Paul Tornetta, III, MD

Professor, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director

Dr. Paul Tornetta is a Professor, Vice Chairman, and Residency Program Director in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, at Boston University School of Medicine and the Director of Orthopaedic Trauma for the Boston Medical Center. He earned his medical degree and completed his internship and orthopaedic residency training at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, in Brooklyn, New York. Following a fellowship in pelvic and acetabular fractures with Dr. Joel Matta in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Tornetta was appointed the Director of Orthopaedic Trauma at Kings County Hospital Center and the University Hospital of Brooklyn where he was the Residency Coordinator and Director of Research.

Dr. Tornetta is devoted to teaching orthopaedic residents and improving the quality of patient care through research. His research interests focus on both the clinical and technical aspects of orthopaedic trauma surgery and the injured patient.  His current studies involve elderly injury patterns, fracture healing, and minimally invasive surgery.  He is the 2010 OREF Clinical Research Award recipient for the SPRINT paper and four time Bovill Award winner, most recenty won at the 2009 OTA Annual Meeting for the abstract Nonoperative Immediate Weightbearing of Minimally Displaced Lateral Compression Sacral Fractures Does Not Result in Displacement.

A former President of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and an ABC Traveling Fellow, he currently serves as a member at large for the Board of The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and is the Chairman of the Strategic Planning & Board Development Committee for the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. He is appointed to the Instructional Course Committee and the Guidelines Oversight Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma and as an editor and reviewer for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Journal of Trauma.

Dr. Tornetta is one of the leading clinical scientists in the field of orthopaedic trauma, his academic accomplishments are numerous and Boston Magazine names him a Top Doctor.  He is an avid runner and card-carrying member of Dunkin Donuts.

Orthopaedic Trauma

Office Address
Boston University Orthopaedic Surgical Associates
725 Albany St.
Shapiro 4th Floor, Suite 4B
Boston, MA  02118

Patient Appointments/Referrals
Patients should call the Orthopaedic Scheduler at 617-414-4865 to schedule an appointment.
Referring physicians should call the Clinical Coordinator at 617-414-5794 for consultation or transfers.
Out of state referring physicians should call 877-303-1234 for consultations and transfers.

Medical School and Graduation Year
MD, 1987
State University of New York
Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York

Residency, Specialty, and Graduation Year
1987 – 1988
Intern, General Surgery
State University of New York – Health Science Center at Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York

1988 – 1992
Resident, Orthopaedic Surgery
State University of New York – Health Science Center at Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York

Residency Fellowship, Specialty, and Graduation Year
1992 – 1993
Fellow, Acetabular and Pelvic Fractures
Hospital of the Good Samaritan
Los Angeles, California

Board Certification, Year Received
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research/Clinical Interests
Trauma and complex articular fractures
Fracture healing
Minimally invasive surgery
Fractures in the elderly

Awards and Honors
Robert E. Leach Resident Teaching Award, 1999, 2000, 2007
Bovill Award recipient, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011
Boston Magazine Top Doctor, 2005-2011
Listed in the “Best Doctors in America”, 2002, 2011
ABC (American British Canadian) Traveling Fellowship Award, 2001

Scientific Collaborations
OTRC, Orthopaedic Trauma Research Consortium
METRC, Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium

