On Sunday world-renowned hand surgeon Harold Kleinert died at age 91. Dr. Kleinert was a world famous hand surgeon and founder of the Kleinert and Kutz Hand Care Center. He is best known for his many breakthroughs on hand surgery and making Louisville one of the top cities for such procedures.
Dr. Kleinert graduated from Temple University in 1946. He first came to renown in 1962 when he and Dr. Mort Kasdan performed the first revascularization of a partial digital amputation.He founded the University of Louisville Hand Clinic in 1953, and began his practice in Louisville in 1963 while also teaching at the University of Louisville and University of Indiana-Purdue University. He and Joseph Kutz started their practice together in what is now the Kleinert and Kutz Hand Care Center located at Jewish Hospital.
In Dr. Kleinert's years as a surgeon, researcher, and educator he was part of many breakthroughs in the work of hand surgery. One such procedure was in 1977, when he successfully did the first bilateral arm replant. He reattached a tin miner's severed arms.
Dr. Kleinert's dedication to education future physicians also led him to found the Christine M. Kleinert Fellowship in Hand Surgery. He was president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and received the Scientific Achievement Award from the American Medical Association in 1980. He had hundreds of papers published in his lifetime.
Though Dr. Kleinert is no longer with us, his work will continue through the practice he founded and the men and women he taught and worked with. They will build from his work to discover new medical breakthroughs in the medical field.