Published on 3/31/2021


It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of AANA Past President and arthroscopy legend, Howard Sweeney, M.D.

I am honored to have known him and be directly impacted by his great work at AANA and orthopaedics in general. He was a pioneer of arthroscopy and played an integral role in focusing AANA’s mission and making strides in lab course skills training.

When reflecting on Dr. Sweeney’s career I am reminded of his simplistic and incredibly effective teaching models as well as his impact on international arthroscopy.

Dr. Pietro Tonino shared a wonderful story of Dr. Sweeney utilizing a shoebox with a truck inside it to simulate the skills required to work an arthroscope. What a genius, low-cost but effective way to deliver skills training to developing surgeons. He was the pioneer of knot tying skills and competency. He took these teaching models to Vietnam where he became the Godfather of arthroscopy, revolutionizing their methods for minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery. Throughout his lessons and exercises he was always kind, demonstrated humility and truly enjoyed teaching.

The next time you find yourself at the Orthopaedic Learning Center, entering the Howard Sweeney, M.D. Auditorium, please take a moment to reflect on this great man’s work and immense impact he had on arthroscopy.

He will be deeply missed. To read his obituary, please click here.

Brian J. Cole, M.D., M.B.A., FAANA
AANA President

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