Laurence E. Dahners, MD

Laurence Dahners

Professor of Orthopaedics

Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


  • BS: University of Arizona
  • MD: University of Arizona
  • Residency: University of Kansas
Selected Honors, Awards, and Recognitions
  • 2010.  “Best Doctors in America”
  • 2010.  Awarded the Frank C. Wilson Orthopaedic Faculty Teaching Award.  Given by the graduating residents to the faculty member most important to their education.
  • 2010.  UNC Musculoskeletal Course Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2009.  “Best Doctors in America”
  • 2008.  Elected as “Faculty member” to Alpha Omega Alpha
  • 2007.  “Best Doctors in America “
  • 2006.  UNC Musculoskeletal Course Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2006.  “Best Doctors in North Carolina”
  • 2005.  “Best Doctors in America”
  • 2004.  “The State’s Best Doctors,” Business North Carolina, July, 2004.
  • 2003.  UNC Musculoskeletal Course Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2001.  Awarded the Frank C. Wilson Orthopaedic Faculty Teaching Award.  Given by the graduating residents to the faculty member most important to their education.
  • 2000.  Kappa Delta, Ann Doner Vaughn Award for the research paper “On Changes In Length of Dense Collagenous Tissue: Growth and Contracture.”
  • 1997.  University of North Carolina Medical School.  Speaker for "Pearl's Day" Presentations; March 21, 1997.
  • 1997.  Awarded the first Frank C. Wilson Orthopaedic Faculty Teaching Award. Given by the graduating residents to the faculty member most important to their education.
  • 1995.  Selected to "Best Doctors in America," Southeast Region.
  • 1992.  UNC Musculoskeletal Course Faculty Teaching Award
  • 1992.  American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award; December 1, 1992 through January 1, 1996
  • 1991.  AOA/ABC Traveling Fellow - England, Australia, New Zealand.  April 13, 1991 through May 27, 1991.
  • 1988.  Preceptor for Medical School M.D. with Honors Thesis: Gail Quackenbush; Ligament Contraction: An Ultrastructural Study.  March 1, 1988.
  • 1988.  Southern Medical Association Scientific Exhibit Recognition Award; November 1988
  • 1986.  Physician's Recognition Award; May 1, 1983 through May 1, 1986
  • 1985.  UNC Musculoskeletal Course Faculty Teaching Award
  • 1985.  Junior Faculty Development Award; January 1, 1986 through December 31, 1986
Clinical Interests
  • Trauma
Research Interests
  • Ligament physiology
  • ligament healing
  • ligament growth and contracture
  • bone healing and biomechanics of internal fixation
Academic Appointments
1983-1988 Assistant Professor of Surgery (Orthopaedics); UNC School of Medicine
1988-1993 Associate Professor of Surgery (Orthopaedics); UNC School of Medicine
1993-1996 Professor of Surgery (Orthopaedics); UNC School of Medicine
1996-present Professor of Orthopaedics; UNC School of Medicine
1996-1998 Acting Chair; Department of Orthopaedics, UNC School of Medicine
Selected Publications (see complete list under PubMed)
  • Zhao T, Weinhold P, Lee N, Dahners L.  Some Observations on the Subfibrillar Structure of Collagen Fibrils As Noted During Treatment with NKISK and Cathepsin G with Mechanical Agitation. J Electron Microsc 2011 February; 0 (0):1-6.
  • Miles JD, Weinhold P, Brimmo O, Dahners L. Rat Tibial Osteotomy Model Providing a Range of Normal to Impaired Healing. J Orthop Res 2011 January; 29 (1): 109-115.
  • Draeger R, Singh B, Bynum DK, Dahners LE.  Corticosteroids as an Adjunct to Antibiotics and Surgical Drainage for the Treatment of Pyogenic Flexor Tenosynovitis. J Bone Joint Surg. 2010 Nov; 92-A (16):2653-2662.
