise in orthopaedic research. Over the course of his 30-year career Fu has received more than 195 honors and awards.

His team currently has more than 100 studies completed or underway to evaluate the merits of the anatomic approach by viewing the knee as an organ. He also has ongoing collaborations with K. Christopher Beard, Ph.D., a vertebrate paleontologist, and other curators at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and veterinarians at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Additionally Fu is working closely with C. Owen Lovejoy, Ph.D., an anthropologist at Kent State University, who reconstructed the skeleton of “Lucy”, the nearly complete fossil of a human ancestor that walked upright more than three million years ago.[4] Such collaborations allow for detailed study of evolution and bony and soft tissue anatomy of the knee.

A 2014 search on the Web of Science (Thompson and Reuters) for "anterior cruciate ligament" publications yielded 12,949 results. Of the top 25 authors, 4 of them (Freddie Fu, Christopher Harner, James Irrgang and Volker Musahl) are current members of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Pittsburgh, accounting for 480 (3.707%) of the total publications on this topic. Fu personally accounted for over 2% of the publications with a total of 275 on the ACL alone.

Center for Sports Medicine

In 1982 Ferguson named Fu Chief of Sports Medicine. The Division began with only with 1,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to sports medicine. His appointment as Chief was marked by productivity and performance as indicated by the Division of Sports Medicine’s accelerated growth to a world-class program within a short span of ten years.

In 2000, Fu was primarily responsible for the conception and oversight of the design and construction of the $80 million UPMC Sports Performance Complex and oversees one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports medicine centers which has become a magnet for more than 600 visiting surgeons and fellows from 50 countries and six continents. The Center is the first of its kind in the US to have the resources of a major academic and clinical system with professional and collegiate sports team programs. In 1994 the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine was rated as one of the top ten centers in the United States in Men’s Journal magazine and again in 1998 in Self magazine. It attracts local, national, and international patients; and hundreds of elite world-class athletes have been treated at the Center.

ACL reconstruction surgery

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for normal knee function including running, cutting, and pivoting. The ACL consists of two functional bundles (the anteromedial (AM) and the posterolateral (PL)) named for their insertion sites on the tibia. They are joined by a septum of connective tissue and function synergistically in providing both anterior-posterior translation and rotational stability to the knee. Wide variation exists from person to person in the size and length of the ACL and insertion sites.

ACL reconstruction is one of the most common procedures in orthropaedic surgery. A.W. Mayo Robson of Leeds, UK first performed the first known ACL reconstruction in the year 1895 on a 41-year-old miner. At this time, ACL surgery was an open procedure. In 1938, Palmer first suggested double-bundle ACL reconstruction, which went largely unrecognized until recent times. Thereafter, conversion from open to arthroscopic procedures became standard with the advent of modern technologies.

Oe of the most challenging technical problems that Fu and other orthopaedic surgeons encountered in the 1980s was soft tissue fixation to bone. In 1986, Fu’s Pitt research team along with researchers at Tufts and MIT developed the world’s first bone anchor. Mitek manufactured the first FDA approved bone anchor, and today there are many other bone anchor manufacturers. Over 1.5 million bone anchors are now used on a yearly basis worldwide. Artificial ligament prosthesis was in vogue for ACL reconstruction in the 1980s. His study in 1987 showed the effect of wear particles from artificial ligaments that can be harmful to the joint surface. Because of this study and the complications noted, artificial ligaments are no longer used.

In 1987 Fu was awarded a Whitaker Foundation Grant for “Glenohumeral Stability: A Dynamic Model”. This led to further joint kinematics studies and to his current collaborations on ACL surgery with Scott Tashman in the Pitt Biodynamics Lab. Fu has performed over 6,000 ACL surgeries since 1982 and is a world leader in anatomic reconstruction of the ACL.[5]

Most ACL reconstruction techniques focused solely on single bundle reconstruction. Traditionally, ACL reconstructions were performed non-anatomically by placing the graft outside of the native insertion sites. This may alter the native kinematics of the knee joint has caused concern for the long-term health of the knee joint over time. Recent research has suggested that anatomic double-bundle ACL reconstruction better restores the native kinematics of the knee joint by comparison to traditional, non-anatomical single bundle techniques.

Performing anatomical single- or double-bundle ACL reconstruction requires an in-depth understanding of the native ACL anatomy, as well as an understanding of the ‘Double-Bundle Concept.’ In Pittsburgh, there are four fundamental principles for performing anatomic ACL reconstruction: 1) Appreciate the patient’s native anatomy; 2) Tailor each surgery to the patient’s individualized anatomy and needs; 3) Restore the anatomy by placing the tunnels and grafts in the center of the patient’s native ACL footprints; and 4) Restore function by tensioning the grafts to mimic the native ACL as closely as possible.

The clinical outcomes of anatomic single-bundle versus anatomic double-bundle are not yet fully understood. In that regard, Freddie Fu, along with Principal Investigators Scott Tashman and James Irrgang have received a $2.9 million RO1 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a randomized controlled level-I clinical trial and are the only institution in the world to be comparing anatomic single to double-bundle ACL reconstruction in this fashion.

In 2013, the international collaborative team of Hussein, Fu et al. received the Hughston Award for the most outstanding paper published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in the year 2012. The article was titled "Prospective Randomized Clinical Evaluation of Conventional Single-Bundle, Anatomic Single-Bundle, and Anatomic Double-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: 281 Cases With 3- to 5-Year Follow-up” and was presented by Bruce Reider, Editor-in-Chief of AJSM at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Orthoapedic Society for Sports Medicine in Chicago, IL. AJSM is the #1 ranked journal worldwide for orthopaedic impact factor.

Medical education

Fu has been committed to medical students, residents, and fellows demonstrated by his mentorship and training of aspiring and young orthopaedic surgeons. The UPMC orthopaedic residency program has become one of the most sought after program in America, ranking No. 7 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2011. Fifteen graduates have secured Harvard/Mass General faculty appointments, and over 25 of Fu’s former fellows and residents head prestigious orthopaedic departments or sports medicine programs around the world. The UPMC program has produced more chairmen than any other orthopaedic program. He has supported a new initiative attracting more females to the male-dominated surgical specialty. In December 2010, and Mrs. Fu established the Freddie and Hilda Fu Endowed Fund in Orthopaedic Surgery by donating $1 million to the University of Pittsburgh to support education and training programs in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Interests and personal life

Fuis married to Hilda Pang Fu, a graduate of St. Stephen’s Girls’ School and Hong Kong University. She holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Public Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. They have two children and four grandchildren.

References

  1. http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/37/12/2309.full
  2. Diversity Award
  3. Anderson, Shelly (2012-03-13). "Local sports figures honored for dedication and passion". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2012-03-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://pittmed.health.pitt.edu/Winter_2009/wobbly_knee.pdf
  5. http://www.orthonet.pitt.edu/content/DoubleBundle.htm

External links