The Hospital started as a military rehabilitation camp for wounded soldiers during the second world war. It became a medical establishment under the Colonial Medical Service when in December 1945 two nurses were transferred to the hospital to take carre of the wounded and was named the Royal Orthopaedic Hopital, Lagos in 1956 when HRM Queen Elizabeth II visited and donated the Casualty and a Hydrotherapy pool. In 1967, when states were created the Lagos State Government Ministry of Health took over its management, and the hospital played a major role during the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970. With the immense contribution of the pioneering medical workers, the hospital had been well known in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region for treatment of fractures and orthopaedic deformities before the Federal Government took it over in 1977.
The hospital was designated a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health by the Decree 91 of 1979 which created the Orthopaedic Hospital ManagementBoard to manage the three orthopaedic hospitals in Lagos, Enugu and kano. Developments in clinical service delivery included the introduction of Burns, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Services in 1982. This was to cope with the managment of associated soft tissue and trauma and reconstructive challenges posed by burns victims. The speciality has developed as the second core surgical speciality with improved capacity in micro-surgery and dedicated acute burn care.