December 2018


Paul D. Choi, MD
December 9, 1970 - January 26, 2018

SRS was recently informed of the untimely passing of Paul Choi, MD after a battle with lymphoma.

To read Dr. Choi's full obituary, please click here.


Joseph C. Flynn Sr, MD
April 29, 1924 - June 10, 2010

During the recent Annual Meeting, SRS was informed of the passing of Joseph C. Flynn, Sr., MD several years ago.

To read Dr. Flynn's full obituary, please click here.


Keyvan Mazda, MD, PhD
August 22, 1959 - October 3, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

It is with deep sadness that we at Robert Debré Hospital (Paris, France) wish to inform the society of the sudden passing of Professor Keyvan Mazda, Chief of Staff of orthopedic pediatric surgery, on October 3, 2018. Keyvan was an naturally gifted surgeon, charismatic yet enigmatic, his booming voice recognizable to all. Passionate about music, watches, rugby and collector's rugs, he was interested and well-versed in an impressive array of topics beyond medical expertise. He enthusiastically undertook new challenges in the field of spine surgery, be it at Robert Debré or in his ancestral home, Iran, a country he cherished and in which he invested great efforts, such as the co-foundation of  the « Chain of Hope ».

Chief of Staff at Robert Debré since 2014, Keyvan was a strong leader, fair and generous, building a devoted team around him that he protected as he would his own family. He was equally close to the teams supporting his staff, ready to listen and give help, and was truly humble (despite the impression he could give on occasion). His intellectual curiosity made him a guaranteed presence at the annual meetings, where he could meet his numerous international friends. Keyvan was very proud to be part of the SRS and to represent our country in the spine community. He was also a true innovator, as one of the first to practice in France thoracoscopy on young children, and both adopting and becoming a strong advocate of the trans-sacral rods for pelvic fixation. Keyvan's international reputation was further established when he developed sublaminar bands, following the principles of posteromedial translation technique for scoliosis correction, implants now widely adopted worldwide.

Keyvan was proud of his students and in turn his students were equally proud of him. He was deeply attached to the traditions rooted in French surgery, and devoted to his mentors Pr Bensahel (founder of EPOS), Pr Deburge, Pr Dubousset and Pr Guillaumat. He leaves us with a feeling of profound loss, and the sense that much is left to be accomplished in his memory, yet also he has bequeathed to us the lasting legacy of a truly exceptional man.

Prof. Brice Ilharreborde
Pediatric Orthopaedic Department
Robert Debré Hospital
Paris Diderot University


Howard H. Steel, MD
April 17, 1921 - September 5, 2018

In early September, Howard H. Steel, MD passed away. He was one of the 2017 SRS Lifetime Achievement Award winners and created the Howard H. Steel Foundation Orthopaedic Foundation, which funds lectureships for several orthpaedic conferences, including our own.

Howard Steel was born in Philadelphia and raised in Atlantic City, NJ. He received his undergraduate education at Colgate University, majoring in chemistry. Following service in the Navy during World War II, he enrolled at Temple University School of Medicine and graduated in 2-1/2 years from their accelerated program. He later earned a Ph.D. in anatomy. He undertook an orthopaedic residency with Dr. John Royal Moore at Temple University Hospital’s Department of Orthopaedics and then remained on the attending staff.

Appointed Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia in 1966, he founded the first ever pediatric spinal cord injury unit in 1980. He was one of the early members of the SRS. He founded the Eastern Orthopaedic Association in 1970 and served as president for the first two years and managing director until 1976. He was a founding member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society, later to become POSNA.

Dr. Steel pioneered some of the most innovative surgical treatments for their time, many still in use today. He developed the triple innominate osteotomy for acetabular dysplasia. He took a non-traditional approach to extreme lumbar kyphosis secondary to lumboperitoneal shunt in patients with myelodysplasia, treating them with a hanging gravity correction cast. His Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Anatomical and Mechanical Considerations of Traumatic Interruption of the Atlanto-Axial Articulations” led to Steel’s Rule of Thirds. He also championed resection of the rib deformity in scoliosis for bone grafting and improvement in appearance.

His hemipelvectomy without amputation for treatment of malignant tumors of the pelvis spared patients the mutilation of hindquarter amputation. A group of grateful patients who underwent hemipelvectomy formed the Howard Steel Orthopaedic Foundation in his honor. Funds from the Foundation support lectures at multiple orthopaedic associations’ annual meetings, including the EOA, WOA, POSNA, AOA, and SRS. His only qualification is that the topics of the talks are non-medical, reflecting his belief in well-rounded knowledge on other life subjects. He was a life-long daredevil and athlete, a globe-trotter, a world-renowned authority on wine of the Rhine Valley and Madeira, a musician, and a great admirer of world languages. Dr. Steel was truly a Renaissance Man.

Dr. Steel was the beloved teacher, mentor, and true friend to three generations of orthopaedic residents and fellows. They learned from his presentations but mostly by observation of the elevated standards of the excellence that he demanded of himself, the compassion he showed for his patients, and the joie de vivre that he brought to work every single day. He engendered tremendous camaraderie and loyalty amongst his students and peers and obviously loved his profession.

Dr. Steel is survived by his wife Betty Jo and their 8 children.