I am motivated by caring for young children with congenital deformities, growth abnormalities and leg length differences.



Medical School

  • Tufts University School of Medicine , 1976 , Boston , MA


  • Maine Medical Center , 1977 , Portland , ME


  • New England Medical Center , 1981 , Boston , MA


  • Alfred I. Dupont Institute , 1982 , Wilmington , DE

Philosophy of Care

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, the second of four children and the son of an engineer. Following completion of high school, I earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Lehigh University. Rather than return to Pittsburgh to pursue an engineering career in the metals industry, I switched to bioengineering and then to medicine, moving to Boston in 1972 and attending Tufts University School of Medicine. It was at Tufts that I was exposed to Dr. Henry Banks and a number of outstanding orthopedic surgery mentors who set me on a career in academic orthopedic surgery.

After completing my residency, I did a fellowship at DuPont Institute in Wilmington, DE. Rather than being enthralled with the rapidly developing innovations in total joint reconstruction and arthroscopy, I was motivated by caring for young children with congenital deformities, growth abnormalities and leg length differences.


Dr. James R. Kasser is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, working at Boston Children’s Hospital for the past 33 years. He is the Ormandy Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kasser’s primary clinical focus has been on lower extremity congenital abnormalities and trauma. His academic work has focused on clinical research related to orthopedic practice.

He is presently the Surgeon-in-Chief and has served in this capacity for seven years. He was the Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1994-2013. Nationally, he has served as the President of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) and been on the boards of both POSNA and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). He served as a director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery for 10 years and was president of that accrediting organization in 2011. He is presently on the boards of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Boston Children’s Hospital.


