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Joseph Mitchell, MD, joins the UW Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation

Joseph Mitchell, MD, joined the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on May 1, 2022. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Mitchell earned his BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He then completed medical school and residency at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Following his residency, Dr. Mitchell went on to fellowship for one year at the University of California-San Diego, where he broadened and further honed his joint replacement skills.

After completing his fellowship, Dr. Mitchell practiced with Aurora Orthopedics in Sheboygan, WI. However, not long after he had begun to practice outside of academics, Dr. Mitchell discovered that he missed the curiosity and engagement of the medical students, residents, and fellows he had worked with throughout residency and fellowship.

Thus, when he learned of an opening for a joint replacement specialist in our department, he was thrilled at this opportunity to return to what he feels is his “medical home.”

An orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult reconstruction of the hip and knee, Dr. Mitchell is highly skilled in both primary and revision hip and knee replacement surgery. He has specific expertise using the anterior approach for hip replacement – a technique known to have a steep learning curve. Dr. Mitchell has performed over 800 joint replacements, using the anterior approach in many of these cases. In fact, because of his extensive training and experience – and because this approach expedites patient recovery by as much as three months, according to some studies – Dr. Mitchell uses this technique almost exclusively when performing a hip replacement.

Also certified to do robotic knee and hip replacement, Dr. Mitchell is trained in patient-specific instrumentation, or patient-specific implants, using their own anatomy to create the ultimate implants that are used.

Reflective of his goals and passions, Dr. Mitchell’s research interests include comparing the advantages of anterior approach hip replacement vs. the traditional posterior approach. He is also investigating the use of robotic navigation vs. traditional instruments (manual instrumentation) to determine if computer navigation makes a difference in patient outcomes. In addition, he plans to both study and work toward increasing diversity within the orthopedic field.

The factor that initially drew Dr. Mitchell to the orthopedics specialty – and why he is so passionate about both practicing and teaching in the field today – is that “more than any other specialty, orthopedics enables a physician to quickly improve a person’s quality of life with a short procedure.”

“What really drives me is knowing that, although the surgical procedure itself is the same every time, for that individual, you are putting them back to a place they were 10, 15, maybe 20 years ago, in terms of their mobility and their quality of life. You give them back their ability to get out and just enjoy the things they enjoy doing. Seeing those patients at follow up and having them do very well, that is what motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing.”


June 13, 2022

Dr. Brian Grogan, Dr. Eric Cotter, and their Team Win Candidate Research Grant Award

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Grogan, Dr. Eric Cotter of the University of Wisconsin Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and their team of researchers on winning the “2022 American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons’ Candidate Research Grant.”  This ASES $10,000 grant award will help support their research exploring the clinical effectiveness of adding blue light therapy to current prophylactic strategies in reducing postoperative infections caused by cutibacterium acnes.

Co-Investigators are:

    Lisa Cotter, MD  (Investigator) – University of Wisconsin, Dermatology
    Jonah Dixon, BS (Investigator) – University of Wisconsin, Infectious Disease
    Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD (Investigator) – University of Wisconsin, Infectious Disease
    David Gold, PhD (Investigator) – University of Wisconsin, Physics
    Aniekanabasi Ime Ufot, BS (Data Collection) – University of Wisconsin, Orthopedics
    Nicholas VanDerwerker, BS (Data Collection) – University of Wisconsin, Orthopedics

“Our multidisciplinary team is excited for the investment by ASES in our work defining the optimal dosing of blue light to eradicate C acnes,” stated Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Eric Cotter.

Bryan Heiderscheit, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA Named Vice Chair for Research

Madison, Wis. – In January 2022, Frederick Gaenslen Professor of Orthopedics Bryan C. Heiderscheit, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA was named Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. In addition to this new position, Dr. Heiderscheit holds appointments as Director of Research for Badger Athletic Performance, Co-Director of the UW-Madison Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab, as well as Physical Therapist for the UW Badgers. He is also an affiliate faculty member of the Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation, Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UW-Madison. Dr. Heiderscheit is internationally recognized for his leadership and innovative research aimed at understanding and enhancing the clinical management of orthopedic conditions, with a focus on sports-related injuries.

A highly accomplished researcher throughout his nearly two decades at UW-Madison, Dr. Heiderscheit comes to his new role with a perspective he adopted early in his career when he set out to “develop an impactful research program within a leading research institution, while at the same time, maintaining a clinical practice and mentoring students.”

This multi-pronged approach grew out of Dr. Heiderscheit’s strongly held belief that each role feeds into the others.

“So much of [how we have benefited patients] has come from those discoveries we made through the research program. And on the other side, many patient interactions have led to an idea that spurred a line of research. It is one hundred percent symbiotic.”

Dr. Heiderscheit began his career as a physical therapist. His experience as a clinician, coupled with the research he conducted and published as an undergraduate, led him to pursue his Ph.D. in Biomechanics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Upon joining the UW-Madison Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in 2003, three years after completing his Ph.D., Dr. Heiderscheit quickly put his multidisciplinary tenet into practice by establishing the UW Health Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic. A program designed to connect patient care with research, this novel initiative evaluates the running mechanics of patients who experience a running-related injury while applying best-practice treatments, many of which were developed by the clinic’s researchers.

