About Prof. Dr. Dieter C. Wirtz

Prof. Dr. Dieter C. Wirtz © T. Tanzyna / Intercongress

Prof. Dr. Dieter C. Wirtz (*1967) is President of the German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma (DGOU) and the German Society for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery (DGOOC) for the 2020 term.

The specialist in orthopaedics and trauma surgery has been Director of the Department for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery at University Hospital Bonn since 2006 and Managing Director of the Surgical Centre at the University of Bonn since 2008. Wirtz has also been a member of the AE – German Society for Endoprosthesis – committee since 2016. He has also represented the DGOU as the national delegate at the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT).

Welcome address

Prof. Dr. Dieter C. Wirtz © T. Tanzyna / Intercongress

Dear colleagues,
Dear members of the DGOU,

It is an exceptional honour for me to represent the German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery as its President in 2020. I wish to thank you for your trust and your support in allowing me to take up this position.

What are the questions and tasks we need to address in 2020 and the subsequent years? I feel that there are four main aspects:

  1. Which structures in clinic and practice do we need in Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery under the given health policy framework conditions to ensure good care quality for our patients?
  2. How do we make our subject attractive to the next generation and how can we ensure excellent ad-vanced training?
  3. What structures do orthopaedics and trauma surgery need in research to be able to answer the many questions that remain open in a translational manner?
  4. What can the professional society do and what should it do to implement these aspects?

To answer the first question, let me briefly summarise the framework conditions that are currently in place. In both clinic and practice, we work in an environment determined by economics that is character-ised by ever-increasing regulation (keyword: Working Hours Act), a delay in structural investment (key-word: digitisation) and an innovative capacity that is no longer there (keyword: medical device regulation). On the other hand, the justified patient desire for greater quality of life and quality of care is also increas-ing in an ageing society. Personalised and individualised treatment methods with a high degree of differ-entiation and specialisation are what society is demanding.

In an international comparison of orthopaedics and trauma surgery, we are still in a good position: almost every one of us would prefer to be treated at home than in another healthcare system. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the analysis of the current data from the German Endoprosthesis Register (see 2019 EPRD annual report), for example, show that we have significantly higher complication and revision rates for certain procedures compared to other countries. Among other reasons, this is because we offer care that is close to the patient’s home for many surgical procedures in our specialism, particularly planned operations. The extensive hospital landscape ensures good basic care across a wide range of specialisms, which is right and important for emergency traumatological care in particular. On the other hand, not every planned operation needs to be carried out in every hospital and by every surgeon with a specialist qualifi-cation, whether it’s an endoprosthesis or trauma surgery.

I am therefore of the opinion that our specialism needs more of a central point, with a clear definition of which clinical pictures and which injury patterns need to be treated in which clinic. Ultimately, the profes-sional associations have set out where which patients need to be treated and by whom in the case of inju-ries covered by professional association insurance. I am convinced that even larger clinics (orthopaedics and trauma surgery centres) should in an ideal world no longer be divided into orthopaedics and trauma surgery but rather need internal clinic structures focused on topography and anatomy (e.g. a department of shoulder/elbow surgery, a department of spinal surgery, a department of pelvic/hip surgery etc.). Only those who always work on the spine or on the pelvis and hips will be able to achieve excellent quality in their results. Case numbers, experience and knowledge of complication management all pay off when it comes to care quality. This applies to treating fractures caused by accidents and to planned orthopaedic surgery.

Of course structures of this type are human resource and cost-intensive, but this is the only way for com-plex surgery (including replacement of endoprostheses, septic surgery and pelvic/spinal fractures) well in an interdisciplinary setup. In order to achieve this, a clearly defined centre supplement is needed in the mean-oriented DRG system. Even the clinics that offer 24/7 emergency surgery can only maintain well-trained teams and the corresponding infrastructure if they are given the corresponding financial resources to do this.

As a professional society, we need to use dialogue with politicians setting out clear data and facts to en-sure that the existing broad spectrum emergency care in Germany is further expanded and is not de-stroyed by the closure of hospitals. On the other hand, we also have to make the case for the formation of “in-depth”, specialised centres providing complex care being established and paid for separately. In order to achieve these objectives, we need reliable figures from our registers (including the trauma register and EPRD) and from research into care that has not yet been sufficiently intensive.

