Edward Adler, MD (far right), and participants in the 2009 Ortho-Lift challenge, which raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


Published 10/1/2009
Maureen Leahy

Ortho-Lift participants flex muscles for charity

Residents, MDA team up to raise money for disabled children

Held each spring in New York City, Ortho-Lift is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) of Manhattan. Organized by Edward Adler, MD, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, the event capitalizes on the competitive atmosphere in the hospital’s weight room.

“Orthopaedic residents are very competitive,” says Dr. Adler. “Many have participated in high school and college sports, yet few have had the opportunity to compete since entering residency. Ortho-Lift harnesses that competitive muscle for a good cause.”

Ortho-Lift is a weight-lifting competition that involves bench presses, pull-ups, and dips. The event is open to both male and female participants. The strongest pound-for-pound competitor is determined using the Schwartz-Malone formula, which adjusts for gender and body weight. Trophies are awarded to the winners of each event, and the individuals who raise the most money for MDA receive prizes.

Proceeds from the event benefit the MDA Summer Camp in Spring Valley, N.Y. Participants are encouraged to raise at least $600, the cost of one week at the camp. The camp allows children with muscular dystrophy to experience activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, and a talent show—specifically geared to their unique needs.

Since its inception, participation in Ortho-Lift has steadily grown. Dr. Adler heavily promotes the event to orthopaedic residency programs throughout the city and estimates that during the past 3 years, Ortho-Lift has raised $50,000 for MDA of Manhattan.

“In addition to NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, we’ve had competitors from New York Medical College, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and the Hospital for Special Surgery,” Dr. Adler said.

Ortho-Lift is a fun, worthwhile event he hopes will continue to flourish not only in New York City, but throughout the country.

“My vision is that it will grow locally, grow within the Tri-State Region, and eventually go national. There is no reason there can’t be regional Ortho-Lifts throughout the country paired with the MDA,” Dr. Adler said.

For more information about Ortho-Lift, contact Dr. Adler at edward.adler@nyumc.org

Maureen Leahy is assistant managing editor for AAOS Now. She can be reached at leahy@aaos.org