Department of Orthopedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery has been recognized nationally, with U.S. News and World Report ranking Scripps La Jolla Hospitals and Clinics as #1 in San Diego for Orthopedic Surgery in 2019-2020. Our large collaborative team provides diagnostic evaluation as well as medical, procedural and surgical care for numerous orthopedic conditions. Since its founding in 1977, the Department has grown to encompass over 50 physicians, podiatrists and physician assistants, fellows and residents in several sub-specialty training programs, and a large staff of hundreds of RNs, LVNs, radiology technicians, occupational/hand therapists, medical assistants and administrative personnel, working together to provide leading surgical and clinical care to our patient base.

The Department is heavily involved in science and clinical research through Scripps Clinic’s world-renowned Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education (SCORE). SCORE conducts orthopedic clinical trials for investigative therapies and devices treating a variety of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. Through our participation in clinical research, graduate training and medical conferences, we are able to continuously provide excellent clinical care and contribute to advancements in our specialty informed by the latest and most promising advances in orthopedic surgery. We strive to meet the mission of our Department with quality patient care, research, education, leadership, outreach and philanthropy.

Department Chair: Steven Copp, MD

Associate Chair – Inpatient: James Bruffey, MD

Associate Chair – Outpatient: Lorenzo Pacelli, MD

Division Heads:

Anesthesia – Steven Copp, MD (Interim)

Foot & Ankle Surgery – Cameron Barr, MD

Hand Surgery – Lorenzo Pacelli, MD

Lower Extremity Reconstruction/Joint Replacement – William Bugbee, MD

Musculoskeletal Oncology – Anna Kulidjian, MDMD

Podiatric Medicine – Gregory Clark, DPM

Spine Surgery – Robert Eastlack, MD

Sports Medicine & Surgery – Daniel Keefe, MD

Highlights, Research & Awards

  • The Department’s research unit, the Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education (SCORE), founded in 1999, is a world-leading research unit for the advancement of orthopedic patient care. SCORE includes a laboratory which is focused on the application of stem cell technology to cartilage repair, its application to bioprinting, cartilage allograft biology, shoulder prosthesis, innovative spine implants and instrumentation, and a myriad of other biotechnology areas. Department members also serve as Principal Investigators on a number of clinical studies that have resulted in broad publication.

  • Cliff Colwell MD and William Bugbee MD are both Kappa Delta awardees. This is the highest award given by the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons and recognizes their contributions to patient care over a career through their research efforts.

  • Department members have been repeatedly named to “Top Doctors” and “Best Doctors” listing, locally and nationally, including:

    • Michael Botte, MD, Division of Hand Surgery
    • Lorenzo Pacelli, MD, Division of Hand Surgery
    • William Bugbee, MD, Division of Lower Extremity Reconstruction
    • Steven Copp, MD, Division of Lower Extremity Reconstruction
    • Richard Walker, MD, Division of Lower Extremity Reconstruction
    • James Bruffey, MD, Division of Spine
    • Robert Eastlack, MD, Division of Spine
    • Gregory Mundis, MD, Division of Spine
    • Jan Fronek, MD, Division of Sports Medicine
    • Heinz Hoenecke, MD, Division of Sports Medicine
SEE DEPARTMENT RESEARCH

Education

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery offers post-residency Fellowship training in the orthopedic subspecialties of: Lower Extremity Reconstruction/Joint Replacement (4 Fellows annually); Spine Surgery (3 Fellows annually); and Sports Medicine (3 Fellows annually).

A description and details of each Fellowship are included in the respective specialty divisional webpage, or please visit the Graduate Medical Education page for more information.