  • Alves T, Neal JW, Weinhold PS, Dahners LE.  Biomechanical Comparison of 3 Possible Fixation Strategies to Resist Femoral Neck Shortening After Fracture. Orthopedics. 2010 April; 33 (4): 233.
  • Cavanaugh DL*, Berry J*, Yarboro SR*, Dahners LE. Better Prophylaxis against Surgical Site Infection with Local as Well as Systemic Antibiotics: An in Vivo Study.  J Bone Joint Surg. 2009 Aug; 91 (8): 1907-1911.
  • Iannuzzi N*, Dahners LE. Excision and Advancement in the Treatment of Comminuted Olecranon Fractures. J Orthop Trauma 2009; 23 (3):226-228.
  • Elzik ME*, Dirschl DR, Dahners LE. Hemorrhage in pelvic fractures does not correlate with fracture length. J Trauma. 2008 Aug; 65 (2): 436-41.
  • Esther RJ, Creighton RA, Draeger RW*, Weinhold PS, Dahners LE.  Effect of NKISK on Tendon Lengthening:  An In Vivo Model for Various Clinically Applicable Dosing Regimens.  J Orthop Res 2008; 26 (7): 971.
  • Spang JT*, DelGaizo DJ*, Dahners LE. Reconstruction of Lateral Trochlear Defect with Radial Head Autograft.  J Orthop Trauma 2008; 22 (5): 351.
  • Ferry, ST*, Dahners LE, Afshari HM*, Weinhold PS. The Effects of Common Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on the Healing Rat Patella Tendon.  Am J Sports Med. 2007; 35:1326.
  • Yarboro S*, Baum E*, Dahners L: Locally Administered Antibiotics for Prophylaxis against Surgical Wound Infection. J. Bone Joint Surg. 2007 89(5) 929-933.
  • Bushnell BD*, Hoover SA*, Olcott CW, Dahners LE. Use of an Independent Skeletal Distractor in Hip Arthroscopy. Arthroscopy 2007 23 (1), 106.
  • Keener JD, Dahners LE: Percutaneous Pinning of Displaced Midshaft Clavicle Fractures. Technique in Shoulder Elbow Surgery Dec 2006 7:4.
  • Draeger RW*, Dirschl DR, Dahners LE. Debridement of Cancellous Bone: A Comparison of Irrigation Methods. J Orthop Trauma, 2006 20 (10).
  • Costa ER*, Weinhold PS, Tayrose GA*, Hooker JA*, Dahners LE. The Effect of Levodopa or Levodopa-Carbidopa (Sinemet) on Fracture Healing.  J Orthop Trauma 2006 20 (7), 470-475.
  • Ferry ST*, Dahners LE. Flexible Intramedullary Nail Removal Using a Broken Screw Removal Set. J Orthop Trauma, 2006 20 (5), 351-353.
  • Bushnell BD*, Byram IR*, Dahners LE: Compression External Fixation with Transosseous Pins for Arthrodesis of the Ankle.  Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery 2006 5(2) 84-87.
  • Draeger RW*, Dahners LE. Traumatic Wound Debridement A Comparison of Irrigation Methods. J Orthop Trauma, 2006 20(2): 83-88.
  • Melvin JS*, Dahners LE. A Technique for Correction of Equinus Contracture Using a Wire Fixator and Elastic Tension. J Orthop Trauma 2006 20(2): 138-142.
  • Mullis BH*, Dahners LE. Hip Arthroscopy to Remove Loose Bodies After Traumatic Dislocation. J Orthop Trauma. 2006 20(1): 22-26.
  • Elzik, ME*, Dirschl DR, Dahners LE. Correlation of Transfusion Volume to Change in Hematocrit. Am J of Hematology. 2006 81:145-145.
  • Creighton RA, Spang JT*, Dahners LE. Basic Science of Ligament Healing: Medial Collateral Ligament Healing With and Without Treatment. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review 2005 13(3) 145-150.
