20 Shoulder Specialists to Know

Here are 20 shoulder surgeons and specialists to know.


Vivek Agrawal, MD — Dr. Agrawal is director of The Shoulder Center in Zionsville, Ind., which specializes in providing advanced care for shoulder problems. As a college student, he injured his shoulder playing competitive tennis, and the lack of available, adequate treatment piqued his interest in shoulder care.

Dr. Agrawal received a bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed his surgery residency at Indiana University and a shoulder and knee fellowship with Dr. Eugene Wolf in San Francisco. He is a member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

David W. Altchek, MD — Dr. Altchek is an attending orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of sports medicine and shoulder service at Hospital for Specialty Service in New York, N.Y., and has special expertise in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder. He is medical director for the New York Mets and a medical consultant for the National Basketball Association. Dr. Altchek received his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, where he currently serves as a professor of surgery in clinical orthopedics. He is the author of more than 100 articles and book chapters on problems of the shoulder, elbow and knee. He was also a recipient of American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons' Charles S. Neer Award.

Joseph Burkhardt, DO — Dr. Burkhardt is an orthopedic surgeon at Brookside Surgery Center in Battle Creek, Mich. He received his medical degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine. He performed his internship at Garden City (Mich.) Hospital, completed his residency at Michigan State University and his fellowship at the University of Southern Florida and The Florida Knee and Orthopedic Center. He is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Stephen S. Burkhart, MD — Dr. Burkhart is an orthopedic surgeon at the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group and a clinical assistant professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He specializes in arthroscopic surgery and reconstructive procedures of the shoulder and total joint replacement, and has pioneered a number of arthroscopic shoulder procedures. Dr. Burkhart is a frequent speaker at national and international medical symposia on these procedures.

Dr. Burkhart received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and his sports medicine fellowship at the University of Oregon and Orthopaedic and Fracture Clinic in Eugene, Ore. Over the past 20 years, he has invented or patented more than 20 surgical devices and developed new surgical procedures for repairing shoulder injuries. Dr. Burkhart has also helped many professional athletes, including pitcher Curt Schilling.

Dr. Burkhart is a past president and current member of the board of directors and trustees of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and he is a frequent contributor to Arthroscopy: the Journal of Arthroscopy and Related Surgery.

William Carlson, MD — Dr. Carlson is an orthopedic surgeon at Treasure Coast Center for Surgery and South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, both located in Stuart, Fla. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Carlson received his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., where he later served as chief resident. He is president of the medical staff for Martin Memorial Health Systems, also located in Stuart. He served as the chief of the department of surgery at Martin Memorial Hospital and was secretary/treasurer of the executive committee. Currently, he is the team orthopedic physician for Martin County High School.

Claiborne "Chip" Christian, MD — Dr. Christian is the medical director at Baptist DeSoto Ambulatory Surgery Center in Southaven, Miss., and is on staff at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, also located in Southaven. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and he completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Campbell Clinic in Germantown, Tenn. He completed his fellowship in sports medicine from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. Dr. Christian is board certified and is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Mississippi Medical Association, the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Independent Medical Examiners. He has been published in numerous journals including Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research and the Journal of Parenertal and Enteral Nutrition. Dr. Christian previously served as chief of surgery at the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Huntington (Tenn.) from 2003-2006.

Ralph "Bud" Curtis, MD — Dr. Curtis is a physician with the Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio, Texas. H received his medical training at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio, where he also completed a residency program in orthopedic surgery.  He completed a fellowship in shoulder surgery at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and has been a clinical faculty member since 1986. He has authored six text book chapters in orthopedics and sports medicine. Dr. Curtis is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He serves as a team physician for many San Antonio area high schools and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He is the shoulder consultant for many professional sports teams including the San Antonio Spurs, the San Antonio Silver Stars, the San Antonio Missions AA Baseball Club and USA Swimming. Dr. Curtis is a past president of the Texas Society of Sports Medicine and is an active member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons.

James P. Emanuel, MD — Dr. Emanuel is a physician with ParkCrest Orthopedics in St. Louis, Mo. He specializes in the care of the upper extremity, and has extensive experience in arthroscopic shoulder reconstruction and total shoulder replacements. Dr. Emanuel received his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed his orthopedic residency at the university. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the National Orthopedic Education Society and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. Dr. Emanuel is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Blaine Farless, MD — Dr. Farless is an orthopedic surgeon at Cleburne (Texas) Surgical Center and a physician at Cleburne Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. He is an active staff member at Walls Regional Hospital in Cleburne and Glen Rose (Texas) Medical Center. Dr. Farless received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, completed his orthopedic surgery internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and completed his residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. He completed a sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery fellowship at Associated Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Plano, Texas. He has served as the chairmen of the department of surgery at Wells Regional. Dr. Farless is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Orthopedic Association, the Texas Sports Medicine Association and the Tarrant County Medical Society.