157 National Scientific Presentations
26 International Scientific Presentations
121 Poster Presentations

170 Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. Sheth, U., Simunovic, N., Tornetta, III, P., Einhorn, T.A. Bhandari, M.  Poor Citation of Prior Evidence in Hip Fracture Trials.  J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2011;93(22):2079-2086.
  2. Cartner, J.L., Hartsell, Z.M., Ricci, W.M., Tornetta, III, P.  Can We Trust Ex Vivo Mechanical Testing of Fresh-Frozen Cadaveric Specimens?  The Effect of Postfreezing Delays. J Orthop Trauma.2011 Nov; 25(8):459-461.
  3. Tornetta, III, P.; Patterson, M.; Galatz, L.; Toman, J.; Ricci, W. CT Evaluation of Isolated Extra-articular Glenoid Neck Fractures: Does the Glenoid Medialize or Does the Scapula Lateralize? Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma
  4. Lawless B, Tornetta P: Proximal Tibial Nailing Using the Semiextended Technique. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Web site: Orthopaedic Knowledge Online 2010;8(9): Accessed September 27, 2010.
  5. Chen RC, Harris DJ, Leduc S, Borrelli JJ Jr, Tornetta P 3rd, Ricci WM. Is ulnar nerve transposition beneficial during open reduction internal fixation of distal humerus fractures? J Orthop Trauma. 2010 Jul;24(7):391-4.
  6. Bauke W. Kooistra1., Bernadette G., Tornetta, III, P., Bhandari, M., Sprague, S., Guyatta, G.:Prospectively screening for eligible patients was inaccurate in predicting patient recruitment of orthopaedic randomized trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology JCE-09-445R
  7. Bernadette G., Dijkman BSc, Jihad A.K. Abouali1, MD, Bauke W. Kooistra1, BSc, Henry J. Conter MD, Rudolf W. Poolman MD, PhD, Abhaya V. Kulkarni MD, PhD, Tornetta, III P, Mohit Bhandari1, MD: Twenty Years of Meta-Analyses in Orthopaedic Surgery:  Has Quality kept up with Quantity? J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010;92:48-57.
  8. Pape, H., Tornetta, III, P., Tarkin, I., Tzioupis, C., Sabeson, V., Olson, S.; Timing of Fracture Fixation in Multitrauma Patients: The Role of Early Total Care and Damage Control Study:  J Am Acad Orthop Surg Sept. 2009;17:541-549
  9. Stark, E., Stucken, C., Trainer, G., Tornetta, III, P. Compartment Syndrome in Schatzker Type VI Plateau Fractures and Medial Condylar Fracture Dislocations Treated with Temporary External Fixation. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. 23(7):502-506, August 2009.
  10. Richard, M., Tornetta, III, P. Emergent Management of APC-2 Pelvic Ring Injuries with an Anteriorly Placed C-Clamp. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. 23(5):322-326, May/June 2009.
  11. Schemitsch, E., Bhandari, M., Mckee, M., Zdero, R.., Tornetta, III, P., McGehee, B., Hawkins, R.: Orthopaedic Surgeons: Artists or Scientists?* J Bone Joint Surgery Am. 2009;91:1264-73. *This report is based on a symposium presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Orthopaedic Association, Asheville, North Carolina, June 13-16, 2007.
  12. Busse, JW., Kaur, J., Mollon, B., Bhandari, M., Tornetta, III, P., Shunemann, H.J., Guyatt, GH. Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasonography for Fractures:  Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.  BMJ2009; 338; b351.  
  13. S.P.R.I.N.T. Investigators. Randomized Trial of Reamed versus Non-Reamed Intramedullary Nailing of Tibial Shaft Fractures. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008 Dec;90(12):2567-2578.
  14. S.P.R.I.N.T. Investigators. Statistical issues in the design and analysis of expertise-based randomized clinical trials. Stat Med. 2008 Dec 30;27(30):6583-6596.
  15. The SPRINT Investigators. Use of Both Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment Questionnaire and Short Form 36 Among Tibial-Fracture Patients Was Redundant. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2009 Nov.;62(11):1210-7
