Homer Stryker

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Homer Hartman Stryker, MD (November 4, 1894 – May 5, 1980) was an American orthopedic surgeon, inventor, businessman, and the founder of Stryker Corporation. His inventions revolutionized orthopedic care, patient comfort, and medical staff convenience.

Early Life & Education[edit]

Stryker was born in Wakeshma Township on November 4, 1894, later graduating from Athens High School as part of the class of 1894.[1] Stryker earned his teaching certificate from Western Michigan University in 1916 and taught in a one room schoolhouse in the Keweenaw Bay school system in the Upper Peninsula before serving as an infantry man in France during World War I. [1]

Medical School[edit]

Stryker returned to Michigan to study medicine. Stryker was admitted into the University of Michigan medical school in 1919, however failed the foreign language exam that was required for admittance, and as a consequence he was unable to be admitted.[2] To be able to afford medical school tuition, Stryker taught at a school in Grand Ledge, Michigan, he coached football, basketball and baseball, worked as a barber, and pitched for the Grand Ledge semi-pro baseball team for two years.[2] He was later able to begin his medical studies in 1921 after obtaining the tuition and passing the foreign language exam. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1925 and interned at the University Hospital.[1] Stryker began his medical practice in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and established offices in Borgess Hospital, where he was the only orthopedic surgeon in the region.


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 1946, he founded the company Orthopedic Frame Company Inc. to manufacture and sell his inventions. In 1943 he created what was, perhaps, his most important invention: an oscillating electric saw to cut and remove casts, which would not cut skin and received a patent in 1947. In January 1958, the Orthopedic Frame Company launched the revolutionary Circ-O-Lectric bed. After a decade in development, the Circ-O-Lectric bed capitalizes on the legacy of the turning frame. On January 2, 1964 Homer Stryker retired from practicing medicine and changed the name of his company from the 'Orthopedic Frame Company' to 'Stryker Corporation'. [3]


In 1970, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Western Michigan University Alumni Association. [2] [4]

Modern Day[edit]

Stryker's oscillating saw has been the tool of choice for cast removal ever since.[5][6]

Stryker Corporation has since grown into a global corporation, and went public on NASDAQ in 1977. Since 1997, Stryker has been traded on the NYSE.

His three grandchildren Pat Stryker, Jon Stryker and Ronda Stryker. Ronda Stryker currently sits on the governance board at Stryker Corporation.[7]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Dr. Homer Stryker". Kalamazoo Public Library. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "About Homer H. Stryker, MD". University of Western Michigan. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  3. ^ About Us - Company History. Stryker https://www.stryker.com/en-us/corporate/AboutUs/History/index.htm. Retrieved 5 June 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Proud Bronco Alumni". University of Western Michigan. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Organizational Behavior: Science, the Real World, and You, by Debra L. Nelson, James Campbell Quick, p. 323. Copr. 2010, Cenpage Learning, Inc.
  6. ^ The Journal, Volume 9, Issue 1, A publication of the National Association of Orthopaedic Technologists
  7. ^ The Forbes 400: Healers and Dealers