Photo of James (Jim) H. Herndon, MD, MBA

James (Jim) H. Herndon, MD, MBA

  • Chairman Emeritus, Partners Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Hand and Upper Extremity Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • William H. and Johanna A. Harris Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School


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Dr. Herndon is a leading orthopaedic surgeon, educator and researcher who has made important advances in orthopaedic surgery, education, professional leadership, and patient safety.



Clinical Interests
  • Hand and upper extremity orthopaedics
  • Arthritis
  • Trauma and critical care
  • Nerve injuries
  • Tendon injuries
  • Wrist pain
  • Hand pain
Medical Education
  • MBA, Boston University
  • MD, University of California School of Medicine
  • Residency, Children's Hospital Boston|Residency, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania|Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Roosevelt Hospital
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - New York
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group
Adult and Pediatric

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Dr. Herndon has a special interests in degenerative diseases and trauma reconstruction of the upper extremity. He has published more than 200 papers, five books and 31 book chapters. Dr. Herndon is a frequent lecturer at scientific meetings around the world and led the first clinical trial using gene therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Herndon received his MD from UCLA in 1965 and completed his orthopaedic residency in 1970 at Children's Hospital and Mass General Hospital in Boston. From 1971 to 1973, he was a major in the US Army, serving as Chief of the Amputee Service at Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, PA. He then completed a fellowship in reconstructive hand surgery in 1974 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

Dr. Herndon has the unique distinction of having served as President of all important Orthopaedic Societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and American Orthopaedic Association. He also served as chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Orthopaedic Surgery.

Prior to joining MGH in 1998, Dr. Herndon was Professor and Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 1988 to 1998 and Professor and Chairman of Orthopaedics at Brown University from 1978 to 1988. He has held additional academic appointments at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Michigan State University.

Dr. Herndon also holds a MBA in health care management from Boston University. He has received honorary degrees from Brown University, Harvard Medical School and Loyola-Marymount University. Recently, Dr. Herndon was elected an Honorary Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons of England.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Herndon has made significant contributions in general orthopaedics, including adult respiratory distress after fractures, fat embolism with total hip replacement, management of war-injured amputees, scoliosis, as well as in hand and upper extremity, including arthritis, joint reconstruction, tendon and nerve injuries, and congenital problems.

Dr. Herndon was a pioneer in gene therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and led the first gene therapy clinical trial in the US. His other research interests include biomechanics of the forearm and the interosseous ligament, tendon injuries, and nerve healing.

Dr. Herndon continues to be interested in quality of care, especially regarding patient safety and the reduction of medical errors.


Select Publications:

Herndon JH, Allan BJ, Dyer G, Jawa A, Zurakowski D. Predictors of success on the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Examination, Clin Ortho & Related Research. 467:2436-2445, Sept. 2009.

Wong D, Lewis B, Herndon J, Martin C, Brooks, R. Patient safety in North American: beyond "Operate through your Initials" and "Sign your Site". J Bone Joint Surg Am. 91:1534-41, 2009.

Wong DA, Herndon JH, Canale ST, Brooks RL, Hunt TR, Epps HR, Fountain SS, Albanese SA, Johanson NA. Medical errors in orthopaedics: results of an AAOS member survey. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 91:547-557, 2009.

Huddleston J, Maloney W, Verzier N, Wang Y, Hunt D, Herndon J. Adverse events in total knee arthroplasty. A national Medicare study. Journal of Arthroplasty, 24:Issue 2, Feb 2009.

Lieberman I, Herndon J, Hahn J, Fins JJ, Rezai A. Surgical innovation and ethical dilemmas: a panel discussion. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, Volume 75, Supplement 6 S13, 2008.

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Orthopaedic Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-5117617-922-0222
Fax: 617-726-3124

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