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Clinical and academic focus

  • Corrective operations on the pelvis, hip and knee joints that preserve the joints
  • Primary and revision endoprosthesis of the large joints
  • Biological reconstruction of bony defects
  • Diagnosis and treatment of periprosthetic infections
  • Interface and boundary research on implants

Clinical Career

Since 30/10/2008
Managing Director, Surgical Centre, University Hospital Bonn

Since 30/10/2006
Department Director, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Bonn

08/2005 - 10/2006
Deputy Clinic Director, Orthopaedic University Clinic, Aachen

09/2003 - 10/2006
Senior Consultant, Orthopaedic University Clinic, Aachen

07/1999 - 08/2003
Consultant, Orthopaedic University Clinic, Aachen

12/1994 - 06/1999
Assistant Doctor, Orthopaedic University Clinic of RWTH Aachen

07/1994 - 12/1994
Assistant Doctor, Surgical Clinic at the Wiesbaden Clinic
01/1993 - 06/1994
Doctor in practice, Clinic for Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, Katharinenhospital Stuttgart

Academic Career

since 30/10/2006
W3 Professorship, Chair of Trauma Surgery/Orthopaedics, University of Bonn

apl professorship, RWTH Aachen

Habilitation, Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen
Doctorate, Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen

Licence to practise medicine       

1986 – 1992
Medical studies at the Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen

Professional Qualifications

  • Accreditation to provide training in the specialisms of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Special Orthopaedic Surgery, Common Trunk and General Medicine (1Y)
  • Specialist in Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (27/04/06)
  • Diploma in Health Economics    (30/08/2005 German Academy of Business Administration in the Healthcare Professions, Cologne)
  • Rheumatology (22/02/2005)
  • Special Orthopaedic Surgery (15/05/2003)
  • Physical Therapy (14/01/2003)
  • Specialist in Orthopaedics    (10/12/1998)
  • Chirotherapy (09/12/1997)
  • Sports Medicine (14/01/1997)
  • Radiation Protection (22/07/1994)

Memberships, Honorary Positions and Awards

Honorary Positions:

  • President of the DGOU (German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery) 2020
  • President of the DGOOC (German Society for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery) 2020
  • Member of the Executive Committee (EC) of the Endoprosthesis Register for Germany (EPRD)
  • National delegate of the DGOU to the EFORT (European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology)
  • Member of the AE committee (working group on endoprosthesis, German Society for Endoprosthesis)
  • Member of the EndoCert® certification committee
  • Committee member on the advisory body for medical malpractice for the North Rhine Medical Association
  • Member of the expert advisory board on “care medicine” set up by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Editor of the Journal of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (Z Orthop Unfall)
  • Co-editor of the Journal of Operative Orthopaedics and Traumatology (Oper Orthop Traumatol)
  • Co-editor of the journal “Der Orthopäde”


  • German Society for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Orthopädie und orthopädische Chirurgie, DGOOC)
  • German Society for Trauma Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie, DGU)
  • German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie, DGOU)
  • Professional Association of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeons (Berufsverband der Orthopäden und Unfallchirurgen, BVOU)
  • Association of South German Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeons (Vereinigung Süddeutscher Orthopäden und Unfallchirurgen e.V., VSOU)
  • Working Group on Endoprosthesis (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Endoprothetik, AE)
  • Working Group on Osteosynthesis Issues (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen, AOTrauma)


  • Themistocles Gluck Prize 2007
  • Wilhelm Roux Prize 2005
  • ASG Fellowship 2004 with the DGOOC    
  • Poster prize 2003 from the German Society of Nuclear Medicine
  • AE research prize 2002
  • Themistocles Gluck Prize 2001
  • AE travel grant 2000 to attend “Current Concepts in Total Joint Replacement 2000”, Orlando, USA
  • HIP prize 1999 at the conference “Chirurgie de la Hanche - Hip Surgery, Developments & Future prospects“,Toulouse, France
  • Wilhelm Roux Prize 1998
  • Poster prize 1998 from the North German Orthopaedic Conference 1998, Leipzig
  • SICOT Travelling Award 1998 to attend the 9th SICOT Trainees Meeting in Copenhagen 1998
  • Poster prize 1994 from the German Society for Trauma Surgery, 1994


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