James McGehee, administrator of the Cleburne Surgical Center, says, "Dr. Farless has seen shoulder surgery progress light years during his practice. He always stays up to date on all the latest techniques and takes great pride in his shoulder repairs."

Evan L. Flatow, MD — Dr. Flatow is a professor and chair of the orthopedics department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, N.Y., and is the president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. At Mount Sinai, he has established an internationally renowned shoulder service, with particular interest in minimally-invasive fracture repair, arthroscopic repair, arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery and shoulder replacement. He has pioneered, in collaboration with the department of anesthesiology, the use of regional blocks so that that shoulder operations may be performed without general anesthesia, and helped to develop a comprehensive shoulder replacement system, which is widely used by shoulder surgeons around the world.

Dr. Flatow received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed residencies at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia's Presbyterian Medical Center, located in New York, N.Y. Dr. Flatow completed a shoulder and elbow fellowship at Columbia's Presbyterian Medical Center. He has received the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons' Charles S. Neer Award four times.

Brad Harman, MD — Dr. Harman is a surgeon at Cleburne (Texas) Surgical Center and Cleburne Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Texas A&M Health Science Center. He completed his sports medicine fellowship at The Foundation for Orthopaedic, Athletic and Reconstructive Research at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Dr. Harman is on the medical staff for the U.S. Water Ski Team and has served on medical staff for various professional and collegiate teams, including the Houston Texans and Rice University. He is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Orthopedic Association, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the Texas Society of Sports Medicine and the Johnson County Medical Society.

On his Web site, Dr. Harman says, "I work to develop a partnership with my patients. This dialogue allows the patient to understand the diagnostic process and participate in the treatment choices."

Mr. McGehee says, "Dr. Harman is a shoulder specialist, who goes out of his way to make the patient and their family feel comfortable during their surgical care. He has taken care of multiple sports figures and is the team physician for the award-winning U.S. Water Ski Team."

S. Wendell Holmes, Jr., MD — Dr. Holmes is director of The Sports Medicine Center of the Moore Orthopaedic Clinic, and is medical director of the Providence Orthopaedic & Neuro Spine Institute, both located in Columbia, S.C. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and completed his residency at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, both located in Columbia.

Dr. Holmes training and love for sports medicine began with his own participation in soccer, basketball and football. He has continued his service to the community in sports medicine as the medical director of sports medicine at Providence Hospital's Orthopaedic and Neurospine Institute in Columbia, chairman of the South Carolina Medical Association's Medical Aspects of Sports Committee and team physician for 15 high schools, middle schools and colleges in South Carolina. Dr. Holmes has made countless surgery-specific presentations, written for numerous publications and holds five patents.

"Dr. Holmes is an incredible surgeon and patient advocate. He works tirelessly to assure the finest care for his patients and their families, often donating his time for athletes unable to obtain care," says Sean McNally, CEO of the Moore Clinic.

Spero G. Karas, MD — Dr. Karas is assistant professor and director of the sports medicine fellowship program at Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Atlanta, Ga. He currently serves as a consulting team physician for Georgia Tech University, Emory University Athletics and Mount Vernon Presbyterian High School. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and a sports medicine and shoulder fellowship at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.

Dr. Karas is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has held leadership positions in numerous societies including the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Dr. Karas has been selected as one of America's "Top Sports Medicine Specialists" in Men's Health magazine and has been named one of the "Top Doctors for Women" by Women's Health magazine, "Best Orthopaedic Surgeons in America" by Castle Connolly and "the most trusted sports specialist in Atlanta" by Atlanta Magazine. He has been inducted into the society, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. In his free time, Dr. Karas enjoys sports such as golf, skiing, snowboarding and fitness training. He also enjoys computers and digital photography.

Edward G. McFarland, MD — Dr. McFarland is director of the division of adult orthopedics and Wayne H. Lewis Professor of Orthopedics and Shoulder Surgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is also team physician for Johns Hopkins University department of athletics and serves as a team physician for the Baltimore Orioles. He received his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his residency at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and a sports medicine fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group in Inglewood, Calif.