  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, General Orthopaedics


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Jumping on the Bandwagon: Comparing the Efficacy of Chlorhexidine Versus Povidone-Iodine Preoperative Skin Antiseptic in Preventing Surgical Site Infections Following Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery. J Pediatr Orthop. 2022 Jan 01; 42(1):e39-e44. View abstract
  2. Prospective Evaluation of Tarsal Coalition Excision Show Significant Improvements in Pain and Function. J Pediatr Orthop. 2021 Oct 01; 41(9):e828-e832. View abstract
  3. Epiphysiodesis for Leg Length Discrepancy: A Cost Analysis of Drill Versus Screw Technique. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2021; 30(3):181-184. View abstract
  4. Congenital Pseudarthrosis of the Fibula: Controlling Ankle Valgus in a Heterogenous Condition. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Aug; 40(7):e647-e655. View abstract
  5. Prospective evaluation of parental anxiety related to newborn foot disorder. J Child Orthop. 2019 Oct 01; 13(5):500-507. View abstract
  6. Multisource Evaluation of Surgeon Behavior Is Associated With Malpractice Claims. Ann Surg. 2019 07; 270(1):84-90. View abstract
  7. Reconstruction of Symptomatic Congenital Anterior Cruciate Ligament Insufficiency. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Feb; 39(2):59-64. View abstract
  8. A comparison of screw versus drill and curettage epiphysiodesis to correct leg-length discrepancy. J Child Orthop. 2018 Oct 01; 12(5):509-514. View abstract
  9. Lower-extremity growth patterns and skeletal maturation in children with unilateral fibular hemimelia. Pediatr Radiol. 2019 01; 49(1):122-127. View abstract
  10. Commentary. J Pediatr Orthop. 2018 07; 38 Suppl 1:S4. View abstract
  11. Constant inhibition in congenital lower extremity shortening: does it begin in utero? Pediatr Radiol. 2018 09; 48(10):1451-1462. View abstract
  12. Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pinning of Pediatric Supracondylar Humeral Fractures. JBJS Essent Surg Tech. 2018 Jun 27; 8(2):e10. View abstract
  13. Spinal dysraphism and dislocated hip: Beware of anomalous sciatic nerve through Ilium, a case report. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Mar; 97(12):e9770. View abstract
  14. Clubfoot relapse: does presentation differ based on age at initial relapse? J Child Orthop. 2017 Oct 01; 11(5):367-372. View abstract
  15. Subtalar Coalitions: Does the Morphology of the Subtalar Joint Involvement Influence Outcomes After Coalition Excision? J Foot Ankle Surg. 2017 Jul - Aug; 56(4):797-801. View abstract
  16. Surgical Reconstruction of Metatarsal Type Preaxial Polydactyly Using an Amalgamating Osteotomy. J Pediatr Orthop. 2016 Sep; 36(6):e66-70. View abstract
  17. Evaluation of Brace Treatment for Infant Hip Dislocation in a Prospective Cohort: Defining the Success Rate and Variables Associated with Failure. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016 Jul 20; 98(14):1215-21. View abstract
  18. Treatment dilemma in multiple metatarsal fractures: when to operate? J Pediatr Orthop B. 2016 Jul; 25(4):354-60. View abstract
  19. Boston Children's Hospital orthopedic surgery program. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2016 Jul; 25(4):289-91. View abstract
  20. Patient-reported Outcomes of Tarsal Coalitions Treated With Surgical Excision. J Pediatr Orthop. 2015 Sep; 35(6):583-8. View abstract
  21. Likelihood of surgery in isolated pediatric fifth metatarsal fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. 2015 Apr-May; 35(3):296-302. View abstract
  22. Medial versus anterior open reduction for developmental hip dislocation in age-matched patients. J Pediatr Orthop. 2015 Jan; 35(1):50-6. View abstract
  23. Maternal cigarette, alcohol, and coffee consumption in relation to risk of clubfoot. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2015 Jan; 29(1):3-10. View abstract
  24. Complications after modified Dunn osteotomy for the treatment of adolescent slipped capital femoral epiphysis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014 Oct-Nov; 34(7):661-7. View abstract
  25. Satisfactory patient-based outcomes after surgical treatment for idiopathic clubfoot: includes surgeon's individualized technique. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014 Sep; 34(6):631-8. View abstract
  26. Medication use in pregnancy in relation to the risk of isolated clubfoot in offspring. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Jul 01; 180(1):86-93. View abstract
  27. Anesthetic considerations in Sheldon-Hall syndrome. Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 May; 24(5):538-40. View abstract
  28. Prenatal screening for clubfoot: what factors predict prenatal detection? Prenat Diagn. 2014 Apr; 34(4):389-93. View abstract
  29. Fibro-adipose vascular anomaly: clinical-radiologic-pathologic features of a newly delineated disorder of the extremity. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014 Jan; 34(1):109-17. View abstract
  30. Is it worthwhile to routinely ultrasound screen children with idiopathic clubfoot for hip dysplasia? J Pediatr Orthop. 2013 Dec; 33(8):847-51. View abstract
  31. Prospective evaluation of a prenatal sonographic clubfoot classification system. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2013; 34(4):236-40. View abstract
