Community remembers famous Louisville hand surgeon


by Brittany Gonzalez

Posted on September 29, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 30 at 7:45 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Prominent Louisville hand surgeon Dr. Harold Kleinert passed away Saturday at the age of 92.

The founder of Kleinert Klutz Hand Care Center was well known for giving specialized treatment to his patients for more than half a century.

Kleinert was born in 1921. He graduated from Temple University Medical School in 1946 finding his way to Louisville after a University of Louisville professor heard a paper he presented. It gave way to the area’s first hand surgery clinic he opened in 1953.

Over the years, Dr. Kleinert passed on his knowledge and skill to thousands of surgeons in dozens of countries.

His clinic performed the nation’s first 5 hand transplants and a double hand transplant in 2010.

Dr. Kleinert has published an estimated 200 scientific publications and was even named as national consultant in hand surgery by then Surgeon General Robert A. Patterson in the United States Air Force in 1973.

"Dr. Kleinert was a pioneer in his field who shared his knowledge with hundreds of surgeons and University of Louisville medical students.  His legacy lives on through their work improving the lives of others.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey said in a statement.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also sent out his heartfelt condolences via Twitter.

"Humanity will benefit for decades to come because of Dr. Harold Kleinert's innovations in hand medicine. Our entire city mourns his passing," he said.

Dr. Kleinert had been retired for a number of years at the time of his death.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Download WHAS11 News app: iPhone | Android