“We’ve come up with several simple strategies that can be implemented in routine clinic practice and have a significant impact on our patients’ ability to run pain-free.”

Since creating the Runners’ Clinic, Dr. Heiderscheit has earned widespread recognition, giving over one hundred talks at organizations all over the world on how to implement this program. Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Washington University are among the many institutions that have adopted this model and received assistance from Dr. Heiderscheit and his team in launching the program.

In 2009, Dr. Heiderscheit began working with University of Wisconsin Athletics to develop yet another novel program – Badger Athletic Performance (BAP).

“Our idea was to create a collaborative program that integrates the athletics and academic arms of the University – tearing down the wall that so commonly exists between the two.”

With the full support of University of Wisconsin Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Department Chair, Dr. Thomas Zdeblick, the Division of Sports Medicine, and UW Athletics, Dr. Heiderscheit worked closely with Denny Helwig, former Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine, now retired, to establish a joint venture housed in Athletics that is one of a few of its kind in the nation.

“More than just a lab, our program is designed around the needs of our student-athletes and integrates science, training, and injury management. We do so in a very rigorous manner, which allows us to systematically study key issues and advance the overall field. As a result, our work not only has an immediate benefit to our student-athletes but also any active population beyond our campus.”

Today, BAP has grown to include over 10 principal investigators, who contribute their expertise and resources from their own labs into the program operations.

In addition to leading these innovative programs, Dr. Heiderscheit is nationally known for his work in other areas of orthopedic research, including hamstring injury management. Dr. Heiderscheit and colleagues were recently awarded a four-year, $4 million grant by the NFL to advance research in this area. He also serves on the NFL’s Soft Tissue Injury Task Force on reducing muscle-tendon injuries, with hamstring injuries being one of the priorities.

The success of Dr. Heiderscheit’s research program is due in large part to his research team. He is a mentor to undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral trainees, as well as young investigators pursuing clinical research. Many have gone on to attain tenure track faculty positions, with some earning global scientific scholarship recognition.

A prolific author and presenter, Dr. Heiderscheit’s scholarly publications include over 130 peer-reviewed articles, multiple book chapters, editorials, and other publications. He has presented 216 abstracts or proceedings, and over 240 invited lectures and symposium events. Dr. Heiderscheit serves as a Senior Editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, the flagship journal for the orthopedic and sports physical therapy profession.

Dr. Heiderscheit has received over 50 honors and awards, is a member of nine professional associations, and currently serves as Research Chair of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy.

As Vice Chair for Research, Dr. Heiderscheit will work with Dr. Zdeblick and Dr. Tamara Scerpella to oversee the research mission of the department.

Dr. Heiderscheit stated that their goal will be “to expand faculty research opportunities and resources while facilitating collaborations both within and outside of the department. We know that a robust research infrastructure will enable our talented clinicians and scientists to bring their ideas to light.”

“Dr. Heiderscheit has shown a tremendous ability to focus research on clinically meaningful topics,” noted Dr. Zdeblick. “His accomplishments reflect his optimistic ‘can do’ attitude, which he is now imparting to our entire research program. His leadership skills will help the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation continue to build on our national reputation as a leader in cutting-edge, musculoskeletal developments.”


May 9, 1022

Don’t delay if you want to play: UW Health urges families to schedule sports physicals now


MADISON, Wis. – Experts with UW Health are encouraging young athletes to schedule their pre-participation sports physical exams with their primary care provider now to avoid a last-minute scramble before the start of school sports this summer.

Pre-participation physical exams have long been used in the United States to detect conditions that predispose the athlete to injury or illness. The exam, which typically includes a review of health history and examination of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, is required by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) before athletes are allowed to participate in high school sports. Failure to complete the required exam on time can prevent athletes from starting their sport.

But according to Dr. David Bernhardt, pediatrician and sports medicine physician at UW Health, athletes should approach these exams with more than just sports in mind. He says routine sports physicals, though useful, are too narrow in focus and can sometimes neglect other issues that could be critically important to a high schooler’s wellbeing.

“Pre-participation physicals are a great opportunity for high schoolers to have a more comprehensive well visit with their primary care provider,” said Bernhardt. “Sports physicals are often the only time that adolescents schedule time with their pediatrician outside of visits for injuries or illness, so it makes sense that we use this time to evaluate these kids for more than just their readiness to engage in sports. There are many other topics that we should be discussing, like mental health, which can be just as important to a child’s short- and long-term wellbeing.”

Bernhardt says athletes should always go to their primary care provider for these exams because it ensures continuity of care and allows the athlete’s physician to identify changes over time and react appropriately. He also says physical exams that are performed in retail-based clinics or in schools often lack privacy, which can make it less likely for adolescents to disclose private or potentially embarrassing concerns during the exam.


UW Health News | April 28, 2022
Contact: Emily Kumlien
(608) 516-9154 |

2022 Match Day Results

We are thrilled to announce our 2022 Match Day results for both our Orthopedic Residency and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency programs. Congratulations to our incoming residents!