  32. Descriptive epidemiology of idiopathic clubfoot. Am J Med Genet A. 2013 Jul; 161A(7):1569-78. View abstract
  33. Changing practice patterns: the impact of a randomized clinical trial on surgeons preference for treatment of type 3 supracondylar humerus fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. 2012 Jun; 32(4):340-5. View abstract
  34. Primary lyme arthritis of the pediatric hip. J Pediatr Orthop. 2011 Oct-Nov; 31(7):787-90. View abstract
  35. Misdiagnosis of knee venous malformation as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2011 Sep; 31(6):683-90. View abstract
  36. A policy-based intervention for the reduction of communication breakdowns in inpatient surgical care: results from a Harvard surgical safety collaborative. Ann Surg. 2011 May; 253(5):849-54. View abstract
  37. Loss-of-function mutations in PTPN11 cause metachondromatosis, but not Ollier disease or Maffucci syndrome. PLoS Genet. 2011 Apr; 7(4):e1002050. View abstract
  38. Complications of talus fractures in children. J Pediatr Orthop. 2010 Dec; 30(8):779-84. View abstract
  39. Unilateral subtalar coalition: contralateral sustentaculum tali morphology. Radiology. 2010 Dec; 257(3):830-5. View abstract
  40. Prenatally diagnosed clubfeet: comparing ultrasonographic severity with objective clinical outcomes. J Pediatr Orthop. 2010 Sep; 30(6):606-11. View abstract
  41. Maintenance of certification for pediatric orthopaedists. J Pediatr Orthop. 2009 Dec; 29(8):844-6. View abstract
  42. Diffuse lipofibromatosis of the lower extremity masquerading as a vascular anomaly. Ann Plast Surg. 2009 Jun; 62(6):703-6. View abstract
  43. Post-closed reduction perfusion magnetic resonance imaging as a predictor of avascular necrosis in developmental hip dysplasia: a preliminary report. J Pediatr Orthop. 2009 Jan-Feb; 29(1):14-20. View abstract
  44. Orthopedic board certification and physician performance: an analysis of medical malpractice, hospital disciplinary action, and state medical board disciplinary action rates. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2008 Feb; 37(2):73-5. View abstract
  45. Prediction of spatial orientation and morphology of calcaneonavicular coalitions. Foot Ankle Int. 2008 Feb; 29(2):205-12. View abstract
  46. Does swaddling influence developmental dysplasia of the hip? Pediatrics. 2008 Jan; 121(1):177-8. View abstract
  47. Operative treatment of intraarticular calcaneal fractures in the pediatric population. J Pediatr Orthop. 2007 Dec; 27(8):856-62. View abstract
  48. Lateral entry compared with medial and lateral entry pin fixation for completely displaced supracondylar humeral fractures in children. A randomized clinical trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007 Apr; 89(4):706-12. View abstract
  49. Increased blood lead levels in an adolescent girl from a retained bullet. A case report. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006 Dec; 88(12):2726-9. View abstract
  50. Proximal femoral epiphysiolysis during reduction of hip dislocation in adolescents. J Pediatr Orthop. 2006 May-Jun; 26(3):371-4. View abstract
  51. Osteotomy does not improve early outcome after slipped capital femoral epiphysis. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2006 Mar; 15(2):87-92. View abstract
  52. Hip arthroscopy in children and adolescents. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005 Sep-Oct; 25(5):680-6. View abstract
  53. Location of treatment of supracondylar fractures of the humerus in children. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 May; (434):110-3. View abstract
  54. Serum levels of nickel and chromium after instrumented posterior spinal arthrodesis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005 Apr 15; 30(8):923-6. View abstract
  55. Waterproof casts for immobilization of children's fractures and sprains. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005 Jan-Feb; 25(1):56-9. View abstract
  56. Prophylactic pinning of the contralateral hip after unilateral slipped capital femoral epiphysis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Dec; 86(12):2658-65. View abstract
  57. Analysis of 51 tibial triplane fractures using CT with multiplanar reconstruction. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Nov; 183(5):1489-95. View abstract
  58. Validation of a clinical prediction rule for the differentiation between septic arthritis and transient synovitis of the hip in children. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Aug; 86(8):1629-35. View abstract
  59. Delay in diagnosis of slipped capital femoral epiphysis. Pediatrics. 2004 Apr; 113(4):e322-5. View abstract
  60. Wilms tumor screening is unnecessary in Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. Pediatrics. 2004 Apr; 113(4):e326-9. View abstract
  61. A clinical practice guideline for treatment of septic arthritis in children: efficacy in improving process of care and effect on outcome of septic arthritis of the hip. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003 Jun; 85(6):994-9. View abstract
  62. Osteopetrosis. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2003 May; 32(5):222-8. View abstract
