Gilden, longtime St. Louis Blues physician, 84

Jerome J. Gilden, MD, professor emeritus of orthopedic surgery, died Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010, at his Chesterfield, Mo., home after a long illness. He was 84.

Gilden was the orthopedic surgeon for the St. Louis Blues from 1967-1995, doing everything from stitching cuts during games to major orthopedic surgeries. He is perhaps best known for repairing defenseman Noel Picard’s crushed foot so that Picard could return to the ice less than a year after surgery.


He was the first orthopedic surgeon in the St. Louis area and the Midwest to perform knee replacements and was among the region’s leaders in doing total hip replacements.

“Dr. Gilden was an extraordinarily skilled and compassionate surgeon,” says Richard H. Gelberman, MD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “His enormous contributions to the St Louis medical community and to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will be very long lasting. His integrity and exceptional clinical care will be perpetuated through the Jerome Gilden Endowed Professorship and the Jerome Gilden Compassionate Physician Award, both in orthopedic surgery.”

A St. Louis native, he joined the clinical faculty of Washington University in 1974 while in private practice. He joined the full-time faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor and chief of orthopedic surgery at Jewish Hospital. He became professor emeritus when he retired in 1999.

Gilden was the director of the department’s program for performing artists and a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the St. Louis Symphony. He also served as associate director and consultant for the Amputee Clinic in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the School of Medicine.

After serving two years in the U.S. Army during World War II, Gilden earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1948 and a medical degree from the School of Medicine in 1952. He did his internship and general surgery residency at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Gilden is survived by four daughters, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a brother.

Services were held Aug. 13 at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in Chesterfield, Mo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.