The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NUH has its roots and origins in the University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, set up in 1952 at the Singapore General Hospital with Professor J A P Cameron as the Head of Department. The Orthopaedic and Traumatic Surgery service established was one of the earliest in this region. At that time, it served a population of nearly one million people, including some patients from the surrounding countries. Undergraduate teaching started at the same time, with a comprehensive, broad-based, clinically oriented programme emphasising practical and basic common problems in Orthopaedic and traumatic surgery. The Department also became closely associated with the training of Orthopaedic surgeons from countries under the Colombo Plan, and this association developed to an international level when the World Orthopaedic Concern was formed in Singapore. This commitment to teaching and patient care resulted in the recognition of the University Department as one of the finest Orthopaedic Surgery programmes in East Asia in the 1960s through early 1980s.
On 24 June 1985, the University Department moved into the newly-built National University Hospital, and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NUH was formally established under the leadership of Professor Kamal Bose. In the 30 years since its inception, the Department has continued its tradition of combining specialised medical care in orthopaedics, with a well-designed teaching programme for undergraduates and postgraduates. Under the keen stewardship of Professor Bose (1985-1998), Professor Lee Eng Hin (1998-2001), Professor K. Satkunanantham (2001-2004), Professor Wong Hee Kit (2004-2015), A/Prof Wilson Wang (2015-2019) and presently Prof James Hui (1 Jan 2020). The Department has flourished and developed into the well-known modern tertiary level referral centre which provides a comprehensive range of orthopaedic services.