Dr. Edward H. Simmons

Recipient of the CSS Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005

The Canadian Spine Society was greatly honoured to present this award to Dr. Simmons. Unfortunately, he could not attend the presentation in person due to health reasons. Dr. Stewart Bailey, one of his outstanding past fellows, provided the society with a most entertaining and complementary presentation describing Dr. Simmons amazing life and career.


A summary of his career achievements follows:


  • MD, University of Toronto, graduating at the age of 22.
  • Winner of Chappelle Prize in Clinical Surgery on graduation
  • Postgraduate degree of Bachelor of Science in Medicine 1951
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada 1954
  • Master of Surgery, University of Toronto 1956
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons 1957
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery 1975.
  • Recertifications by examination as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery 1983.
  • Recertification by examination as a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery 1992

Professional honours and positions held

  • President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association 19811982 (7th Combined Meeting of Orthopaedic Surgery of the English Speaking World)
  • President of the Cervical Spine Research Society 1974—1975
  • President of the Scoliosis Research Society 1975—1976
  • Commissioned a Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in recognition of contribution to the treatment of crippling deformities of the spine August 6, 1975
  • American—British—Canadian Traveling Fellow (ABC Fellow) 1965
  • President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society 1982
  • Examiner of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • President of the American Back Society 1991—1996
  • Member, North American Spine Society
  • Member, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
  • President of the MedicoLegal Society of Toronto 1971—1972

Academic positions

  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Director of University Orthopaedic Spine Service
  • Orthopaedic Department Head, Buffalo General Hospital 1982-1992
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto 1981
  • Chairman of the Committee on Postgraduate Instruction in Orthopaedic Surgery 1958-1975
  • Chairman of Committee on Postgraduate Training in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Toronto 1975-1983
  • Chief of the Orthopaedic Division of the Toronto East General and Orthopaedic Hospital 1975-1983
  • Chairman of the SubCommittee on Postgraduate Training of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association 1980-1982
  • Spine Fellowship Director, University of Toronto 1966-1983
  • Director of the University Orthopaedic Spine Service and Fellowship Program, State University of New York at Buffalo 1983-July 1997

These combined programs have trained 62 spine surgeons now at 58 university centers in North America, 2 in South Africa, 1 in Australia and 1 in China.


  • Author of 20 book chapters, over 156 scientific articles and 5 teaching movies.
  • Editorial consultant, Journal of SPINE; consultant editor, Clinical tie Colombia, Bogotá, Columbia.
  • Visiting professorships and guest lectureships

These total 215, including 46 university visiting professorships and 40 designated lectureships in 75 university centers in 24 countries. Dr. Simmons has given over 900 scientific presentations to national and international meetings.


  • Development and standardization of technique of cervical osteotomy for flexion deformity in ankylosing spondylitis under local anesthesia.
  • The technique of extension osteotomy of the lumbar spine.
  • Surgery of anterior instrumentation of the spine for correction of spinal deformity introduced to North America in 1969.
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with the Keystone technique.
  • Chiari osteotomy for congenital dysplasia of the hip joint with arthrosis.
  • Rotation as the cause of cubitus varus in supracondylar fractures of the elbow.

Research Activities

  • Include ongoing basic science and clinical research studies related to orthopedic aspects of spinal disability
  • Senior faculty advisor resulting in the award of the Edouard Samson Prize of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association on 2 occasions for the most outstanding research work done in Canada that year.
  • The Russell Hibbs Award of the Scoliosis Research Society on 2 occasions
  • The Basic Science Award of the Cervical Spine Research Society
  • Two research fellows were awarded the degree of Master of Surgery, and 3 were awarded the postgraduate degree of Bachelor of Science in Medicine at the University of Toronto
  • Development of a basic science research program at the University of Buffalo with 1 orthopedic candidate selected per year with a Master Degree of completion of a successful thesis. Since it was instituted, 4 successful candidates have qualified for their Masters Degree, creating an opportunity for academic postgraduate basic science activity in the Orthopaedic Department of the University of Buffalo Member
  • American Orthopaedic Association
  • Canadian Orthopaedic Association
  • Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society
  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • International Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
  • Fellow, Scoliosis Research Society
  • Founding member, Cervical Spine Research Society
  • Founding member, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
  • Fellow, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Honorary member, Western Orthopaedic Society
  • Honorary member, midAmerica
  • Orthopaedic Society
  • Honorary patron, Simmons Surgical Society
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