Our history

Our history is rooted in innovation.

When Dr. Homer Stryker, an orthopaedic surgeon from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, found that certain medical products were not meeting his patients’ needs, he invented new ones. As interest in these products grew, Dr. Stryker started a company in 1941 to produce them.

Today, we are one of the world's leading medical technology companies. Company growth is based on a diverse array of innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes – which we achieve through the dedication of our 33,000 employees globally in 2016. 

We are well-positioned to continue serving the worldwide medical community for generations to come. We think Dr. Stryker would be pleased.

1930–1940

1936-1939

Dr. Homer Stryker, the Company’s founder, invents the turning frame and walking heel while completing a degree in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Michigan.

1940

Dr. Stryker begins his medical practice in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and establishes offices in Borgess Hospital. He uses the basement area for research and development.

1941

Dr. Stryker creates The Orthopedic Frame Company.

1942

Manufacturing of the Wedge Turning Frame begins, which allowed caregivers to turn patients with serious back injuries, while keeping the spine immobilized.

1946

Dr. Stryker incorporates The Orthopedic Frame Company.

1947

We patent the oscillating saw; it cuts hard cast material but not human tissue. This product is the forerunner to a broad line of our surgical instruments.

1950–1960

1955

Dr. Stryker’s son, Lee, becomes the General Manager of the Company.

1958

A decade in development, the Circ-O-Lectric bed capitalizes on the legacy of the turning frame.

Our sales reach $1 million.

1964

Dr. Stryker retires from his medical practice, and we change our name to Stryker Corporation.

1968

The 1960s usher in a new era of product development with the micro reciprocating saw.

1969

Lee Stryker becomes our President.

1970–1980

1976

The Company’s sales grow to $17.3 million.

Lee Stryker dies in a plane crash.

1977

We name John W. Brown President and Chief Executive Officer of Stryker Corporation.

1979

The initial public offering of stock brings greater awareness of the Company.

1979

Stryker acquires Osteonics Corp. and enters the orthopaedic implant market.

1980

Dr. Stryker dies at age 85 and John Brown becomes Stryker’s Chairman.

1980

Divisionalization brings focus to each of our three major product groups.

1981

The purchase of SynOptics provides expansion into the endoscopy business.

1985

Our annual sales reach $100 million.

1990–2000

1992

The acquisition of Dimso, SA opens opportunities in the spinal fixation field.

1994

We introduce RUGGED™ ambulance cots to expand into emergency medical services.

1996

The acquisition of Osteo SA provides entry into the orthopaedic trauma market.

1997

We are listed on the New York Stock Exchange after 18 years on NASDAQ.

1998

We acquire Howmedica, a major player in the worldwide orthopaedic market, and double in size in the following year.

2000

We enter the surgical navigation market, providing precision in locating surgical targets.

2003

The Dekompressor and PCD System provide entry into the interventional spine market.

We are listed on the FORTUNE 500 for the first time.

2005

Stephen P. MacMillan becomes President and Chief Executive Officer and John Brown transitions to the role of Chairman of the Board.

2010–present

Stryker Global Headquarters, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

2009

We acquire Ascent Healthcare Solutions, Inc., the market leader in the reprocessing and remanufacturing of medical devices in the U.S.

2010

John Brown retires as Chairman and Stephen MacMillan becomes Stryker’s third Chairman of the Board.

Our sales grow to $7.3 billion.

2011

We are listed in FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For for the first time.

2011

We acquire Boston Scientific’s Neurovascular division, greatly expanding our neurotechnology business.

2012

Kevin A. Lobo becomes President and Chief Executive Officer. 

2013

We acquire Trauson Holdings Company Limited and expand into the value segment of the emerging markets.

2013

The acquisition of MAKO Surgical Corp. provides opportunities to further advance the growth of robotic arm assisted surgery in orthopaedics.

2014

Kevin A. Lobo becomes Chairman of the Board and our fourth Chairman.

Closed five acquisitions:
• Pivot Medical, Inc
• Patient Safety Technologies, Inc.
• CoAlign Innovations, Inc.
• Berchtold Holding AG
• Small Bone Innovations, Inc.

2016

Our sales exceed $10 billion for the first time, and we complete eight acquisitions, including two in our Medical division:

• Sage Products, LLC,
• Physio-Control International, Inc.