Meet Dr. Adam Starr
Orthopaedic Surgeon and Pelvic Fracture Expert
Adam Starr, M.D., is a true innovator among trauma surgeons. He’s spent much of his career pioneering minimally invasive treatments for fractures of the pelvis – especially the acetabulum, the bowl-shaped spot on each side of the pelvis where the leg bone fits.
For many patients with pelvic or acetabular fractures who need surgery, Dr. Starr can operate without making large incisions. Instead, he places metal screws through the skin into the bone using what’s called a percutaneous technique. Compared with traditional or “open” pelvic surgery, percutaneous surgery lets patients with pelvic fractures get out of bed and walk around much sooner – and with fewer complications. The incisions are so small the wounds don’t break open during healing (dehiscence), a common problem after traditional surgery.
Dr. Starr and his partner, Charles Reinert, M.D., also invented the Starr Frame, a device that helps surgeons align the pieces of a broken pelvis using very small incisions. Surgeons have found the Starr Frame so helpful they’re using it in medical facilities overseas.
His innovative techniques for pelvic acetabular fracture repair have placed Dr. Starr at the forefront of his field. A Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UTSW, he has delivered talks at Yale University, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, and conferences of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He serves as a reviewer or editor for several orthopaedics journals and has authored his own textbook, as well as more than a dozen textbook chapters.
Though pelvic and acetabular fractures are rare, Dr. Starr and the orthopaedic trauma team at UTSW take care of hundreds of patients each year with these injuries, many of them transferred from other hospitals around the state. “There’s nobody better in the state of Texas at managing these than we are,” he says.