The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons was conceived in 1947 by a group of orthopaedic surgeons composed of Earl D. Mc Bride, Louis Breck, Louis Greene, Frank Hand, Duncan McKeever, and Garett Pipkin, joined by Edward T. Evans, Harry Fortin, Fritz Teal, Vernon Thompson and Theodore H. Vinke as the "American Bone and Joint Association".
Because of the rapid growth in the field of orthopaedic surgery at that time, as well as limited programs and meetings offered by the existing orthopaedic groups and only one exclusive orthopaedic publication, they decided that another organization should be created. The purpose of the Association was to give younger men in orthopaedic surgery another organization in which to present papers, publish manuscripts and share experiences with colleagues.
Membership was offered by invitation to orthopaedic surgeons under fifty years of age who had been certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery at least three years previously. Earl McBride was elected temporary chairman and Fritz Teal temporary secretary. At an early organizational meeting in Chicago in January of 1949 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, plans were formulated for the first formal meeting, which was held on April 1-2, 1949, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Earl McBride served as first president and those in attendance were designated charter members.
They were: Louis W. Breck, Louis Greene, Frank Hand, Earl D. McBride, Duncan McKeever, Garrett Pipkin, Eugene Secord, Howard B. Shorbe, Fritz Teal, Theodore H. Vinke, Paul C. Williams and Judson D. Wilson.
In 1954, the official seal for the Association was created at the request of Milton Cobey. The skeleton of the serpent from the staff of Aesculapius was pictured surrounding a non-deformed tree, signifying the long range objectives of orthopaedic surgery.