John H. Healey, MD, FACS

About Me

I am an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in caring for people with sarcomas and noncancerous tumors of the bones and soft tissue. I have particular expertise in removing tumors while preserving limbs. I also have a special interest in treating children who have bone cancers, such as osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. I have been at MSK since 1984 and perform approximately 260 surgeries each year.

I was inspired to find my calling to help those with cancers of the musculoskeletal system after losing a dear friend to sarcoma when I was in high school. Today, I’m proud to be part of a team whose missionary zeal is to treat people with these diseases and help them continue to have productive lives.

Limb reconstruction has become an important part of treatment. My expertise includes rebuilding bones and joints with bone transplants and joint replacements. I perform limb-preserving surgeries and customized techniques to restore function using biologic and synthetic materials. Our goal is always to cure a patient’s cancer, but we strive to understand each person’s lifestyle too. We want to help them continue to do the things they love and maintain hope for their future.

My research involves understanding the molecular biology of sarcoma, developing new ways to deliver chemotherapy to tumors, and improving the durability and function of joint replacements. I have invented four joint replacement systems. I have patented several methods to deliver drugs to tumors. I also lead clinical investigations of different surgical reconstructions, 3-D printed implants, and methods to minimize surgical complications. My laboratory research explores ways to use the immune system and tumor environment to kill cancer.

In addition to my role as Chief of the Orthopaedic Service at MSK, I am a professor of orthopaedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Nationally, I have served as chair of the Children’s Oncology Group Orthopaedics Section, president of the International Society of Limb Salvage, and president of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, as well as on the boards of several musculoskeletal and orthopaedic organizations. I am an advisor to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Education is also an important part of my job. I served as Vice Chair of Conferences and Education for MSK’s Department of Surgery. I directed the Orthopaedics Fellowship Program at MSK for 20 years and am proud to have trained leading specialists in this field in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Most importantly, I educate my patients about their disease and how we will creatively and effectively meet their needs. It gives them hope and resolve to confront this rare diagnosis.

My academic career has allowed me to spend time abroad. I was the first American traveling fellow in Japan, and I studied at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

I played baseball in college and continue to love and follow the game.

  • Clinical Expertise: Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma; Benign Bone Tumors; Prosthetic Reconstruction; Metabolic Bone Disease
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2002–2018); the Sarcoma Foundation of America’s Nobility in Science Award; inaugural recipient of the Dominican Health Care Ministry of New York’s Spe Salvi Award
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine
  • Residencies: General Surgery - Tufts-New England Medical Center; Orthopaedic Surgery - Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Fellowships: Musculoskeletal Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Metabolic Bone Disease - Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Board Certifications: Orthopaedic Surgery

Publications

Books
Diagnosis and Management of Pathologic Fractures. Lane JM, Healey JH, eds. New York, NY: Raven Press; 1993.

Selected Book Chapters
“Bone tumors.” Healey JH. In Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 16th ed. Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2001: 519-532.

“Bone and soft tissue tumors around the knee.” Healey JH. In Surgery of the Knee. 3rd ed. Insall JN, Scott WN, eds. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2001: 1997-2028.

“Sarcomas of bone.” Lin PP, Healey JH. In: Surgical Oncology. Bland KI, Daly JM, Karakousis CP, eds. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2001: 1015-1053.

“Bone and soft tissue tumors about the knee.” Healey JH, Kennedy JG.  In: The Adult Knee. Callaghan JJ, Rosenberg AG, Rubash HE, Simonian PT, Wickiewicz TL, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2003: 495-520.

“Soft tissue sarcomas and bone tumors.” Healey JH. In: Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 17th ed. Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004: 815-832.

“Metastatic cancer to the bone.” Manoso MM, Healey JH. In: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 7th ed. DeVita VT Jr, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005: 2368-2380.

“Bone tumors.” Nathan SS, Healey JH.  In: Pediatric Surgery. 6th ed. Grosfeld JL, O’Neill JA Jr, Fonkalsrud EW, Coran AG, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2006: 649-670.

“Cancer pain management in orthopedic surgery.” Healey JH. In: Encyclopedia of Pain. Schmidt RF, Willis WD, eds. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag; 2007: 359-361.

“The role of orthopaedic surgery in the palliative care of patients with cancer.” Healey JH, Tyler WK. In: Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 4th ed. Hanks G, Cherny NI, Christakis NA, Fallon M, Kaasa S, Portenoy RK, eds. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2009: 558-572.

“Bone tumors.” Nathan SS, Healey JH. In: Pediatric Surgery. 7th ed. Coran AG, Adzick NS, Krummel TM, Laberge JM, Shamberger RC, Caldamone AA, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012: 577-590.


Visit PubMed for a full listing of John H. Healey’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.

Insurance

Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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