About Creative Orthopaedics

Creative Orthopaedics LLC is owned and operated by John R Pepper. After 19 years of corporate R&D experience, John founded Creative Orthopaedics to allow him to focus full time on the advanced stages of implant design. John's time as an experimental surgeon on a canine project funded by BioElectron taught many lessons of the reality of performing survival surgery. As a result, he has a unique appreciation of the challenges faced in the operating room.



'One of the World's Top 20 Trauma Innovators'

Orthopedic Intellectual Property Report as compiled by Medicine Lodge Inc. in 2001


'TriGen IM Nail - Lead Engineer'


See John Pepper's Article about MIS in Orthopaedic Design & Technology


Featured in New Haven Register on May 5, 2006, article titled, "Gadget Genius"




His CV is below:

John R. Pepper, M.S. P.E.



Master of Science     Biomedical Engineering           University of Texas Southwestern   1992

Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering           Worcester Polytechnic Institute     1983



Professional Engineer    Mechanical Engineering    Commonwealth of Massachusetts  

        License #35879



Principal Engineer/President Creative Orthopaedics, LLC 2002- present

Specializing in concept generation, design and fabrication of orthopaedic implants and instruments in

close co-operation with forward thinking surgeons.


Surgeon Generated Concepts-Brought to Prototype stage

        Numerous Neuro, Orthopaedic and Upper Extremity Surgeons


Market Evaluation and Research for Advisement for Company Purchase

        Mid level spine company portfolio analysis  


Senior Project Engineer Doctors Research Group, 2001- 2002

        Design of Self Contained Locking Orthopaedic Screw, 2.7mm, 3.5 mm and 4.0 mm


 Senior Design Engineer -- Surgical Dynamics Division of US Surgical, 1999-2001

        Designed Allograft Spacer & Instruments for Posterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion, now Stryker Allocraft

        Combined requirements and constraints of surgeons, bone banks and intellectual property to make easy

              to implant spacer system. Heavy surgeon interface.

        Designed Stiffness Optimized Spinal Fusion Spacer Cage.

        Extensive literature research to determine fundamental property of implants for fusion. Designed delivery

              instruments with emphasis on ease of use and reducing OR time.

        Evaluated patented technology for efficacy, all spacer cages. Researched novel material application to

              spinal fusion market.

        Full use of rapid prototyping to speed design iterations.

        Virtual surgery performed on designs. Modeled anatomy, implant and instruments within CAD package.

              Makes concepts easy to understand for surgeons and corporate personnel.

Senior Product Development Engineer -
- Smith & Nephew, Orthopaedic Trauma Division, 1993-1999 

TriGen Design Engineer.         Titanium nail system                    ~$100MM annual sales

TriGen is a comprehensive lower extremity fracture treatment system. Seven fracture classes are treated

with tools contained in one instrument case. A new entry and bone manipulation technique are the main

reason the TriGen system can reduce OR time by approximately thirty percent. Reception by hospital

staff and sales representatives has been outstanding. Primary design surgeons were Toney Russell, MD

and Roy Sanders MD. I was the main engineer on the team that developed the system. There are

numerous patents filed on designs for this, see the patent section.

See details at


TriMax Design Engineer         Modular Intramedullary Nail            Clinical trial 1994-1996

TriMax is a modular Intramedullary nail designed to reduce inventory required to repair femoral neck and

shaft fractures. The Health Care market of the early nineties demanded a system that was going to cost

much less than the one piece nails used to that point. Over one hundred nails are implanted. Improvements

 in the market place have halted full release of TriMax. Much instrumentation and several design features

were carried over to the TriGen system.


Conducted cadaver studies to justify design changes in the implant design. Full design responsibility.


Product, sales, and  marketing support of existing products. Heavy surgeon interface.


Proven Ability: Innovative Product design.


Research Assistant -- University of Texas Southwestern and Humana Advanced Surgical Institutes,


Designed and carried out in vivo study of the effects of capacitive coupled electrical stimulation on limbs

      lengthened by the Ilizarov technique. Lead surgeon for thirty four canine surgeries installing external

      fixation hardware


Spinal study of the effect of instrumentation on intradiscal pressure in conjunction with Texas Back Institute


Cadaver dissection


Histology - determined cellular growth patterns in callus sections


Mechanical properties analysis using Instron testing machine


Assisted with craniofacial studies in porcine models


Proven Ability: Hands-on Surgical Experience - Medical Research - Publication


Mechanical Engineer -- Waters Chromatography Division of Millipore Corporation, 1985-1990

Designed Mechanical and Optical Design verification and testing hardware

        Reflective spectrophotometer

        Holographic mirror alignment fixture

        Chromatography column burst pressure tester

        Chromatography pump flow verification system

        Tunable Ultraviolet Detector calibration test hardware

        Inert Plumbing (PEEK) valve and pump test station

        Modular printed circuit board docking station for test and calibration  


Proven Ability: Mechanical Design - Prototyping - Production Support   


Mechanical Engineer -- Hamilton Standard Div. of United Technologies, 1983-1985

Part of project management team responsible for testing and getting flight approval for an afterburner

fuel pump for the F15 and F16

Performed heat transfer study on instrumented hardware to optimize the weight of thermal insulation

features of the pump.

