Stephen K. Benirschke, M.D.

Jerome H. Debs II Endowed Chair for Orthopaedic Traumatology

Stephen K. Benirschke, MD

Specialty: Foot & Ankle

College: Bachelor of Arts Degree, Biology, University of California, San Diego, California, 1975

Medical School: Doctor of Medicine Degree, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1979

Internship: One year Surgical Internship, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, July 1, 1979-June 30, 1980

Residency: Five year Residency in Orthopedics, Case Western Reserve University, July 1, 1980-June 30, 1984

Board Certification: Board Certified

UW Medicine Bio:

About Dr. Benirschke

Dr. Stephen Benirschke is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University.  Following his training in Orthopaedic Surgery at Case Western he a completed fellowship in at Rätisches Kantons-und Regional Hospital in Switzerland.

He started as an Acting Instructor at the University of Washington in 1985 and has been a Professor at the University of Washington since 2000.  Presently he is a member of the Resident Selection Committee and the Musculoskeletal Core Course.  With a predominant interest in foot and ankle injuries, Dr. Benirschke has published over 45 peer-reviewed articles, 3 book chapters and has presented at numerous medical meetings.  He was also the primary investigator on an AO ASIF Research Grant.

He has been honored for his teaching efforts at the University of Washington with the Resident Teaching Award in 1997.


2012 Top Doctors, Seattle Magazine, July 2012
June 1987, Orthopedic Resident Teaching Award, University of Washington


  • The Seattle Surgical Society
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • Puget Sound Chapter Western Orthopedic Association
  • Western Orthopedic Association (regional)
  • Washington State Orthopedic Association
  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Fellow
  • AO Alumni Organization
  • Orthopedic Trauma Association
  • University of Washington Bone & Joint Association
  • Washington State Medical Association

Surgeries & Diagnosis

Common Surgeries Performed:

Fractures and post-traumatic reconstruction, Foot & Ankle trauma and reconstruction

Common Diagnosis Treated:

Articular Fractures, Foot & Ankle Problems


Scientific Publications: (PubMed Listing)


March 5, 2014 Grand Rounds: Balancing AO Principles in Calcaneous Fractures

Timothy B. Alton, MD
Stephen K. Benirschke, MD
Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD

The calcaneus, also known as the heel bone, is responsible for transmitting the majority of the body's weight from the talus bone to the ground. Nearly every aspect of the management of complex calcaneus fractures is controversial. The anatomy of the calcaneus is complicated and treatment of fractures in this bone requires a comprehensive understanding of its anatomy, common fracture patterns, and displacement. An accurate reduction is essential to good patient outcomes. Treatment options include closed management, an extensile lateral open approach and the mini-open technique. This presentation highlights the indications for each technique, compares and contrasts their strengths and weaknesses, and provides case examples with discussion from some of the leaders in the field of calcaneus fracture management.

Summit in Seattle 2010

Salvaging Severe Pilon Fractures

Dr. Steven Benirschke (Harboview Medical Center)
Dr. Andrew Sands (St. Vincent's Medical Center)

Fractures of the lower end of the tibia involving the ankle joint are referred to as 'pilon fractures'. These injuries can be very challenging to manage and may lead to undesirable outcomes despite best initial treatment efforts. In this program leading experts in the field discuss treatment options should the initial management of a pilon fracture be unsatisfactory. Dr. Benirschke presents the options of revision internal fixation and joint function preservation. He is followed by Dr. Sands who discusses the outcomes following ankle fusion. Dr. Sigvard T. Hansen concludes this session by reviewing the option of ankle arthroplasty as an alternative to an ankle fusion with its relative advantages and drawbacks.

Update: Limb Infections and Amputations

June 2, 2010 Grand Rounds Video: Clavicle Fractures: Controversies

Stephen K. Benirschke, MD, Professor
Winston J. Warme, MD, Associate Professor
Brett Wiater, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery Resident

The treatment of midshaft clavicle (collarbone) fractures is controversial. For hundreds of years the mainstay treatment has been nonsurgical. However, recent orthopaedic literature suggests that certain individuals may benefit from surgery. Currently, two types of bone fixation are available: plates/screws and intramedullary nails.

Moderated by Brett Wiater, MD, this lecture reviews these two surgical options, followed by a discussion of case studies with UW Medicine physicians Stephen Benirschke, MD and Winston Warme, MD. Each treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages, but paramount to ensuring a good outcome for the patient is an evaluation by a qualified surgeon. Learn how these orthopedic surgeons at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center are working together to offer patients treatment options.


  • Outcomes following operative treatment of articular fractures
  • Gait analysis
  • DVT investigation