Dr. McFarland serves on the editorial board for various publications including the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Physician and Sports Medicine, Your Patient and Fitness and Orthopaedics and Traumatology (international edition). He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Southern Medical Association, the National Athletic Trainers Association, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Society for Bone & Mineral Research, the Society for American Baseball Research, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Baltimore County Medical Association, the Maryland Medical Association, the Maryland Orthopaedic Society, the Society for Tennis Medicine & Science, the American Orthopaedic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Gregory P. Nicholson, MD — Dr. Nicholson is a surgeon with Midwest Orthopedics at Rush University in Chicago, where he is associate professor of orthopedic surgery. He specializes in shoulder and elbow surgery and sports medicine. Dr. Nicholson is a team physician for the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls. He received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, completed his internship and residency at University Hospital of Cleveland and served a fellowship in shoulder surgery at the New York Orthopaedic Hospital at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, N.Y.

Dr. Nicholson recently was named to Chicago Magazine's 2009 Top Doctors. He is board-certified in orthopedic surgery.

Dr. Nicholson says his favorite aspect about working as a shoulder surgeon is "that it allows me to help people and watch them return to function and return to the things they do for work, recreation and sport." Dr. Nicholson says his approach to surgery is to "be honest and treat patients the way you would like your family to be treated."

Anthony A. Romeo, MD — Dr. Romeo is a surgeon with Midwest Orthopedics at Rush University in Chicago, and is an associate professor and director of the section of shoulder and elbow at the university. His surgical specialties include shoulder surgery, elbow surgery and sports medicine. Dr. Romeo received his medical degree from St. Louis (Mo.) University. He completed his internship and residency at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He completed a shoulder and elbow fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle.

According to his Web site, lifelong interests in science and sports contributed to Dr. Romeo's pursuit of the most advanced methods to treat and restore the function of injured or arthritic shoulders and elbows.

Dr. Romeo was named one of the top physicians in Chicago by Chicago Magazine. He is a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Society, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the Mid-America Orthopaedic Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Joshua Siegel, MD — Dr. Siegel is a founding member of Northeast Surgical Care, an ASC in Newington, N.H., and the sports medicine director at Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics in Exeter, N.H. He has treated professional, national, and division I collegiate athletes. He is a team physician for the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Team. He has brought innovative new treatment and diagnostic options to Seacoast area patients including platelet-rich plasma therapy, musculoskeletal ultrasound and the latest in minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder surgeries. Dr. Siegel helped pioneer various procedures, such as a new resurfacing prosthesis and biologic rotator cuff repairs.

For five consecutive years, Dr. Siegel has been selected by his peers as one of the "Top Doctors" by New Hampshire Magazine.

Dr. Siegel received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala. He is a fellow of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the Sports Medicine Fellowship Society.

Mark Veenstra, MD — Dr. Veenstra is a surgeon at the Surgery Center of Kalamazoo and a physician at K Valley Orthopedics in Kalamazoo, Mich. He specializes in sports medicine and shoulder and knee surgery, especially utilizing arthroscopic techniques. Dr. Veenstra received his medical degree from Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit, Mich., and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

In addition to his practice work, Dr. Veenstra has been involved in missionary medical work for the past 15 years, annually taking medical groups to Honduras on medical brigades. He is a member of Westwood Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo and has served on church council for many years. In his spare time, he enjoys sports including golf, basketball and softball. He is also a private pilot.     

Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD Dr. Williams is director of the Shoulder and Elbow Center at Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, where he is also a shoulder surgeon. His areas of surgical expertise include shoulder replacement, shoulder arthroscopy, rotator cuff repair and shoulder dislocations, among others. He is also president-elect of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. Dr. Williams received his medical degree from Temple University in Philadelphia and completed a fellowship in shoulder reconstruction at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He is an active participant in many major orthopedic societies and has held leadership positions on the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board of Directors and the Philadelphia Orthopaedic Society. Dr. Williams has been published in numerous publications and has served or currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, Seminars in Arthroplasty, Operative Techniques in Orthopedic Surgery, the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.

George White, MD — Dr. White is president of the Orlando (Fla.) Hand Surgery Associates and a surgeon at the Altamonte Surgery Center in Altamonte Springs, Fla. He is also an attending physician at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Orlando Regional Medical Center and Winter Park Memorial Hospital. Dr. White specializes in surgery of the shoulder, elbow and wrist.

Dr. White received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and completed his residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Society and the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has published many articles on orthopedic surgery.

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