DR. Walter P. Blount

BlountBorn into a family of physicians, Dr. Walter Blount continued in the tradition, attending the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine followed by Post Graduate work in London and numerous clinics across Europe. After joining the orthopedic practice of Dr. Frederick Gaenslen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Blount became Chief of the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. Upon Dr. Gaenslen’s retirement, he became Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Marquette University School of Medicine and subsequently formed the Blount Orthopedic Clinic in Milwaukee with Dr. Robert Cassidy. He was active in numerous professional organizations from local to international and was frequently called upon to speak. Fluent in several languages, Dr. Blount also served as a translator for articles to be published in English. He served as president of the Orthopaedic Clinical Society in 1946, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1955-1956, and as vice president of SICOT, 1963-1966.

Dr. Walter P. Blount, July 3, 1900 to May 16, 1992, was a pioneer in the development of the Milwaukee Brace for treatment of scoliosis and the Blount Staple used in treatment of unequal leg length as an alternative to osteotomy. He did extensive work on Erlacher-Blount syndrome, also known as Tibia Vara, and was one of the first surgeons to recognize fractures in children as a possible symptom of abuse.

The-milwaukee-BraceIn his Presidential Address to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in January 1956, Dr. Blount, one of the true giants in orthopaedics, presented an a classic and enduring description of the biomechanics of the hip, for the first time bringing to light many of the concepts developed by Pauwels and others in the German literature in the 1930s (“Don’t Throw Away the Cane”). The argument begins with an admonition to educate the doctors, patients, employers, and the general public to turn back to the old order and to look upon the stick as a good friend. Blount said that “we must counteract the prejudices against the cane that developed in the middle of the twentieth century”. Finally, Blount admonished us: “I should rather be remembered as a thoughtful surgeon than as a bold one”. It is in this context that he encouraged the use of a cane for the treatment of selected lower-extremity disorders, believing that it may prove better for the patient and productive of a more desirable end result than some more heroic surgical procedure.


1: Blount WP. Forearm fractures in children. 1967. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 Mar;(432):4-7. Erratum in: Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 Apr;(433):284. PubMed PMID: 15738798.

2: Blount WP. Don’t throw away the cane. 1956. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003 Feb;85-A(2):380. PubMed PMID: 12571320.

3: Blount WP. Fractures in children are different. 1976. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000 Jul;(376):3-5; discussion 2. PubMed PMID: 10906851.

4: Mellencamp DD, Blount WP. The natural history of idiopathic scoliosis. Late results revisited. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1986 Oct;11(8):805-6. PubMed PMID: 3810296.

5: Blount WP. The virtue of early treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1981 Mar;63(3):335-6. PubMed PMID: 7204427.

6: Blount WP, Mellencamp D. The effect of pregnancy on idiopathic scoliosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1980 Oct;62(7):1083-7. PubMed PMID: 7430194.

7: Zuege RC, Kempken TG, Blount WP. Epiphyseal stapling for angular deformity at the knee. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1979 Apr;61(3):320-9. PubMed PMID: 429399.

8: Mellencamp DD, Blount WP, Anderson AJ. Milwaukee brace treatment of idiopathic scoliosis: late results. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1977 Jul-Aug;(126):47-57. PubMed PMID: 598139.

9: Blount WP. Fractures in children are different. ONA J. 1976 Oct;3(10):296. PubMed PMID: 1049790.

10: Tang TT, Zuege RC, Babbitt DP, Blount WP, McCreadie SR. Angioglomoid tumor of bone. A case report. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1976 Sep;58(6):873-6. PubMed PMID: 182697.

11: Blount WP. The nonoperative management of scoliosis. ONA J. 1976 Jan;3(1):19-21. PubMed PMID: 1042612.

12: Zuege RC, Blount WP, Dicus WT. Indications for operative treatment of spinal deformities. Wis Med J. 1975 Mar;74(3):S33-40. PubMed PMID: 1130096.

13: Blount WP. Principles of treatment of scoliosis and round back with the Milwaukee brace. Isr J Med Sci. 1973 Jun;9(6):745-54. PubMed PMID: 4724280.

14: Blount WP, Mellencamp DD. Scoliosis treatment. Skeletal maturity evaluation. Minn Med. 1973 May;56(5):383-90. PubMed PMID: 4349067.

15: Blount WP. Use of the Milwaukee brace. Orthop Clin North Am. 1972 Mar;3(1):3-16. PubMed PMID: 5012586.

16: Blount WP. A mature look at epiphyseal stapling. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1971;77:158-63. PubMed PMID: 5140445.

17: Blount WP, Clarke GR. The classic. Control of bone growth by epiphyseal stapling. A preliminary report. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, July, 1949. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1971;77:4-17. PubMed PMID: 4946498.

