Care of the shoulder and elbow region is not new. Our ancestors have engraved it on the caves. Leonardo da Vinci drew the beauties of the Vitrunian Man (circa 1509). Andreas Vesalius dissected these joints in details and described them in De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543). Ernest Amory Codman wrote the classic “The Shoulder” (1934) and Frederick Merwin Smith wrote “Surgery of the Elbow” (1954). Fred Moseley organized the “Symposium on Surgery of the Shoulder Region” in Montreal in 1960. Lippman Kessel chaired the first International Congress on Surgery of the Shoulder (1980). Charles Neer stablished the International Board of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (1990).

Osteosynthesis, arthroplasty and arthroscopy were the main advancements in orthopaedics of the last century, and these techniques, associated with advanced physical examination, imaging and reabilitation, were essential to establishing a standard of excellence in musculoskeletal treatment.

In the 70`s and 80`s of the last century, surgeons interested in shoulder and elbow care organized themselves in local, national and continental societies, started journals, established fellowship programs and increased the number of scientific events in our field.

In the past 10-20 years, the care of the shoulder and elbow joints has become an important branch of orthopaedics. This impressive advancement of medical care has impacted positively our societies, treating conditions in individuals of all ages by improving their physical performance and quality of life.