  63. Use of an abduction brace for developmental dysplasia of the hip after failure of Pavlik harness use. J Pediatr Orthop. 2003 Mar-Apr; 23(2):175-7. View abstract
  64. Coxa vara with proximal femoral growth arrest in patients who had neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. J Pediatr Orthop. 2003 Jan-Feb; 23(1):20-6. View abstract
  65. Prospective reevaluation of the association between thrombotic diathesis and legg-perthes disease. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2002 Sep; 84(9):1613-8. View abstract
  66. Virtual reality simulation of arthroscopy of the knee. Arthroscopy. 2002 Jul-Aug; 18(6):E28. View abstract
  67. Pediatric floating elbow. J Pediatr Orthop. 2001 Jul-Aug; 21(4):456-9. View abstract
  68. Early failure of Pavlik harness treatment for developmental hip dysplasia: clinical and ultrasound predictors. J Pediatr Orthop. 2001 May-Jun; 21(3):348-53. View abstract
  69. Osteonecrosis of the femoral head associated with slipped capital femoral epiphysis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2001 Mar-Apr; 21(2):189-93. View abstract
  70. Wagner multiple K-wire osteosynthesis to correct coxa vara in the young child: experience with a versatile 'tailor-made' high angle blade plate equivalent. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2001 Jan; 10(1):43-50. View abstract
  71. Titanium elastic nails for pediatric femur fractures: a multicenter study of early results with analysis of complications. J Pediatr Orthop. 2001 Jan-Feb; 21(1):4-8. View abstract
  72. Development of a virtual reality arthroscopic knee simulator. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2000 Oct; 82(10):1495-9. View abstract
  73. Flexon-type Salter-Harris I injury of the proximal tibial epiphysis. J Orthop Trauma. 2000 May; 14(4):302-5. View abstract
  74. Massive subperiosteal hemorrhage and femoral shaft osteonecrosis: a complication of tissue plasminogen activator therapy for purpura fulminans. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2000 Apr; 29(4):315-9. View abstract
  75. Orthopaedic aspects of child abuse. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2000 Jan-Feb; 8(1):10-20. View abstract
  76. Development of a virtual reality arthroscopic knee simulator. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2000; 70:192-4. View abstract
  77. Differentiating between septic arthritis and transient synovitis of the hip in children: an evidence-based clinical prediction algorithm. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1999 Dec; 81(12):1662-70. View abstract
  78. Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease: MR imaging evaluation during manual positioning of the hip--comparison with conventional arthrography. Radiology. 1999 Aug; 212(2):519-25. View abstract
  79. Radiologic case study. Infantile cortical hyperostosis (Caffey's disease). Orthopedics. 1999 Jul; 22(7):712, 707-8. View abstract
  80. Radiographic appearance of the normal distal tibiofibular syndesmosis in children. J Pediatr Orthop. 1999 Jan-Feb; 19(1):14-21. View abstract
  81. Femur fractures in children: treatment with early sitting spica casting. J Pediatr Orthop. 1998 Jul-Aug; 18(4):481-7. View abstract
  82. Protrusio acetabuli and bilateral basicervical femoral neck fractures in a patient with Marfan syndrome. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1997 Oct; 26(10):689-91. View abstract
  83. Postreduction computed tomography in developmental dislocation of the hip: part II: predictive value for outcome. J Pediatr Orthop. 1997 Sep-Oct; 17(5):631-6. View abstract
  84. Postreduction computed tomography in developmental dislocation of the hip: part I: analysis of measurement reliability. J Pediatr Orthop. 1997 Sep-Oct; 17(5):626-30. View abstract
  85. Chronic physeal fractures in myelodysplasia: magnetic resonance analysis, histologic description, treatment, and outcome. J Pediatr Orthop. 1997 Sep-Oct; 17(5):615-21. View abstract
  86. Accuracy of leg length prediction in children younger than 10 years of age. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1997 May; (338):9-13. View abstract
  87. Supracondylar Fractures of the Humerus in Children. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1997 Jan; 5(1):19-26. View abstract
  88. Ulnar nerve instability in children. J Pediatr Orthop. 1996 Sep-Oct; 16(5):567-9. View abstract
  89. MR imaging in congenital lower limb deformities. Pediatr Radiol. 1996; 26(6):381-7. View abstract
  90. Cartilaginous abnormalities and growth disturbances in Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease: evaluation with MR imaging. Radiology. 1995 Dec; 197(3):767-73. View abstract
  91. The Pavlik harness and developmental dysplasia of the hip: has ultrasound changed treatment patterns? J Pediatr Orthop. 1995 Nov-Dec; 15(6):729-35. View abstract
  92. Osteomyelitis and septic arthritis in children: appropriate use of imaging to guide treatment. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Aug; 165(2):399-403. View abstract
  93. Symposium: femoral fractures in children. Contemp Orthop. 1995 May; 30(5):427-30, 433, 437-8 passim. View abstract
  94. Fractures about the elbow. Instr Course Lect. 1995; 44:199-215. View abstract
  95. Neurovascular injury and displacement in type III supracondylar humerus fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. 1995 Jan-Feb; 15(1):47-52. View abstract