Tested pump cavity coatings to ensure performance with contaminated fluids

Strain gage testing to determine cause of field stress cracking of exhaust gas plenum


Electrical Technician / Junior Engineer -- John J. Pepper Corp. Corrosion Engineering Consultants,



Operating Room Protocol for Sales Representatives         Sales Representative Training

Methodist University Hospital                                                 Smith Nephew

Memphis TN                                                                        Internal course on products, OR protocol



5,489,284     Cannulated Modular Nail

5,549,610     Implant design for simultaneous treatment of femoral neck and shaft fracture

5,569,249     Cannulated Modular Intramedullary Nail

5,855,579    Cannulated Modular Intramedullary Nail

5,609,596     Guide rod manipulator - one hand operation allows faster fracture reduction

5,806,692     Apparatus for Storage and Display of Personal Communication Devices

5,951,561     Minimally Invasive Intramedullary Nail Insertion Instruments and Method

5,989,255     Orthopedic Bone Screw Apparatus

6,010,506     Intramedullary Nail Hybrid bow

6,183,477     Attachment Tool for Drill Guide

6,395,033     Dynamic Fusion Mechanostat Devices

6,620,167     Orthopedic Screw Having Driver-Locking Head

7,090,677     Surgical milling instrument for shaping a bone cavity

7,361,176     External bone/joint fixation device

7,407,483     Minimally invasive surgical access device

7,563,275     Bone Fixation implant system and method




20080287994     Pedicle Screw and Rod System 


20080177331     Surgical Screw Including a Body that Facilitates Bone In-Growth 

20080177329     Method for Providing Disc Regeneration Using Stem Cells 

20080177328     Method for Vertebral Disc Annular Fibrosis Tensioning and Lengthening 

20080177312     Interspinous Process Spacer Device 

20080172128     Minimally Invasive Interbody Device Assembly 

20080172127     Minimally Invasive Interbody Device 

20080161931     Vertebral disc annular fibrosis tensioning and lengthening device 

20080161822     Minimally invasive inter-spinous process spacer insertion device 

20080125856     Bone Graft Delivery System for a Vertebral Interbody Device 

20080125783     Disc space preparation device for spinal surgery 

20070225665     Device for collecting bone material during a surgical procedure 

20070219416     Minimally invasive surgical access device 

20070043364     Spinal correction system with multi-stage locking mechanism 

20060190021     Cutting device for subcutaneous incisions 

20060015110     Cutting device 

20050234459     Bone fixation implant system and method 

20050149018     External bone/joint fixation device 

20040236339     Long bone reaming apparatus and method 


Effect of Capacitive Coupled Electrical Stimulation on Regenerate Bone

        Journal of Orthopaedic Research, March 1996, 14:296-302; primary author

 Minimally Invasive Surgery, An Engineering Approach

        Orthopedic Design & Technology, Nov/Dec 2005, p30-35



The Design of Effective Orthopaedic Implants and Instruments. OMTEC, Orthopaedic Manufacturing and

       Technology Exhibition and Conference, Chicago June 2005


Guest Lecturer:

Orthopaedics I, University of Memphis, 1995 & 1996,

Quinnipiac University, Sigma Xi Meeting, 2001


Studies (non published):

Intradiscal Pressure Measurements Above an Instrumented Fusion.  A Cadaveric Study.

        Weinhoffer SL, Guyer RD, Herbert M, Spine, March 1, 1995, 20 (5) p526-31; contributor; performed

        initial cadaver study and data analysis; presented at society meeting

Implantable Drug Pump -- post mortem analysis of pump performance.  Done in conjunction with the University

        of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Denton County Coroner; presented at society meeting

        by Coroner

Cadaveric Study of Intramedullary Canal Fill by Nails of Various Cross Section


Software Experience: SolidWorks, Unigraphics (1986-1999); Pro Engineer; Mechanica; Ansys, Access, SAS


Software In-House:    SolidWorks Office (animation and rendering), Simulation FEA


In-House Manufacturing: South Bend Lathe, Bridgeport Mill, Wire Feed Welder, Compressed air, Drill Press, Polishing, Grinding, Heat Treat


Eagle Scout





Project Examples

Past Customers


Contact Us


Creative Orthopaedics LLC, 203.699.8475 and 203.510.6534