Manske, orthopedic hand surgeon, 72

Paul R. Manske, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery, died Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of an extended illness. He was 72.

Manske, a hand surgeon at Washington University since the late 1960s, was chairman of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1983-1995. In addition, he formerly was orthopedic surgeon in chief at Barnes Hospital and director of hand surgery at Shriner’s Hospital for Children.


A world authority on tendon healing, Manske earned a medical degree from the School of Medicine in 1964 and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Barnes Hospital in 1966. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1966-69, and joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1972.

Richard Gelberman, MD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and head of Orthopaedic Surgery, has known Manske since the late 1970s.

“There is no way to express my sorrow at the death of my friend and colleague of so many years, Paul Manske,” Gelberman says. “Paul was one of the kindest, gentlest and most principled physicians I have ever known. The good that he accomplished, through his extraordinary skill as a surgeon, his kindness and professionalism in educating house staff and his creativity in research, cannot be measured. He respected everybody, including his patients, trainees, nurses and janitors. He was a joy to work with and a great person to have in the department.”

Manske also was the longest-standing editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery and helped to bring it to a new level of excellence, Gelberman says.

Manske routinely was selected as one of the outstanding teachers of the year by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery house staff.

Alpesh A. Patel, MD, a resident in the Class of 2005 and now an assistant professor of orthopaedics at the University of Utah, said Manske was a tremendous influence on his life and career.

“His knack for balancing work and life outside of the hospital was an example I strive to achieve,” Patel said in an email. “His legacy, especially in teaching and education, will be immeasurable. I cannot thank him enough for all that he taught me and that I, in return, am teaching others.”

Manske is survived by his wife, Sandra; children Ethan, Claire and Louisa; and three siblings.

Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 28, 2011, at the Church of St. Michael and St. George, 6345 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO 63105.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Washington University Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, 600 S. Euclid Ave., Campus Box 8233, St. Louis, MO 63110 or to the Church of St. Michael and St. George.