  • Bushnell BD*, Dahners LE: The Syringe Technique for Minimally Invasive Bone Grafting. J Orthop Trauma. 2005 19(9):650-655.
  • Dahners LE: Antegrade Clavicle Nailing. J Orthop Trauma. 2005 Aug;19(7):501-502
  • Hanson CA*, Weinhold PS, Afshari HM*, Dahners LE: The Effect of Analgesic Agents on the Healing Rat Medial Collateral Ligament.  Am J of Sports Med 2005 33(5): 674-679.
  • Mullis BH*, Dahners LE. Effects of nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on  Bone Formation and Soft-Tissue Healing.  J Amer Acad Ortho Surg 2004; 12(3): 139-143.
  • Chudik SC*, Weinhold P, Dahners LE.  Fixed-angle plate fixation in simulated fractures of the proximal humerus: A biomechanical study of a new device. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2003; 12(6):578-588.
  • Wood ML*, Larson CM*, Dahners LE: Late Presentation of a Displaced    Subcapital Fracture of the Hip in Transient Osteoporosis of Pregnancy. J Orthop Trauma. 2003, 17:582-583.
  • Bogatov* VB, Weinhold PS, Dahners LE: The influence of a cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitor on injured and uninjured ligaments in the rat.  Amer J Sports Med. 2003, 31:574-576.
  • Wood ML*, Luthin WN*, Lester GE, Dahners LE: Tendon creep is potentiated  by   NKISK and relaxin which produce collagen fiber sliding. Iowa Orthop J 2003; 23:75-79.
  • Dahners LE: The Running Near-Near-Far-Far Stitch for Closure of  Fasciotomies and Other Large Wounds. Orthopaedics  2003, 26:383-384.
  • Norcross JP*, Lester GE, Weinhold PS, Dahners LE: An in vivo model of  degenerative disc disease. J Ortho Res 2003; 21: 183-188.
  • Harrell RM*, Tong J*, Weinhold PS, Dahners LE: Comparison of the Mechanical Properties of Different Tension Band Materials and Suture Techniques. J Orthop Trauma 2003 17(2) 119-122.
  • Caprise PA, Miclau T, Dahners LE, Dirschl DR: High-pressure pulsatile lavage irrigation of contaminated fractures: effects on fracture healing. J Orthop Res 2002; 20(6): 1205-1209.
  • Dirschl DR, Dahners LE, Crouch JH, Adams GL, Wilson FC: Correlation of Selection Criteria for Residency Applicants with Subsequent Performances as Residents. Clin Orthop 2002; 399:265-271.
  • Crowther JD*, Chudik SC*, Dahners LE: Periacetabular Osteotomy for Stabilization of Recurrent Post-Traumatic Dislocation of the Hip.  J Orthop Trauma 2002 16(6) 433-436.
  • Dahners LE, Bos GD: Fluorescent Tetracycline Labeling as an Aid to Debridement of Necrotic Bone in the Treatment of Chronic Osteomyelitis. J Orthop Trauma May 2002 16(5) 345-346.
  • Lee EW, Dirschl DR, Duff G, Dahners LE, Miclau T: High-Pressure Pulsatile Lavage Irrigation of Fresh Intraarticular Fractures: Effectivness at Removing Particulate Matter From Bone. J Orthop Res 2002 16(3) 162-165.
  • Elder CL*, Dahners LE, Weinhold PS: A Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitor Impairs  Ligament Healing in the Rat. Am J Sports Medicine 2001,  29(6):801-5.
  • Caprise PA*, Lester GA, Weinhold P, Hill J, Dahners, LE: The Effect of  NKISK on Tendon in an in Vivo Model. J Ortho Res 2001 19:858-861.
  • Dahners LE, Lester GE, Caprise P*:  The Pentapeptide NKISK Affects Collagen Fibril Interactions in a Vertebrate Tissue. J Orthop Res 2000 (18)532-536.
