Who we are

Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute is the main Italian institute of orthopedics and traumatology. In 1981 the Italian Health Ministry gave Rizzoli the status of a 'Scientific research hospital' due to its high level of healthcare in orthopedics and traumatology. Foto San Michele in Bosco.JPGIn fact, the institute's strength lies in the close integration between healthcare (about 150,000 patients examined and over 20,000 orthopedic operations every year) and scientific research, which is carried out in fifteen laboratories at the institute employing a staff of 300 including doctors, biologists and technicians. Furthermore, it is a place of university teaching, due to its association with Bologna University.

Rizzoli Institute has 324 beds, in rooms of no more than 3 beds, each with bathroom. Patients come from all over Italy and abroad. There is a staff of about 1,400.

Besides basic orthopedic surgery, highly specialized operations for treating musculoskeletal tumors, pediatric diseases, spine diseases sports diseases and degenerative hip and knee joint diseases are performed.


Rizzoli was founded at the end of the XIX century by the famous Bolognese surgeon, Francesco Rizzoli, who bought the convent and the hill of San Michele in Bosco. He left it in his will to the Province of Bologna to be used as an orthopedic hospital.

It was opened in 1896 and soon became one of the best orthopedic hospitals in the world due to its size, equipment, organization, research and teaching. This fame was above all due to Alessandro Codivilla and Vittorio Putti, the first directors who set up a prestigious school of orthopedics for numerous Italian and South American pupils.

The hospital is set in a monastic monumental complex of great artistic value, that houses works of art spanning four centuries: Carracci's octagonal cloister, frescoed by Ludovico Carracci and Guido Reni, the monks' ex-refectory decorated by Giorgio Vasari, and the superb library frescoed in the 1600s by Domenico Maria Canuti which is considered to be, together with more than 32,000 volumes, the most important in the world in the field of orthopedics.


Hospitalization and clinical activity is divided into 30 operational units, in three departments. The main types of operations are:

- total hip arthroplasty (primary and revision), treatment of degenerative and traumatic lesions of the limbs, and arthroplasty and treatment of knee, ankle and foot diseases. Clinical practice concerning joint arthroplasty is supported by the knowledge and skills of different scientific research laboratories where studies are carried out into the improvement of design and materials used in this kind of surgery. In addition, in more complex surgery, the surgeon can perform a simulated operation on the computer to know beforehand the difficulties that may crop up in the operating room. A special unit treats sports diseases: joint capsulo-ligamentous lesions, tendon lesions, and autologous chondrocyte transplant.

- musculoskeletal tumors, of the bone and soft tissue. In most cases they are primary tumors in children and adults (mainly osteosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma, as well as rarer forms of primary bone tumor, such as malignant fibrous histiocytoma, leiomyosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, angiosarcoma, mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, and dedifferentiated forms of chondrosarcoma) that may need complex reconstruction techniques (prostheses, homoplastic bone grafts, vascularized fibular grafts with the involvement of other surgical disciplines, such as plastic surgery, thoracic and general surgery, vascular surgery, and microsurgery).

- scoliosis of every kind (idiopathic, neuromuscular, posttraumatic degenerative, and scoliosis due to neoplastic lesions) in patients of all ages; highly evolutional deformities in children, and symptomatic ones in adults and the elderly, that require complex surgery by anterior and posterior approaches; severe diseases due to instability, such as spondylolisthesis, stenosis of the spinal canal, or degenerative diseases of the spinal column (thoracic and lumbar spine).

- pediatric orthopedic diseases, with special reference to some diseases of the locomotor system: congenital malformation disease: clubfoot, lower limb hypoplasia; congenital hip dislocation; limb length discrepancy; flatfoot; congenital nonunion; musculoskeletal disease connected to spina bifida; infantile cerebral palsy; arthrogryposis; and osteogenesis imperfecta.

At Rizzoli there is also a musculoskeletal tissue bank for the collection, preservation and distribution of musculoskeletal  tissue. This bank is a reference center for the Emilia-Romagna region. Furthermore, Rizzoli has set up a special company for telemedicine services management.

Furthermore, the Rizzoli-Sicilia Department in Bagheria (Palermo), constituted after an agreement with the Assessorship of Health of the Sicilian Region, is operating since February 2012.

Content updated 30/05/2016 - 12:36
Content edited by: Dott. Andrea Paltrinieri (redazioneweb@ior.it)
Utilizza SharethisShareThis  Scrivi una email  Vai a facebook  Vai a twitter