Gilden was active at Jewish Hospital, surgeon for the St. Louis Blues

Jerome Gilden, M.D.

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Dr. Jerome W. Gilden, former Chief of the Orthopedic Clinic at Jewish Hospital (now Barnes/Jewish), and former co-director of its amputee clinic and who was the former orthopedic surgeon for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, died Wednesday, Aug. 11 at his Chesterfield home.  He was 84.   He was recently on kidney dialysis and previously had open-heart surgery.

Dr. Gilden, who was admired by his professional colleagues and beloved by his many patients through the years, was born in St. Louis on Nov. 7, 1925.  His late father was a pharmacist who lost his job during the Great Depression and became a dress salesman.  Dr. Gilden was a graduate of Soldan High School.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in 1948, and his medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine in 1952.   

He served as a senior instructor in the department of orthopedic surgery at St. Louis University School of Medicine. He also performed the first knee replacement surgery in St. Louis.

He served in the European Theater of Operations in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving in the combat infantry. For his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster.

After the war, he met the former Annette Londe, whom he married in 1948. She died in 2009.

Dr. Gilden was an associate with the Parkway Orthopedic Group as an orthopedic surgeon.  His many patients over the years praised not only Dr. Gilden’s recognized skills as an orthopedic surgeon, but for his kindness and ongoing concern for his patients and their families.  Ruth Berg recalled Dr. Gilden’s attentiveness to her late husband, Dr. Ralph Berg, who underwent a full hip replacement operation by Dr. Gilden. “Jerry Gilden went above and beyond the call of duty in his personal attention to Ralph’s recovery,” she said.

Dr. Gilden was well-known to local sports enthusiasts for his two tours of duty as the orthopedic surgeon for Blues hockey team.When the late Sidney Salomon bought the NHL team to St. Louis in 1967, it hired Dr. Gilden for the important medical post, which he served until 1995.  After a pause, the Blues, under different ownership, re-hired Dr. Gilden as orthopedic surgeon from 1997 to 1999.

He won special praise for his surgery on Blues star Noel Picard, on whom Dr. Gilden operated after Picard suffered major fractures after a horsing accident.  Picard was able to resume his career following his recovery from the surgery.

Among Dr. Gilden’s professional activities and associations were the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association; the St. Louis Medical Society; the Missouri State Medical Association; the St. Louis Rheumatism Society; the Mid-Central States Orthopedic Society; the St. Louis Orthopedic Society and the Southern Medical Association.

Dr. Gilden was a former president of the Ladue School Association.

Among his many Jewish activities were membership at United Hebrew Congregation; chairman of the Jewish Community Center’s Older Adult Committee; board member and vice president of the JCC; and chairman of the Camp Hawthorn Committee.  At the Jewish Federation, Dr. Gilden was co-chairman of the Physicians Division from 1969-1970 and a member of the Central Committee on Aging.

At Jewish Hospital, in addition to serving as Chief of the  Orthopedic Clinic and co-director of the amputee clinic in the Department of Rehabilitation, he did work in post-surgical immediate prosthetics at the hospital.

Funeral services were held last Friday at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery on White Road in Chesterfield.

Survivors include four daughters, Ellen (Andy) Berg of Clayton, Janice (the late Aaron) Shanitkvich of Creve Coeur, Laurie Gilden (Kevin Kleff) of St. Louis, and Lisa (Tim) Leuther of Ballwin; a brother, Arnold Gilden of Sappington and five grandchildren.