An orthopedic trauma surgeon, Matthew Riedel, MD, treats a variety of injuries stemming from car crashes, industrial accidents, and simple trips and falls.
“I see kids through geriatrics, often meeting people during one of their worst moments,” Dr. Riedel says. “I find it very fulfilling to help them during these tough times and watch them get back to doing what they love.”
Growing up, he developed an affinity for working with his hands from spending time at his father’s tool and die shop. “It ties in very well with orthopedics because we’re using plates and screws and metal rods all the time in surgery,” Dr. Riedel says.
Dr. Riedel’s research interests include studying clinical outcomes for patients after suffering a broken bone, whether treated operatively or nonoperatively. He is also interested in improving the biomechanics of surgical implants. “This involves looking at the material properties of the implants we use to try to match bone as closely as possible, so that the bone heals better and the implants are more comfortable for the body,” he explains.
The range of cases he works on daily helps fuel research ideas, Dr. Riedel notes. “Every time you’re working on a patient, you’re saying, ‘Is there a better way we could do this to improve my patients’ outcomes? Is there a better implant we could use, or a new way to orient the screws, the rods, or do something different?’” he says. “This not only gives us a chance to think about ways to develop new technology and advance the field, but also provide each individual patient more specific and successful care because every patient and injury that comes in is unique and different from the last.”
Dr. Riedel is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Yale School of Medicine.