Associate Professor Rocco Paolo Pitto

FRACS, Master in Health Management, PhD, MD and Master Diploma in Teaching for Teachers.

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Associate Professor, Medical
Honorary Academic
Associate Professor, Clinical

Research | Current

Research specialties and career

Summary statement

  • Extensive research activity and a recognised high-profile international career as an Academic Orthopaedic Surgeon.
  • Early research programmes performed in Germany to investigate various aspects of hip joint and spine biomechanics.
  • Continuous clinical research in the field of hip surgery.
  • Performed several randomized clinical trials to identify the risk and prevention aspects of embolic events in orthopaedic surgery.
  • In the last 10 years, research activities have focused on evidence-based orthopaedic surgery, computed-assisted osteodensitometry in total hip and knee replacement.
  • Emerging research areas include bone growth factors and in-vivo proliferation of osteoblasts and osteocytes in Paget, and normal bone
  • The considerable record of peer-reviewed publications substantiates my continuous and distinctive commitment in research.
  • In addition I have been directly involved in organising numerous local and international scientific meetings focusing on Orthopaedic Surgery.

The invitation to attend a Closed Meeting of the International Hip Society and subsequent endorsement of a recommendation to become active member of the Society, Illustrates the high-profile my academic and clinical career enjoys. The International Hip Society is the most exclusive body of researchers and surgeons in this field.

The Selection Committee of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons approved my application for membership. The ABJS is a prestigious North American Society, the selection process for members is extremely rigorous. The scientific profile of candidates must be very high and must provide strong evidence of excellent clinical/surgical skills.


Teaching | Current

Previous appointments

  • 1990 University of Florence, Italy, Junior Lecturer
  • 1992 University of Berne, Switzerland, Fellow / Junior Lecturer
  • 1993 University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany, Senior Lecturer
  • 1994 University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany, Assistant Professor

Teaching activity in Italy, Germany and Switzerland

  • Teaching of undergraduate students since 1990, and postgraduate students since 1993
  • Active participation as Junior Lecturer
  • Venia Legendi (permission to teach) at the Erlangen-Nuremberg University, Germany 1998
    • The Venia Legendi is a three year teacher development programme for academic staff and is a statutory requirement to become Member of the Faculty Board in Germany

NZ teaching activity

Undergraduate teaching
  • Coordinator of the 4th year Locomotor programme at the South Auckland Clinical School
    • Approximately 200 undergraduate students each year, 5 runs of 4 weeks each
      (20 weeks). A Teaching Programme covering the full spectrum of Orthopaedics and Trauma
      An extensive Library of Lectures in digital format, with printed hard-copies available
      for students. Supervision during the clinical attachment and practical tutorials
  • Coordinator and Examiner of the 4th Year Locomotor OSCE Programme
    • Organisation and direct supervision and marking of the OSCE’s. Continuous up-dating of new MCQ questions, including an extensive Library in digital format
  • Examiner for the 5th Year Clinical Examination
  • Supervisor of NZ Trainees Intern Programme at Middlemore Hospital
    • 2 students per annum
Postgraduate teaching
  • Supervisor of House Officers for the Northern Clinical Training Network
    • Clinical and academic supervision and final assessment of approximately 12 House Officers per annum
  • Teacher of Advanced Trainees in Orthopaedic Surgery
    • Journal Club, Monday Clinical Meetings, and Academic Half-day Retreat Clinical Meetings on a weekly basis in cooperation with the NZOA Education Committee
  • Supervision of a PhD student
    • Supervision of a basic science project in cooperation with Auckland Bioengineering Institute

International teaching activity

  • Master Diploma, Teaching for Teachers, AO-ASIF
    • Association for the Study of Internal Fixation, Davos, Switzerland
  • Examiner of the International Board of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
    • The only International Board of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
      Initiated 1993, 25 International Examiners, a 3-day Exam organised annually by SICOT
      The International Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
  • Master Teacher of Arthoplasty Surgery
    • International Faculty, a surgical techniques teaching programme developed for training
      of orthopaedic surgeons in India



  • 1991 Trainees Meeting Award, International Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (SICOT)
  • 1998 John Charnley Award, Hip Society
  • 1999 Best Poster Award, Hip Society
  • 2006 Best Paper Award, Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons
  • 2006 Best Paper Award, International Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (SICOT)
  • 2007 Best Paper Award, NZOA Trainees Meeting
  • 2011 Best Paper Award, NZOA Trainees Meeting


Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Member of the International Hip Society
  • Member of the International Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (SICOT)
  • Member of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons
  • Member of the NZ Orthopaedic association
  • Member of NZ Guideline Group, Knee Injuries
  • Editorial Board of the scientific Journal International Orthopaedics
  • Reviewer of Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Br)
  • Reviewer of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Pitto, R. P. (2017). CORR Insights®: Operative Fluoroscopic Correction Is Reliable and Correlates With Postoperative Radiographic Correction in Periacetabular Osteotomy. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 475 (4), 1107-1109. 10.1007/s11999-016-5111-x
  • Pitto, R. P., & Sedel, L. (2016). Periprosthetic Joint Infection in Hip Arthroplasty: Is There an Association Between Infection and Bearing Surface Type?. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 474 (10), 2213-2218. 10.1007/s11999-016-4916-y
  • Pitto, R. P. (2016). CORR Insights(®): Hard-on-hard Bearings Are Associated With Increased Noise Generation in Young Patients Undergoing Hip Arthroplasty. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 474 (10), 2123-2125. 10.1007/s11999-016-4841-0
  • Pitto, R. P., Garland, M., & Sedel, L. (2015). Are ceramic-on-ceramic bearings in total hip arthroplasty associated with reduced revision risk for late dislocation?. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 473 (12), 3790-3795. 10.1007/s11999-015-4395-6
  • Arachchi, S., Pitto, R. P., Anderson, I. A., & Shim, V. B. (2015). Analyzing bone remodeling patterns after total hip arthroplasty using quantitative computed tomography and patient-specific 3D computational models. Quantitative imaging in medicine and surgery, 5 (4), 575-582. 10.3978/j.issn.2223-4292.2015.08.03
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vickie Shim, Iain Anderson
  • Pitto, R. P., & Koh, C. K. (2015). Flowtron foot-pumps for prevention of venous thromboembolism in total hip and knee replacement. Journal of orthopaedics, 12 (1), 35-38. 10.1016/j.jor.2014.10.001
  • Pitto, R. P. (2015). CORR Insights®: Is potential malnutrition associated with septic failure and acute infection after revision total joint arthroplasty?. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 473 (1), 183-184. 10.1007/s11999-014-3752-1
  • Sedel, L., Walter, W. L., & Pitto, R. P. (2014). Clinical faceoff: Ceramic-on-ceramic THA: do the advantages outweigh the limitations?. Clin Orthop Relat Res, 472 (10), 2927-2931. 10.1007/s11999-014-3665-z