Stephen M Howell is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the treatment of knee disorders, an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California at Davis, and holds 34 patents as an inventor of orthopedic devices.
He graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1981 and an orthopedic surgical residency at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in 1986. He served three years in the United States Air Force as an orthopedic surgeon and an additional 14 years as a reservist. He was recalled to active duty for the first Persian Gulf War and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Dr. Howell’s clinical practice is in Lodi and Sacramento California, where he focuses on the treatment of degenerative and sports-related injuries of the knee.
He performs over 500 calipered kinematically aligned total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and 80 ACL reconstructions per year. Since 1989 he has collaborated with Distinguished Professor Maury Hull. Collectively, they have educated and graduated 4 Ph.D. students and 33 master students in mechanical or biomedical engineering. Dr. Howell has published over 172 scientific articles in peer-review journals. His innovations since 2005 include pioneering the concept of calipered kinematically aligned TKA. Kinematic alignment has gained worldwide interest as seven of nine randomized or case-controlled trials and a national multi-center study showed that patients treated with kinematic alignment reported significantly better pain relief, function, flexion, a more normal feeling knee and alignment than mechanically aligned TKA. In 2006, he co-founded the first company to commercialize patient-specific instrumentation for TKA.
He also identified and reported the clinical presentations, adverse consequences, and methods for reducing the risks of roof impingement and PCL impingement of the ACL graft in the late 1980s and 1990s, respectively. He maintains two-industry relationships that enabled him to transform his concepts into products that benefit patients. Since 2016 he has consulted with the engineers at Medacta, Inc (www.medacta.com/EN/mika) and assisted them with the development of the calipered kinematic alignment platform for total knee arthroplasty. Since 1992 he has consulted with Zimmer-Biomet Sports Medicine, contributing to the design of ACL instrumentation for tunnel placement and fixation devices for soft-tissue grafts. Dr. Howell frequently shares his clinical experiences and research findings as a presenter and invited speaker at national and international meetings and universities worldwide. For his work, he received an honorary membership in the German Arthroplasty Association in 2018. Dr. Howell is a past-president of the International ACL Study Group, and a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopedic Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Ort