The 28 Best Sports Knee Surgeons in North America |

The 28 Best Sports Knee Surgeons in North America

Ned Amendola 2TOP 28 NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS KNEE SURGEONS: 2014 (Orthopedics This Week)

Elite athletes with knee pain need expert help…and fast. To whom do they turn? We asked! Leaders in the sports knee realm let us know their thoughts on the top North American orthopedic surgeons in their subspecialty.

Here is that list. We don’t have “the market” on lists…this isn’t the be-all and end-all list—but it is a list of who are arguably the finest sports knee physicians, teachers, investigators or administrators in the country. This information was obtained via a telephone survey of thought leaders in the field. The information in quotes is what we heard about these surgeons.

In alphabetical order, here are the top 28 sports knee surgeons in North America:

  1. Ned Amendola, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), DABOS is professor of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation at the University of Iowa (UI) Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Amendola is the Kim and John Callaghan Endowed Chair in Sports Medicine and the Director of Sports Medicine at UI. He is past president of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine. “As an expert in both the knee and the ankle, Ned has a sophisticated understanding of lower extremity anatomy and kinematics. Coupled with his comprehensive understanding of tissue transplantation, Ned is widely viewed as a thought leader in the area of knee surgery.”
  2. James R. Andrews, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon and co-founder of the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. He is clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the University Alabama Birmingham Medical School, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the University of Kentucky Medical Center, University of South Carolina Medical School and adjunct professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of South Alabama. “Dr. Andrews is one of the pioneers for advanced surgical treatment and rehabilitation for sports injuries. While he is nearing the end of his illustrious career, he is acknowledged as one of world’s sports medicine authorities and has probably the most experience in dealing with athletic knee injuries.”
  3. Elizabeth Arendt, M.D. is a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Minnesota and vice chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the same institution. “She does very specialized work with patellofemoral dislocations; much of her research is focused on patellofemoral instability. She does great work with pediatric patients who have the special situation of open growth plates. She is an international leader in the realm of patellofemoral surgery.”
  4. Bernard R. Bach, Jr., M.D. is the Claude M. Lambert M.D. Professor at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Dr. Bach is also the Helen S. Thompson Endowed Chair of Orthopaedics and Head of Sports Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. He is a past president of American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). “He is an outstanding knee surgeon who takes great care of his patients; not all physicians are good doctors andsurgeons, but he is. Dr. Bach is meticulous in his work, and he has a long history of ACL surgery. He has evolved this surgery from open to minimally open and then to fully arthroscopic.”
  5. William D. Bugbee, M.D. is an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Scripps Clinic and director of the Adult Reconstruction Fellowship and of the Cartilage Transplant Program. He is an adjunct professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of California, San Diego. “He is a pioneer in the field of joint preservation. He has published extensively on these topics and is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on cartilage damage and osteochondral allograft transplantation.”
  6. Brian J. Cole, M.D., M.B.A. is an orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, as well as professor in the Departments of Orthopaedics and Anatomy and Cell Biology. Dr. Cole is section head of the Cartilage Restoration Center at Rush University Medical Center. “He is widely respected for his cartilage work. When he looks at injuries he examines not just the one injury, but looks at the complexity of the entire knee. He is well known for meniscal transplants, and is an extremely innovative and research oriented surgeon.”
  7. Dennis C. Crawford, Ph.D., M.D. is an associate professor at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Director of Sports Medicine & Cartilage Reconstruction at OHSU. “He is active in sports and knee and led the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies of NeoCart. He sets himself apart because he is interested not only in clinical science, but basic science as well. He is adaptive and inventive as a researcher.”
  8. Jack Farr, II, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIndy and a professor of Orthopedic Surgery (Volunteer) at Indiana University Medical School. He is also medical director of the OrthoIndy Cartilage Restoration Center of Indiana. “He has the experience to manage a patient with knee arthritis from A to Z. He is innovative, thoughtful, and is a technically excellent surgeon. He is always thinking of new ways to improve our current treatments.”
  9. Freddie H. Fu, M.D. is the David Silver Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He is a past president of AOSSM. “He is a true pioneer in sports medicine and leading us into the next generation in the field. He has tremendous energy that is infectious; he is persistent and has built a superb research team at Pittsburgh. Over the last decade he has devoted his research endeavors towards the anatomy and biomechanics of the ACL. He is a very thoughtful innovator who takes a critical look at his results.”
  10. Alan M. J. Getgood, M.D., F.R.C.S. is an assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He is also a sports orthopaedic surgeon at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic. “He is rapidly becoming known for his work on articular cartilage, and is quite active in the International Cartilage Repair Society. He is developing a comprehensive book on meniscal transplantation, and is an energetic researcher and clinician. He has holistic approach, i.e., he looks at the entire limb. He understands the importance of meniscal alignment and stability.”
  11. Scott D. Gillogly, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon and founder of the Atlanta Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, LLC. He is also the medical director of the Cartilage Repair Centers of America. “He is a pioneer in articular cartilage lesions of the knee. His research and clinical applications for this critical knee disorder have been acclaimed here in the U.S. as well as internationally.”