  • Dahners LE, Hundley JD:  Reduction of posterior hip dislocations in the lateral position using traction-counteraction: safer for the surgeon?  J Orthop Trauma 1999: 13(5) 373-374.
  • Miller RS*, Weinhold PS, Dahners LE:  Comparison of tricortical screw fixation versus a modified suture construct for fixation of ankle syndesmosis injury: a biomechanical study. J Orthop Trauma 1999: (13) 39-42.
  • Dirschl DR, Duff GP, Dahners LE, Edin M, Rahn BA, Miclau T:  High pressure pulsatile lavage irrigation of intraarticular fractures: effects of fracture healing.  J Orthop Trauma 1998:(12) 460-463.
  • Miclau T,*, Edin ML,*, Lester GE, Lindsey RW, Dahners LE:  Effect of ciprofloxacin on the proliferation of osteoblast-like MG-63 human osteosarcoma cells in vitro. J Orthop Res 1998;(16) 509-512.
  • Wood ML,* Lester GE, Dahners LE:  Collagen fiber sliding during ligament growth and contracture. J Orthop Res 1998;(16)438-440.
  • DeVente JE*, Lester GE, Trotter JA, Dahners LE:  Isolation of intact collagen fibrils from healing ligament. J Electron Microsc (Tokyo), 1997:46(4) 353-356.
  • Dahners LE: Technical notes on a radiolucent distractor for indirect reduction and intramedullary nailing. J Orthop Trauma, 1997;(11)374-377.
  • Dirschl DR, Dahners LE:  Current treatment of tibial plateau fractures.  J So Orthop Assoc, 1997;(6)54-61.
  • Edin ML,* Miclau T*, Lester GE, Lindsey RW, Dahners LE:  Effect of cefazolin and vancomycin on osteoblasts in vitro.  Clin Orthop 1996;333:245-251.
  • Batten ML,* Hansen JC,* Dahners LE:  Influence of dosage and timing of application of platelet-derived growth factor on early healing of the rat medial collateral ligament.  J Orthop Res 1996;14:736-741.
  • Dirschl DR, Dahners LE: The mangled extremity: When should it be amputated?  J Am Acad Orthop Surg 1996;4:182-190.
  • Miclau T,* Edin ML,* Lester GE, Lindsey RW, Dahners LE:  Bone toxicity of locally applied aminoglycosides.  J Orthop Trauma 1995;9:401-406.
  • Dahners LE:  Internal fixation of proximal humeral fractures.  J South Orthop Assoc 1995;4:3-8.
  • Letson AK,* Dahners LE:  The effect of combinations of growth factors on ligament healing.  Clin Orthop 1994;308:207-212.
  • Wyland DJ,* Dahners LE:  The effects of nerve injury on ligament healing in a rat model.  Clin Orthop 1994;307:255-259.
  • Litke DS,* Dahners LE:  Effects of different levels of direct current on early ligament healing in a rat model.  J Orthop Res 1994;12(5)683-688.
  • Fakhry SM, Rutledge R, Dahners LE, Kessler D*:  Incidence, management, and outcome of femoral shaft fracture:  A statewide population-based analysis of 2805 adult patients in a rural state.  J Trauma 1994;37(2)255-261.
  • Miclau T,* Dahners LE, Lindsey RW:  In vitro pharmacokinetics of antibiotic release from locally implantable materials.  J Orthop Res 1993;11(5)627-632.
  • Paessler HH, Deneke J, Dahners LE:  Augmented repair and early mobilization of acute anterior cruciate ligament injuries.  Amer J Sports Med 1992;20(6)667-673.
  • Van Savage JG,* Dahners LE, Renner JB, Baker CC:  Fracture-dislocation of the lumbosacral spine:  Case report and review of the literature.   J Trauma 1992;33(5)779-784.
  • Padgett LR,* Dahners LE:  Rigid immobilization alters matrix organization in the njured rat medial collateral ligament.  J Orthop Res 1992;10(6)895-900.
