In Memory of Dr. Sigvard (Ted) Hansen

– A Memo from the President
Dr Ted Hansen

In Memory of Dr. Sigvard (Ted) Hansen – A Memo from the President
The AO NA community is mourning the recent death of Dr. Sigvard (Ted) Hansen on November 11, 2023. 

At the same time, we also truly celebrate Dr. Hansen for the countless friendships amongst our AO family, as well as his extensive AO contributions - from leadership to fellowship to education, in both trauma and foot/ankle specialties. 

Dr. Hansen spent essentially his entire career at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, where he served numerous critical roles including the chief of orthopedic trauma and also the chair of the orthopedic surgery department at the University of Washington. 

He was a founding member of AO NA and quickly became known globally for his innovative work on early internal fixation, particularly femoral medullary nailing techniques. He was the chair of the first North American AO course held in 1980 in Sun Valley, Idaho. He enlisted some of his residents to be table instructors at that course! 

Dr. Hansen established Harborview as an AO center and hosted 100s of visiting surgeons from across the world. These surgeons came to learn his clear thought processes, improved surgical techniques, and role model empathetic care for the most complicated patients. He maintained close relationships with these visiting surgeons and his adoring patients over his lifetime. 

Dr. Hansen taught at more than 100 AO courses, but his AO teaching didn’t stop when the courses ended. He emphasized AO principles and advanced techniques to everyone - students, residents, fellows, attendings, nurses, therapists, and many others. His clinical team was very inclusive with wide-open communication so that everyone had a voice that was heard and opinions that were valued. Later in his career, he transitioned from trauma to a full-time foot and ankle clinical devotion. 

Many will recognize Dr. Hansen for his multiplicative “ripple” effect on both the trauma and F/A specialties simply due to the number of young surgeons who he educated and mentored. 

Whether you know it or not, you’ve been impacted by the legacy of Dr. Hansen. We all will continue to carry him forward with us as our AO colleague, leader, mentor, educator, role model, master surgeon, hero, and great friend!

Milton (Chip) Routt, MD
AO North America, Inc.