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Chattanooga Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery Fellowship

pelvic x-ray

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery sponsors a one-year Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery Fellowship for residents who have graduated from an accredited North American Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program. The fellowship is accredited by the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and participates in the San Francisco Match.

Fellowship Goal

The Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship goal is the successful preparation of each graduating fellow to become an exceptional orthopaedic trauma surgeon. The graduate will be able to organize a team to manage the orthopaedic injuries of all patients under their care, either in an academic or private setting. They will recognize the value of life-long learning and consistently strive to improve their knowledge and skill set long after completion of our fellowship.


One fellowship position for twelve months (August 1 – July 31)


erlanger lifeforce helicopterErlanger Health System is a consortium of several hospitals and medical practices, and functions as the Chattanooga rotation site for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

All fellowship education occurs at the Erlanger Medical Center Baroness Campus, a 778 bed ACS-accredited Level I Trauma Center with greater than 4,000 annual trauma admissions. The greater Chattanooga region has a population over half a million; however, six LifeForce helicopter bases extend our catchment area to more than 25,000 square miles, including eastern Tennessee, northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia, and western North Carolina.  Each year, this critical air-ambulance service delivers over 2,500 patients to Erlanger, almost 60% of which come direct from the scene of an accident. More than 90% of our trauma admissions result from blunt trauma, many with complex orthopaedic trauma injuries. Patient care is a coordinated team effort, with a  collegial interaction between orthopaedic trauma and the critical care/trauma surgery, neurosurgery, urology, and plastic surgery departments.

The hospital system has provided exceptional surgical resources to the orthopaedic trauma team, with three or four dedicated operating rooms available every weekday, and one or two rooms on weekends. This limits the need for after-hours surgeries, excepting for true surgical emergencies. Our surgical team consists of specialized orthopaedic trauma circulating nurses, scrubs and fluoroscopy technicians, facilitating quality and efficient care.

hip xrayClinical Volume

The Orthopaedic Trauma Department takes more than 1700 cases to the operating room each year, many of these being poly-traumatized patients requiring multiple surgical procedures. Over 150 acetabular fractures and 120 operative pelvic rings are treated by our surgeons each year, in addition to numerous complex periarticular injuries and long-bone fractures. During the last three fellowship years, fellows have performed surgery on an average of 70 acetabular fractures, 45 pelvic rings, and 200 periarticular fractures (each case an individual patient trip to the operating room). Including these cases, the fellow completes over 500 surgical cases per year that are required by the OTA for accreditation, in addition to many other procedures. The orthopaedic trauma fellow generally has their choice of surgical cases, and can tailor the fellowship experience to meet their specific needs. Presently, the orthopaedic trauma fellowship position is the only fellowship within orthopaedic surgery, such that there are no other fellows to vie for complex traumatic cases.


The orthopaedic trauma fellowship remains the only self-funded fellowship program at UT Erlanger, and has been the grateful recipient of educational grant support through AO Trauma North America. The fellowship is accredited by the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and participates in the SFMatch process.

AO North America logo 

Sep 16, 2022