  • Lechner CT,* Dahners LE:  Healing of the medial collateral ligament in unstable rat knees.  Amer J Sports Med 1991;19(5)508-512.
  • Latimer HA,* Dahners LE, Bynum DK:  Lengthening of below-the-knee amputation stumps using the Ilizarov technique.  J Orthop Trauma 1990;4(4)411-414.
  • Burroughs P,* Dahners LE:  The effect of enforced exercise on the healing of ligament injuries.  Amer J Sports Med 1990;18(4)376-378.
  • Dahners LE, Sykes KE,* Muller PR*:  A study of the mechanisms influencing ligament growth.  Orthop 1989;12:1569-1572.
  • Dahners LE, Hillsgrove DC*:  The effects of drilling on revascularization and new bone formation in canine femoral heads with avascular necrosis:  An initial study.  J Orthop Trauma 1989;3:309-312.
  • McCardel BR,* Dahners LE, Renner JB:  Kirschner wire migration from the pelvis to the heart and a new method of fixation of articular fracture fragments, acetabular reconstruction.  J Orthop Trauma 1989;3:257-259.
  • Dahners LE, Hoyle M*:  Chemical sterilization of bacterially contaminated bone without destruction of osteogenic potential.  J Orthop Trauma 1989;3:241-244.
  • Gilbert JA, Dahners LE, Atkinson MA:  The effect of external fixation stiffness on early healing of transverse osteotomies.  J Orthop Res 1989;7:389-397.
  • Jasmine MS,* Dahners LE:  Reduction of stress shielding beneath bone plate by use of a polymeric under plate. Clin Orthop 1989;246:293-299.
  • Tart RP,* Dahners LE:  The effects of electrical stimulation on joint contracture in a rat model.  J Orthop Res 1989;7:538-542.
  • Hopp SG,* Dahners LE, Gilbert JA:  A study of the mechanical strength of long bone defects treated with various bone autograft substitutes:  An experimental investigation in the rabbit.  J Orthop Res 1989;7:579-584.
  • Cox L,* Dahners LE, Gilbert JA:  Experimental spiral fractures:  An in vitro biomechanical comparison of lag-screw fixation to plate fixation.  Clin Orthop 1989;243:189-194.
  • Dahners LE, Gilbert JA, Lester GE, Taft TN, Payne LZ:  The effect of a non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug on the healing of ligaments.  Amer J Sports Med 1988;16(6)641-646.
  • Wessels WE,* Dahners LE:  Growth of the deltoid ligament in the rabbit.  Clin Orthop 1988;234:303-305.
  • LaTorre, TR, Dahners LE, Wise MW:  Adaptive device for increasing transfer mobility in a patient with multiple fractures:  Suggestion from the field.  Phys Therapy 1988;68(7):1121-1122.
  • Muller P,* Dahners LE:  A study of ligamentous growth.  Clin Orthop 1988;229:274-277.
  • Banes AJ, Link GW, Bevin AG, Peterson HD, Gillespie Y, Bynum DK, Watts S, Dahners LE:  Tendon synovial cells secrete fibronectin in vivo and in vitro.  J Orthop Res 1988;6(1):73-82.
  • Wilson CJ,* Dahners LE:  An examination of the mechanism of ligament contracture.  Clin Orthop 1988;227:286-291.
  • Banes AJ, Donlon K, Link GW, Gillespie GY, Bevin AG, Peterson HD, Bynum DK, Dahners LE:  Cell populations of tendon:  A simplified method for isolation of tendon synovial cells and internal fibroblasts:  Confirmation of Origin and Biological Properties.  J Orthop Res 1988;6(1):83-94.
  • Hart DP,* Dahners LE:  Medial collateral ligament healing in rats:  The effect of repair, motion, and secondary stabilizing ligaments.  J Bone Joint Surg 1987;69A:1194-1199.
