Stryker grew up in Athens, Michigan, a small farming community in Southern Michigan, before earning a teaching certificate from Western Michigan University in 1916. He taught in local schools before serving as an infantryman in France during World War I. He returned to Michigan to study medicine, earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1925.
In 1935, Stryker began tinkering in his workshop with medical devices, developing a rubber heel for walking casts as well as an innovative hospital bed that reduced the incidence of bedsores in bed-ridden patients. In 1941 he founded a company to manufacture and sell his inventions. In 1943 he created what was, perhaps, his most important invention: an oscillating (vibrating) electric saw to cut and remove casts, which would not cut skin. His invention has been the tool of choice for cast removal ever since. A later variant of Stryker's cast saw was the oscillating electric bone saw, which cuts bone but not soft tissue. By 1959, Dr. Stryker had 12 patents on medical devices.
In 1970, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Western Michigan University Alumni Association.
- Dr. Homer Stryker: Inventor, orthopedic surgeon, businessman, Kalamazoo Public Library, retrieved July 13, 2011
- Dr. Homer Stryker, 1970 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
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