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Freddie Fu (1950–2021), pioneer in knee surgery

by Linnea Crowther

Dr. Freddie Fu was an orthopaedic surgeon who pioneered new techniques for more successful ACR repair surgery.

Sports medicine

Born in Hong Kong, Fu came to the U.S. at age 18 to study biology and earn his medical degree. He spent his career at the University of Pittsburgh, where he founded the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, the first of its kind in the area. Frustrated by the tendency for osteoarthritis to develop in the knee a few years after ACL repair surgery, Fu studied knee structure in humans, animals, and even in the fossilized human ancestor skeleton known as Lucy. He used his study to refine ACL reconstruction techniques, revolutionizing sports medicine. Fu was widely honored, including membership in the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Hall of Fame. A beloved local figure in the Pittsburgh area, Fu was also the company physician for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as well as head team physician for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics. 

Notable quote

“I have a good attitude about everything. I practice medicine with unconditional love, the way you are with your children. You don’t expect anything back. But it does come back to you.” —from a 2002 interview for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Tributes to Freddie Fu

Full obituary: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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