Hanger's History Timeline


June 3, 1861

James Edward Hanger becomes the first amputee of the American Civil War. By the end of the year, Mr. Hanger invented a revolutionary prosthetic leg called the “Hanger Limb” for himself and began manufacturing the devices to aid fellow wounded soldiers.

February 14, 1871

The “Hanger Limb” receives a U.S. patent. Over the previous decade, Mr. Hanger earned the endorsement of surgeon William Carrington, secretary of the Association for the Relief of Maimed Soldiers, and received $20,000+ in public funding for prostheses for wounded soldiers.


Hanger’s prosthetic limb designs earn prizes at the 1881 Cotton Exposition.


The J.E. Hanger Company’s headquarters is moved to Washington, D.C.


By this time, the J.E. Hanger Company enterprise had expanded, with offices in St. Louis, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.


James Hanger officially retires but remains actively involved with the affairs of the J.E. Hanger Company in an advisory capacity as President.


J.E. Hanger Company is incorporated.


Hanger earns awards at the 1907 Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition for his prosthetic designs.


The first aluminum prosthetic leg is introduced. English aviator Marcel Desoutter lost his leg in an airplane accident and invented the first aluminum prosthesis with the help of his brother. In the ensuing years, Hanger further refined the material by issuing legs made from Dural, a lightweight alloy of aluminum, copper and magnesium.


To help the wounded during World War I, Hanger travels to Europe to study new methods and inventions available in prosthetics.

June 9, 1919

James Edward Hanger dies at the age of 76 in Washington, D.C. The J.E. Hanger Company distributes its four remaining field offices in the United States to family members and sales managers in each region.


Prosthetic designers gradually replace wood and leather with newer materials. J.E. Hanger of Washington creates a subsidiary called Metal Limb Manufacturers, creating prostheses out of strong, ultra-light magnesium.


The Hanger companies add orthotic services.


Ivan R. Sabel graduates with a degree in orthotics and prosthetics from New York University.


Mr. Sabel founds Capital Orthopedics.


Colorado-based Sequel Corporation acquires Capital Orthopedics. As President and Chief Operating Officer, 40-year-old Mr. Sabel embarks on a quest to reunite the various Hanger companies and execute an aggressive consolidation strategy.


Hanger Orthopedic Group creates and issues new shares of common stock through a public offering on the American Stock Exchange. © NYSE Group, Inc. Used with permission of the NYSE Group, Inc.

August 1995

Mr. Sabel becomes president and CEO of Hanger Orthopedic Group.


With Mr. Sabel at the helm, Hanger acquires nearly 100 companies, including J.E. Hanger, Inc. of Georgia (Hanger Southeast), doubling the company’s size and adding SPS, the world’s largest distributor of orthotic and prosthetic materials.

December 1998

Hanger moves to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HGR).

July 1999

Hanger conducts the largest acquisition in O&P history by purchasing NovaCare Orthotics & Prosthetics, adding nearly 400 centers to its existing 256.

September 1999

Hanger named as one of America’s fastest growing companies by Fortune magazine.


As a result of a research effort into anatomical structures in a patient’s residual limb, Hanger’s ComfortFlex Socket System launches. Channels and grooves in the ComfortFlex accommodate various muscle, bone, tendon, vascular, and nerve areas to provide a secure fit, especially for patients with an active lifestyle.

February 2004

Hanger establishes Innovative Neurotronics as a development and commercialization business unit dedicated to bringing emerging technologies to market. The WalkAide® System is its debut product.

March 2004

Hanger creates Linkia to deliver O&P provider network management and administration services for the nation’s health insurers.


Hanger Orthopedic Group acquires diabetic footwear company SureFit as part of its distribution business.

December 2008

Vinit K. Asar joins Hanger Orthopedic Group as Chief Growth Officer.


Hanger releases a lower extremity prosthetic socket that grips to a patient’s residual limb by varying the amount of vacuum between the patient and the prosthesis. Called the V-Hold, the device uses a microprocessor that can tell whether the user is walking gently or running hard and adjusts the vacuum based on the activity.

January 2010

Following the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti, the Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation and its partners provide charitable prosthetic care to 1,200+ Haitian amputees.

April 2010

Hanger launches Amputee Empowerment Partners, a nationwide peer-to-peer support network, now with 820+ trained mentors and 5,000+ members of its online community, www.EmpoweringAmputees.org

July 2010

SPS enhances its services with the SPS National Labs, a nationwide resource for sharing best manufacturing processes and coordinating materials purchases.

August 2010

Hanger corporate headquarters is relocated from Bethesda, MD to Austin, TX.

December 2010

Hanger acquires Accelerated Care Plus (ACP), the nation’s leading provider of modality-based clinical programs for post-acute and chronic rehabilitation.

August 10, 2011

Hanger commences celebration of its 150th anniversary with the ringing of the NYSE Closing Bell®. © NYSE Group, Inc. Used with permission of the NYSE Group, Inc.

September 2011

Vinit K. Asar becomes President and Chief Operating Officer of Hanger Orthopedic Group.

February 2012

In its first comprehensive branding initiative, Hanger Orthopedic Group adopts the “Hanger” brand and Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics adopts the “Hanger Clinic” brand. Most other Hanger business units take on the endorsement, “A Hanger Company.”