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David L. Helfet, MD

Trauma, Hip Preservation
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About Dr. Helfet


David L. Helfet, MD has been appointed Executive Medical Director of HSS at NCH, the collaboration formed to bring high quality orthopedic care to southwest Florida effective July 2023. He will start a phased transition from his practice at the HSS main campus in New York over the next three years.

Dr. Helfet is annually ranked as one of New York Magazine's "Best Doctors in New York" and Castle-Connolly's "America's Top Doctors." Dr. Helfet is currently Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Director Emeritus of the Orthopedic Trauma Service at both Hospital for Special Surgery and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Additionally, Dr. Helfet is designated as the Orthopedic Trauma specialist for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), the New York Police Department (NYPD), and New York State Police and provides advanced orthopedic care to members who are injured in the line of duty.

Dr. Helfet has published extensively on orthopedic trauma topics including numerous articles and book chapters. He frequently presents at both national and international conferences on treatment of orthopedic trauma. He has received such visiting lectureships as the Presidential Guest and Watson-Jones Memorial Lecture of the British Orthopaedic Association, and has been the recipient of many honors and awards including the Philip D. Wilson Jr. Teaching Award.

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Specialized Centers

Computer Assisted Surgery Center

Special Expertise

Minimally invasive fracture surgery
Fractures and dislocations of both the upper and lower extremities (shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, hip, upper leg, knee, lower leg, ankle, etc.)
Fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum
Complex fractures with angular deformities and/or bone defects
Poly-trauma patients with orthopaedic injuries
Fractures in adolescents, adults and the elderly populations
Periprosthetic fractures
Insufficiency fractures
Complex cases requiring correction of deformity or limb lengthening
Corrective osteotomies (long bones and pelvic osteotomies)
Unhealed fractures including non-unions
Hip dysplasia
Chronic post-partum pelvic pain and/or instability

Patient Stories


Patient ratings for Dr. Helfet


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If your insurance is not listed, please call our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. If you have out-of-network benefits, then your insurance may reimburse you for a portion of your office visit. We will work with you and your insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Financial assistance may be available for patients in need.



Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Chief Emeritus, Combined Orthopedic Trauma, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Surgery (Orthopedics), Weill Cornell Medical College
Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1984


Orthopedics Blue Ribbon Article Award for outstanding contribution to the orthopedic literature, 2019
HSS Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015
Castle Connolly Top Doctor, 20 Years
Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors, 2002-2020
Castle Connolly Top Doctors in New York Metro Area, 2002-2022
New York Magazine Top Doctors, 2002-2018, 2021-2022
Presidential Guest, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie (German Orthopaedic Trauma Association), 2000
Presidential Guest, Israel Orthopaedic Association, 1995
Philip D. Wilson Jr. Teaching Award (Voted by the Residents), Hospital for Special Surgery, 1995
Watson-Jones Memorial Lecture, British Orthopaedic Association, 1994
Presidential Guest, British Orthopaedic Association, 1994
Edward Bovill Award/ Best Paper, Orthopaedic Trauma Association, 1994
Selected Highlight Paper, Orthopaedic Trauma Association, 1990
Best Overall Paper, Florida Orthopaedic Society, 1990
Best Resident Paper, Florida Orthopaedic Society, 1990
Best Paper Award, Eastern Orthopaedic Association, 1990
Edward Bovill Award/ Best Paper, Orthopaedic Trauma Association, 1989
Best Paper Award, Eastern Orthopaedic Association, 1989
"Outstanding Professor Award" Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of South Florida., 1987-1988


MD, University of Cape Town Medical School, Cape Town, South Africa, 1975


Johns Hopkins University, Assistant Resident in General Surgery, Baltimore, Maryland, 1977-78
Johns Hopkins University, Assistant Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery, 1978-80
Johns Hopkins University, Chief Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery, 1980-81


University of Bern, Insel Hospital, Trauma-Arthroplasty Professor M.E. Muller, Bern, Switzerland, 1981
University of California, Los Angeles, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Professor G. Finerman, 1981-82

State Licensure



Publications by Dr. Helfet

Patient Education

Professional Education

Selected Journal Articles

Selected Books/Chapters


Helfet DL, Co-Editor: Fractures of the Pelvis and Acetabulum. Co-edited by Tile M, Kellam J, Lippincott, William & Wilkins, 3rd dition, May 2003.

Helfet DL, Co-Author: AO Manual of Fracture Management: Internal Fixators. AO Publishing, Thieme, 2006.

Krettek C, Helfet DL: Fractures of the Distal Femur in Skeletal Trauma. Co-Edited by Browner BD, Jupiter JB, Levine AM, Trafton PG, 3rd Edition, Saunders, 2003 pp. 1957-2011.

Toro JB, Helfet DL: Surgical Treatment of Tibial Nonunions. In: Tornetta P III (ed). Techniques in Fracture Surgery. W.B. Saunders, 2005. publication pending

Selected Presentations

Dr. David Helfet presenting at OTA

Dr. Helfet was selected to give the John Border, MD Memorial Lecture at the 2022 Orthopaedic Trauma Association Annual Meeting held in Tampa, Florida. The presentation is entitled "We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants: Our Mentors, Our Teachers. A Presidential Address, Revisited”.


Orthopaedic Trauma Service (OTS) Research

The OTS is actively involved in many research areas related to orthopaedic trauma, including clinical outcomes research, laboratory and bench research, and biomechanical studies. Our research includes many emerging and exciting areas of importance in orthopaedic trauma, including bone healing pathways, cartilage injury and repair, fracture fixation methods, and vascularity studies. Our research initiatives are facilitated with state-of-the-art resources at Hospital for Special Surgery and are coordinated by Joseph M. Lane, MD, Director of OTS Research.

Clinical Trials / Research Studies

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

HSS has a long history of supporting appropriate relationships with industry because they advance HSS's mission to provide the highest quality patient care, improve patient mobility, and enhance the quality of life for all, and to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and their related disciplines through research and education.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Helfet as of March 18, 2024.

  • Armada Health Care, LLC - Advisory Board
  • DEBx USA - Board Member; Ownership Interest
  • HD Lifesciences, LLC - Ownership Interest
  • Healthpoint Capital, LP - Board Member; Advisory Board; Ownership Interest
  • Mediphore, Inc. - Board Member; Ownership Interest
  • My Medical Images - Board Member; Ownership Interest
  • OHK Medical Devices, Inc. - Advisory Board

HSS and its physicians make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest and Commitment Policy prohibits physicians from collecting royalties on products they develop that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Helfet in the News