  12. Andreas H. Gomoll, M.D. is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and clinical leader in orthopedic surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “He has built a thriving practice in cartilage restoration and knee surgery. He participates in various knee trials and his approach to realignment surgery is one of great breadth. He is adept at meniscal transplantation, not just with Carticel but also autograft, microfracture, etc. He does his utmost to try and fit the best cartilage procedure for a given individual lesion.”
  13. Jo A. Hannafin, M.D., Ph.D. is an attending orthopedic surgeon and director of orthopedic research at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and a professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Hannafin is the current president of the AOSSM. “Her extensive experience with elite athletes has lent her great perspective in the treatment of knee issues. She is forward thinking in her approach to surgery, is a consummate researcher, and has exceptional leadership skills.”
  14. Christopher D. Harner, M.D. is the Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC). He is also the medical director at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program director. He is a past president of AOSSM. “He is a terrific surgeon because he is scientific and is a real student of the literature. He is innovative and is honest about what works with his own cases. He does not hesitate to say, ‘This didn’t work with my patients.’ He is also a great educator.”
  15. Darren L. Johnson, M.D. is a professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Kentucky. He is also the chair of Sports Medicine. “He does a significant amount of complex revision surgery and follows his patients very closely. He is very scientific, and is extremely honest about his research results. He also serves as head orthopedic surgeon for the Kentucky Wildcats.”
  16. Robert F. LaPrade, M.D., Ph.D. is an orthopedic surgeon at the Steadman Clinic and is the director of biomechanics research at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. “He is outstanding at merging basic science, translational research, and clinical application when it comes to complex ligament issues. He is an intelligent and thoughtful surgeon.”
  17. C. Benjamin Ma, M.D. is chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is also an associate professor in residence. “He is a leading researcher in cartilage damage of the ACL. He stands out as far as his surgical technique and education. His research, funded by NIH [National Institutes of Health], is a collaboration between orthopedics and radiology at UCSF. I believe the funding level is more than $6 million over five years.”
  18. Bert R. Mandelbaum, M.D., D.H.L is an orthopedic surgeon with the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group. “He is a pioneer in the field because he is constantly committed to advancing and disseminating knowledge through leadership in many sports medicine organizations. He defines what a sports medicine doctor truly is.”
  19. Matthew J. Matava, M.D. is a professor of orthopedic surgery and a professor of physical therapy at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “As the team physician for the St. Louis Rams he has led the way as a clinical scientist on the sports knee. His dedication to teaching and education in this subject has been a revelation in sports medicine.”
  20. Eric McCarty, M.D. is an associate professor of orthopedics at the University of Colorado. He is also the chief of Sports Medicine at that institution. “He is the team physician for the University of Colorado Buffalos. He is an outstanding surgeon and has conducted award-winning research. He is active in leadership roles in the AOSSM.”
  21. Mark D. Miller, M.D. is the S. Ward Casscells Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia. Dr. Miller is also a retired Air Force Colonel. “He is a leader in education and has written many papers and book chapters on the knees. He has held numerous leadership roles in several national societies. He runs the Miller review course for the resident board exam for 20 years, which is extremely well attended.”
  22. Frank R. Noyes, M.D. is chairman and medical director of the Cincinnati SportsMedicine and Orthopaedic Center. He is also president of the Cincinnati SportsMedicine Research and Education Foundation. “He was one of the early researchers in knee sports medicine who gave credibility to orthopedic sports medicine with his biomechanical studies. He has written ‘the book’ on knee surgery and is a go to person for the most complex knee conditions. He is a meticulous researcher and has investigated the double and triple varus knees and improved our understanding of posterolateral corner injuries. He is the crème de la crème.”
  23. LTC Brett D. Owens, M.D. is chief of orthopedic surgery, John A. Feagin, Jr. Sports Medicine Fellowship at the Keller Army Hospital, United States Military Academy. “He is an associate editor for The American Journal of Sports Medicine and a prolific writer. He is an excellent surgeon and highly sought after speaker.”
  24. Matthew T. Provencher, M.D., C.D.R., M.C., U.S.N.R. is the chief of the Sports Medicine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School. “He is a self critical leader who will only grow in stature. He was in the Navy and treated active duty Naval officers who rely on their knees for their lives…these are people who stress their bodies even more than most elite athletes. He was recruited to MGH last year and I know for a fact that there were at least five academic programs trying to recruit him.”
  25. Scott A. Rodeo, M.D. is a professor of orthopedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and co-chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery. “He does important research on the knee and the effect of growth factors. He is a go to person for critical analysis of that topic in the U.S. He is a great educator and leader, and has dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy to the Olympic teams. He is calm and professional, and is an honest physician.”
  26. C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., M.D. is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He is the chief of sports medicine at the same institution. “He is a great and innovative thinker, with all the attributes of a true clinician scientist. He consistently asks difficult questions and constantly pushing the envelope of knowledge.”
  27. Russell F. Warren, M.D. is an attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and professor of orthopaedic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a past president of AOSSM. “He has been one of the major thought leaders in orthopedic sports medicine for his entire career. He has trained 200 fellows, many of whom have gone on to become fellowship directors themselves. He is a surgeon’s surgeon; he is one of those individuals to whom other surgeons direct difficult problems to because he is so thoughtful and has such an enormous breadth of wisdom.”
  28. Robin V. West, M.D. is an associate professor of orthopedic surgery in the Division of Sports Medicine at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine. “She is assistant head doctor for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is an outstanding surgeon. She interacts with professional athletes in a way that engenders a real respect form the players. Her work on stability in patellofemoral dislocation is excellent.”