18: Blount WP. Early recognition and prompt evaluation of spinal deformity. J Sch Health. 1970 Nov;40(9):514. PubMed PMID: 5202907.

19: Blount WP. Early recognition and prompt evaluation of spinal deformity. J Med Assoc State Ala. 1970 Feb;39(8):749-54. PubMed PMID: 5427591.

20: Blount WP. Early recognition and prompt evaluation of spinal deformity. J Iowa Med Soc. 1969 Nov;59(11):1015-24. PubMed PMID: 5347417.

21: Blount WP. Early recognition and prompt evaluation of spinal deformity. Wis Med J. 1969 Aug;68(8):245-9. PubMed PMID: 5809648.

22: Paluska DJ, Blount WP. Ankle valgus after the Grice subtalar stabilization: the late evaluation of a personal series with a modified technic. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1968 Jul-Aug;59:137-46. PubMed PMID: 4874880.

23: Blount WP. Forearm fractures in children. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1967 Mar-Apr;51:93-107. PubMed PMID: 6027018.

24: Blount WP. Tibia vara, osteochondrosis deformans tibiae. Curr Pract Orthop Surg. 1966;3:141-56. PubMed PMID: 5970354.

25: Blount WP. Non-operative treatment of scoliosis with the Milwaukee brace. Manit Med Rev. 1965 Oct;45(8):478-80. PubMed PMID: 5831341.

26: Blount WP. Osteotomy in the Treatment of Osteo-Arthritis of the Hip. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1964 Sep;46:1297-325. PubMed PMID: 14214368.

27: Blount WP. The Milwaukee Brace in the Treatment of the Young Child with Scoliosis. Arch Orthop Unfallchir. 1964 Jun 30;56:363-9. PubMed PMID: 14252057.

28: Herms RA, Blount WP. Effect of Open Reduction on Fracture Healing. Surg Forum. 1964;15:448-50. PubMed PMID: 14193440.

29: Blount WP. Fractures of the Forearm in Children. Ind Med Surg. 1963 Sep;32:388-95. PubMed PMID: 14064090.

30: Blount WP. The treatment of elbow injuries in children. Wiederherstellungschir Traumatol. 1963;7:1-18. PubMed PMID: 13971832.

31: Blount WP. Osteoclasis of the upper extremity in children. Acta Orthop Scand. 1962;32:374-82. PubMed PMID: 13971833.

32: Kritter AE, Blount WP. A study of the growth of human epiphyses of the tibia and femur. Surg Forum. 1960;10:808-10. PubMed PMID: 14412066.

33: Blount WP. Unequal leg length in children. Surg Clin North Am. 1958 Aug;38(4):1107-23. PubMed PMID: 13569092.

34: Blount WP, Schmidt AC, Bidwell RG. Making the Milwaukee brace. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1958 Jun;40-A(3):526-8 passim. PubMed PMID: 13539081.

35: Blount WP, Schmidt AC, Keever ED, Leonard ET. The Milwaukee brace in the operative treatment of scoliosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1958 Jun;40-A(3):511-25. PubMed PMID: 13539080.

36: Blount WP. Don’t throw away the cane. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1956 Jun;38-A(3):695-708. PubMed PMID: 13319427.

37: Blount WP. Fractures of the forearm in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1955 Nov:1097-119. PubMed PMID: 13266453.

38: Blount WP. Fractures in children. Postgrad Med. 1954 Sep;16(3):209-16. PubMed PMID: 13194446.

39: Blount WP. Fractures in children. Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1954 Aug 28;84(35):986-8. PubMed PMID: 13216111.

40: Blount WP, Zeier F. Control of bone length. J Am Med Assoc. 1952 Feb 9;148(6):451-7. PubMed PMID: 14888503.

41: Blount WP, Schulz I, Cassidy RH. Fractures of the elbow in children. J Am Med Assoc. 1951 Jun 23;146(8):699-704. PubMed PMID: 14832042.

42: Blount WP. Fractures in children are different. J Iowa State Med Soc. 1950 May;40(5):203-5. PubMed PMID: 15415635.

43: Blount WP. Fractures in children are different. Bull Chic Med Soc. 1949 Dec 24;52(26):511-6, illust. PubMed PMID: 15396856.

44: McCormick DW, Blount WP. Metatarsus adductovarus: skewfoot. J Am Med Assoc. 1949 Oct 15;141(7):449-53. PubMed PMID: 18148682.

45: Blount WP, Clarke GR. Control of bone growth by epiphyseal stapling; a preliminary report. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1949 Jul;31A(3):464-78. PubMed PMID: 18153890.