In Memory of Dr. Russell E. Windsor

Aug 20, 2022

With a heavy heart, we share with the OMI community that Dr. Russell E. Windsor, a long time OMI course director, passed away in a fatal cycling accident in New York in July 2022.

Dr. Windsor’s fascination with medicine and his passion for helping people were integral parts of who he was. He knew he wanted to be a physician from a young age and was often found studying anatomy textbooks for fun as a child. In pursuit of this goal, he attended Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency training at the University of Pennsylvania and did a fellowship in knee reconstructive surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) under John Insall, MD, one of the original developers and father of total knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Windsor continued as an Attending Orthopedic Surgeon in the ARJR Service at HSS in New York City for over 35 years and served as a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Windsor was Chief of the Knee Service from 1991 to 2006.

Dr. Windsor had a profound impact on the world of orthopedic surgery. He presented his work and served as a faculty member in over 250 national and international seminars, wrote over 60 original publications, and contributed chapters about reconstructive surgery in 40 textbooks. He was a pioneer and designer of several total knee replacement systems, including the Rotating Hinge Knee and the Zimmer Unicompartmental Knee. He was keenly interested in surgical applications of computer-assisted navigation and robotics in knee replacement, and the treatment of complex deformities about the knee.

Dr. Windsor educated orthopedic and trauma surgeons from around the world through the Open Medical Institute, serving as course director 13 times, beginning back in 1997. Additionally, he was a mentor to hundreds of residents and fellows throughout his career. Not only did he advance the field through innovation, research, and education, but through surgery, he also improved the quality of life for thousands of patients. Dr. Windsor had recently retired from HSS in 2021.

His passions extended beyond his professional career. As an avid music lover, he was an accomplished classical pianist and listener of classical music. He was a longtime supporter of Carnegie Hall and the Salzburg Music Festival. Bruckner, Rachmaninoff, and Beethoven were among his favorite composers.

Dr. Windsor loved sports, particularly baseball, rowing, and cycling, and he actively shared this interest with his family. Above all, Dr. Windsor was most proud of his family. He was most recently excited to have become a grandfather to his first grandson.

Our hearts go out to Dr. Windsor’s family, friends, and community. The OMI was honored to have known him and to have been a part of his journey!