13 responses to The 28 Best Sports Knee Surgeons in North America

  1. Beverly McCulloch October 16th, 2020 at 8:43 am

    My knee is swollen and painful. I have had the fluid drained off and a shot of stem cell. I want to fix this without doing knee replacement. I see atheletes who are injured and don’t necessarily have knee replacement. I live in Bluffton, SC and would like to see a sports physician who will work with me.

    Thank you
    Beverly McCulloch
    843 705 9799


  2. Htet Myak January 30th, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    I want Collagen Meniscus Implant surgery CMI implant for the knee in Canada .
    I am from US . I want the best surgeons and clinic information . Somebody help me to get it please


  3. Kate May 2nd, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    I have had 4 failed knee surgeries and want my life back. I am in my 20s and “too young for a knee replacement”. Any advice or surgeon recommendations would be helpful. I live in southern NH. Also, thoughts on patellar tendon graft for ALC reconstruction for the 5th surgery. I have already used my hamstring and a donner. The donner failed due to poor bone tunnel connections.


  4. Andy Merchant May 25th, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Hi, my 21 athlete daughter has severe patella tendinitis.
    Have done PT to no avail and are also trying PRP.
    Have CDs of both xray and MRIs, will travel just want advice on who and where.
    Thanks for any advice..


  5. Karen Qualls June 7th, 2021 at 7:21 am

    I am 53, an athlete, runner for 35 years and have been in good health until last year. Both knees have torn menisci- and have had PRP (once), many injections of zilretta and supartz. The right knee has some joint space left. The right knee has ruined my quality of life as I am unable to run (6 months now), or walk for the most part. It is red, has a huge bakers cyst that has been drained correctly and incorrectly many times. I have osteoarthritis and autoimmune. PLEASE help me return to my active lifestyle with no pain. Been told that I am too young and active for knee replacement. HHI, SC


  6. Della June 16th, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    I am 33 had ACL and meniscus surgery almost 2 years ago and cant walk or stand without pain. Leg is always stiff and need to straighten leg out before I can begin to walk it’s like something is getting caught. I have a lot poping and grinding every time I ben or straighten my leg. Please recommend a good surgeon in oregon.


  7. Scott R McKinnon June 19th, 2021 at 8:18 am

    I’m frankly appalled that Jonathan Cohen isn’t on this list.


  8. Michael D Unterkofler July 19th, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    I live on Northern virginia and have knee injury issues. I want the best surgeon. Please help.


  9. Barney Booysen August 11th, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    My daughter is 20 years old and has Ehlers-Danloss syndrome. She had a knee operation to remove a bone growth (osteochondroma) next to her knee cap. Then had a knee cap dislocation after which she had a knee operation to tie the knee cap down. One year later she is still in pain and currently using a walking stick and is in constant pain. I need a surgeon to repair the knee.


  10. Stacy Molli August 23rd, 2021 at 11:25 am

    I saw your request, my daughter is in the same situation. Have you found a physician that you trust for her? Any success?


  11. vishal mahabir September 28th, 2021 at 1:51 am

    Arthofibrosis post-ACL reconstruction
    – Dr. Shelbourne or The Steadman Clinic


  12. Joyce October 3rd, 2021 at 9:04 am

    I am 72 years old and 98 lbs. My right knee is swollen to the size of a soccer ball, and my leg is inverted like a V at the knee. It catches and pulls and hurts constantly. I cannot straighten it out. I was told I have rheumatoid arthritis in it. Please help me. I live in the foothills of NC an hour west of Charlotte and an hour east of Ashville. I am 45 minutes from Spartanburg, SC.


  13. mahmoud October 12th, 2021 at 11:04 am

    i am strength and conditioning coach and leading a healthy and active lifestyle. i injured my right knee in a judo competition in 2015. i have not been able to have my knee joint repaired due to unfortunate reasons.
    recently, i found out that my knee developped osteoarthrisis and now my life and well being got a big knock. i am down and out of work due to this. i pray to find an orthopedist surgeon specialises in repairing knees as a result of a sport traumatology.
    please, help me get my knee and my life back!!!!


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