  96. Osteochondroma formation after a Salter II fracture. J Orthop Trauma. 1994 Oct; 8(5):437-9. View abstract
  97. Brachial plexus palsy as a complication of Pavlik harness use. J Pediatr Orthop. 1994 Sep-Oct; 14(5):677-9. View abstract
  98. Percutaneous pinning in the treatment of displaced lateral condyle fractures. J Pediatr Orthop. 1994 Jul-Aug; 14(4):462-5. View abstract
  99. Spinal deformity associated with neurenteric cysts in children. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1994 Jul 01; 19(13):1445-50. View abstract
  100. Uniplanar supracondylar humeral osteotomy with preset Kirschner wires for posttraumatic cubitus varus. J Pediatr Orthop. 1994 Jul-Aug; 14(4):471-8. View abstract
  101. Leg length discrepancy associated with vivid cutis marmorata. J Pediatr Orthop. 1993 Jul-Aug; 13(4):456-8. View abstract
  102. The function of the quadriceps muscle after a fracture of the femur in patients who are less than seventeen years old. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1993 Apr; 75(4):508-13. View abstract
  103. Reinfusion of shed blood after orthopaedic procedures in children and adolescents. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1993 Mar; 75(3):363-71. View abstract
  104. Incidence of spondylolisthesis in ambulatory cerebral palsy patients. J Pediatr Orthop. 1993 Jan-Feb; 13(1):37-40. View abstract
  105. Reevaluation of the use of the Risser sign in idiopathic scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1992 Mar; 17(3):359-61. View abstract
  106. Forearm fractures. Instr Course Lect. 1992; 41:391-6. View abstract
  107. Femur fractures in children. Instr Course Lect. 1992; 41:403-8. View abstract
  108. Percutaneous pinning of supracondylar fractures of the humerus. Instr Course Lect. 1992; 41:385-90. View abstract
  109. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis. A quantitative analysis of motion, gait, and femoral remodeling after in situ fixation. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1991 Jun; 73(5):659-66. View abstract
  110. The shoulder, elbow, and forearm in Apert syndrome. Clin Plast Surg. 1991 Apr; 18(2):381-9. View abstract
  111. The foot in Apert syndrome. Clin Plast Surg. 1991 Apr; 18(2):391-7. View abstract
  112. Neurologic complications after K-wire fixation of supracondylar humerus fractures in children. J Pediatr Orthop. 1991 Mar-Apr; 11(2):191-4. View abstract
  113. Acute septic arthritis in infancy and childhood. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990 Aug; (257):212-25. View abstract
  114. Infection of the infrapatellar bursa. A report of two cases. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1990 Aug; 72(7):1095-6. View abstract
  115. Physeal bar resections after growth arrest about the knee. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990 Jun; (255):68-74. View abstract
  116. Management of vascular injuries in displaced supracondylar humerus fractures without arteriography. J Orthop Trauma. 1990; 4(1):25-9. View abstract
  117. Self-administered nitrous oxide for fracture reduction in children in an emergency room setting. J Orthop Trauma. 1990; 4(1):35-8. View abstract
  118. The triceps-dividing approach to open reduction of complex distal humeral fractures in adolescents: a Cybex evaluation of triceps function and motion. J Pediatr Orthop. 1990 Jan-Feb; 10(1):93-6. View abstract
  119. Juvenile hyaline fibromatosis. A case report and review of musculoskeletal manifestations. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1989 Jul; 71(6):941-4. View abstract
  120. Physeal arrest about the knee associated with non-physeal fractures in the lower extremity. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1989 Jun; 71(5):698-703. View abstract
  121. Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis. Association with vertebra plana. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1989 Jan; 71(1):105-12. View abstract
  122. Tibial tubercle apophysitis in cerebral palsy treated with proximal tibial epiphysiodesis: report of two cases with 3-year follow-up. J Pediatr Orthop. 1988 Nov-Dec; 8(6):704-6. View abstract
  123. The association of femoral retroversion with slipped capital femoral epiphysis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1986 Sep; 68(7):1000-7. View abstract
  124. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis: assessment of epiphyseal displacement and angulation. J Pediatr Orthop. 1986 May-Jun; 6(3):259-64. View abstract
  125. Varus derotation osteotomy in the treatment of persistent dysplasia in congenital dislocation of the hip. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1985 Feb; 67(2):195-202. View abstract
  126. Hematogenous osteomyelitis. Untangling the diagnostic confusion. Postgrad Med. 1984 Sep 15; 76(4):79-86. View abstract
  127. Tendon injuries about the ankle. Clin Sports Med. 1983 Nov; 2(3):631-41. View abstract
  128. Examination of the cerebral palsy patient with foot and ankle problems. Foot Ankle. 1983 Nov-Dec; 4(3):135-44. View abstract
  129. Osteomyelitis caused by Capnocytophaga ochracea. J Pediatr Orthop. 1983 Nov; 3(5):613-5. View abstract
  130. Tendon injuries about the ankle. Orthop Clin North Am. 1980 Oct; 11(4):801-11. View abstract