  • Carter MD,* Gilbert JA, Dahners LE:  An evaluation of osteotomized tibial fixation stiffness achieved with various fixation methods.  Clin Orthop 1987;224:289-293.
  • Dahners LE:  A readily available wrench for reduction of fractures during closed intramedullary nailing.  Clin Orthop 1987;219:278-282.
  • Dahners LE, Funderburk CH*:  Gentamicin loaded plaster of paris as a treatment for osteomyelitis.  Clin Orthop 1987;219:278-282.
  • Gilbert JA, Dahners LE, Atkinson MA, Payne LZ:  Flexural rigidity of sidebars in Hoffman external fixators.  Biomaterials, Med Devices and Artificial Organs 1986;14:113.
  • Gilbert JA, Dahners LE, Carter MD*:  Stiffness of tibia fixation:  A comparison of plaster casts, external fixators, DC plates and flexible intramedullary nails.   Biomaterial, Med Devices and Artificial Organs 1986;14:112.
  • Gilbert JA, Dahners LE, Atkinson MA, Payne LZ:  Flexural rigidity of sidebars in Hoffmann external fixators.  Biomedical Engineering V.  Recent Developments, Proceedings of the 5th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference.  Subrata Saha, Ed. New York, Pergamo Press, 1986:354-357.
  • Gilbert JA*, Dahners LE, Carter MD, Atkinson MA:  Stiffness of tibia fixation:  A comparison of plaster casts, external fixators, dynamic compression plates, and flexible intramedullary nails.  Biomedical Engineering V.  Recent Development Proceedings of the 5th Southern Biomedical Conference.  Subrata Saha, Ed. New York, Pergamon Press, 1986:351-353.
  • Dahners LE, Banes AJ, Burridge KWT:  The relationship of actin to ligament contraction. Clin Orthop 1986;210:246-251.
  • Dahners LE, Jacobs RR, McKenzie EB, Gilbert JA:  Biomechanical studies of an anterior pelvic external fixation frame intended for control of vertical shear fractures.  South Med J 1986;79(7):815-817.
  • Dahners LE, Jacobs RR:  A study of long bone defects treated with demineralized bone.  South Med J 1985;78:933-934.
  • Dahners LE:  The management of unstable pelvic fractures.  Infect Surg 1985;4:373-379.
  • Dahners LE: A philosophy for the care of trauma patients with multiple musculoskeletal injuries.  North Carolina Med J 1984;45:698-700.
  • Dahners LE, Wood FM: Anconeus epitrochlearis: A rare cause of cubital tunnel syndrome. J Hand 1984;9A:579-580.
  • Dahners LE, Jacobs RR, Jayaraman G, Mathys R, Capula J: A new external skeletal fixation system for unstable pelvic fractures. J Trauma 1984;24:876-881.
  • Dahners LE, Jacobs RR, Kleithermes JL, Wetzel LH, Rhoades CE: A comparison of grafting materials in experimental bone defects. Orthop 1984;7:984-988.
  • Jacobs RR, Dahners LE, Gertzbein SD, Nordwall A, Mathys Jr: A locking hook spinal rod: Current status of development. Parplegia 1983;21:197-200.
  • Dahners LE, Jacobs RR, Jayaraman G, Mathys R Jr: An external skeletal fixation system for unstable pelvis fractures. Surg Forum 1983;34:554-556.
  • Jacobs RR, Dahners LE, Gertzbein SD, Nordwall A, Mathys R Jr: A locking hook-spinal rod: Current status of development. Second International Symposium on Internal Fixation of Fractures, 1982:194-195.
  • Dahners LE, Francisco WD, Halleran WJ: Findings at arthrotomy in a case of double layered patellae associated with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia. J Ped Orthop 1982;1:868.
  • Speer DP, Dahners LE:  The collagenous architecture of articular cartilage.  Clin Orthop 1979;139:267-275.