In 1917, 5-year-old Kenton D. Leatherman made the rounds with the town doctor in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.
It didn't take very long for the young boy to decide that he
, too, wanted to be a doctor.Twenty-one years later, in 1938, Leatherman graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.As a young surgeon, Dr. Leatherman watched as the polio epidemic swept across America.
As a result, millions of children began to suffer from collapsing spines: a condition called scoliosis.At that point, Dr. Leatherman
resolved to dedicate his
life and practice to spine surgery.After World War II, Dr. Kenton D. Leatherman returned to Louisville to practice orthopaedic surgery at Norton Hospital, where he specialized in surgery to correct deformities of the spine.
In 1957, Dr. Leatherman
revolutionized standard scoliosis surgery by accessing the spine through the patient's chest and correcting the condition by removing a vertebra.The invention of the spinal rod in 1960 allowed Dr. Leatherman's
once temporary correction to be maintained long-term.Dr. Leatherman
continued to perform these innovative surgeries.He
recognized, however, that many of his
patients with scoliosis also suffered from spinal cord compression and neurological deficits.To offer his
patients better outcomes, Dr. Leatherman
began to seek the expertise of a neurological specialist.