  16. S.P.R.I.N.T. Investigators. Study to Prospectively Evaluate Reamed Intramedullary Nails in Patients with Tibial Fractures (S.P.R.I.N.T.): Study Rationale and Design. BMC Musculoskelet Disord.  2008 Jun 23;9:91. 
  17. Russell TA, Leighton RK Bucholz RW, Tornetta P 3rd, Cornell CN, Agnew S, Ostrum RF, Berrey BH, Davison B, Gruen TA, Vrahas MS, Jones AL, Pollak A, O’Brien P, Varecka TF, Goulet JA.: Comparison of autogenous bone graft and endothermic calcium phosphate cement for defect augmentation in tibial plateau fractures. A multicenter, prospective, randomized study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008 Oct;90(10):2057-61.
  18. Bajammal, S.;  Zlowodzki, M.; Lelwica, A.; Tornetta, III, P.; Einhorn T.A.; Buckley, R.; Leighton, R.; Russell, T.A.; Larsson, S.; Bhandari, M.: The Use of Calcium Phosphate Bone Cement in Fracture Treatment. A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008;90:1186-1196.
  19. Bhandari M, Devereaux PJ, Swiontkowski MF, Tornetta, III P, Obremskey W, Koval K, Sprague S, Schemitsch EH, Guyatt GH.  Internal fixation versus arthroplasty in displaced fractures of the femoral neck: a systematic review and meta-analysis  J Bone Joint Surg Br Proceedings 90-B: 42-a.
  20. Bhandari M, Tornetta, III P. How presenting the risks of fracture surgey to patients influences decision-making.J Bone Joint Surg Br Proceedings 90-B: 10
  21. Ziran, B.; Smith, WR.; Anglen, J.; Tornetta, P III.: External Fixation: How To Make it Work: AAOS Instructional Course Lectures, Volume 57 (2008): 32-49
  22. Anglen, J.; Baumgaertner, M.; Smith, WR.; Tornetta, P III.; Ziran, B.: Technical Tips in Fracture Care: Fractures of the Hip. AAOS Instructional Course Lectures, Volume57 (2008): 17-24
  23. Sung, JK.;  Levin, R.; Siegel, J.; Einhorn, TA.; Creevy, WR.; Tornetta, P III: Reuse of External Fixation Components: A Randomized Trial. J Ortho Trauma. (2008) Feb;22(2): 126-30; discussion 130-1.
  24. Siegel, J.; Tornetta, P III.: Extraperiosteal Plating of Pronation Abduction Ankle Fractures: Surgical Technique. JBJS American (2008) mar; 90 Suppl2:135-44.
  25. Tornetta, III.P; Boes, M; Schepsis, A. A; Foster, E. T; Bhandari, M; Garcia E: How Effective is a Saline Arthrogram for Wounds around the Knee? Clin Ortho Relat Res. (2008) Feb 466(2):432-5. Epub 2008 Jan 10.
  26. Sung J., Siegel J., Tornetta, P III, Bhandari, M.: The Orthopaedic Trauma Literature: An Evaluation of Statistically Significant Findings in Orthopaedic Trauma Randomized Trials. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. (2008)9:14
  27. Siegel, J.; Tornetta, P.; Templeman, D.: Single Leg Stance Views in the Diagnosis of Pelvic Instability: number JBJS-D-07-01559R2.
  28. Kakar, S.; Tornetta, P III.;  Schemitsch, EH.; Swiontkowski, M.; Koval, K.; Hanson, BP.; Jonsson, A.; Bhandari, M.; International Hip Fracture Research Collaborative: Technical Consideration in the Operative Management of Femoral Neck Fracture in Elderly Patients: A Multinational Survey. J Trauma (2007) Sept;63(3):641-6
  29. Zlowldzki, M.; Poolman, RW.; Kerkhoffs, GM,; Tornetta P III.; Bhandari, M; International Evidence Based Orthopaedic Surgery Working Group: How To Interpret a Meta-Analysis and Judge Its Value as a Guide for Clinical Practice. Acta Orthop. (2007) Oct;78(5):598-609.
  30. Tornetta, P III.:  Prospective Multicenter Randomized Comparison of Autogenous Iliac Bone Graft and a Bone Graft Substitute in Defect Augmentation for Tibial Plateau Fractures.  JBJS-D-07-01191R3.

For more information on orthopaedic trauma please visit the Orthopaedic Trauma Association’s website at

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine