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R. Alexander Creighton, MD

R. Alexander Creighton, MD

Shoulder & Elbow, Sports Medicine

I am a native of Haddonfield, NJ. While earning my undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary, I was a member of the Tribe baseball team and was all-conference third basemen my junior and senior seasons. In 1998, I came to Chapel Hill to start my residency in Orthopaedics. I then moved to Chicago to complete my fellowship in Sports Medicine and Shoulder. While completing my fellowship, I helped take care of the Chicago White Sox baseball team, Chicago Rush arena football team, and the Chicago Steel hockey team.

After my fellowship, I returned to Chapel Hill as an attending physician in the Department of Orthopaedics. I am now the Chief of Sports Medicine and Yeargan Professor and have been the team physician for the Tar Heels for the past 17 years.

Education and Experience


  • Virginia Commonwealth University, 1998
  • Honors: Member, Alpha Omega Alpha


  • University of North Carolina Hospitals, 1999 - 2003
  • Area: Orthopaedic Surgery


  • Rush University Medical Center, 2003 - 2004
  • Area: Sports Medicine and Shoulder


  • University of North Carolina Hospitals, 1998 - 1999
  • Area: General Surgery


  • Orthopaedic Surgery, Board Certified, 2016
  • Orthopaedic Surgery-Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Board Certified, 2016

Clinical Expertise

  • Sports medicine
  • Surgery of the shoulder and knee

Current Appointments

  • 2016-present Professor of Orthopaedics, UNC School of Medicine

Honors, Awards, and Achievements

  • Selected as Best Doctor’s Award, 2018
  • Keynote Speaker for Montana Orthopedic Society, 2018
  • Distinguished Yeargan Family Professor, 2017
  • Best Doctors in America, 2017
  • Selected as a Top Doctor in Chapel Hill, NC by the International Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (IAO), 2017
  • AOSSM/ESSKA Traveling Fellowship, European Tour, 2016
  • UNC Health Care and Faculty Physician Award for Carolina Care Excellence, 2015-2016
  • The O’Donoghue Award, 2003
  • William C. Patton Award for Best Resident Teacher, 2003
  • Alpha Omega Medical Honors Society, 1998
  • Dean’s List–The College of William and Mary, 1993


Journal Articles

  • Creighton RA, Romeo AA, Brown FM Jr, Hayden JK, Verma NN. Revision arthroscopic shoulder instability repair. Arthroscopy. 2007 Jul;23(7):703-9.
  • Bushnell BD, Whitener GB, Rubright JH, Creighton RA, Logel KJ, Wood ML. The use of suture anchors to repair the ruptured quadriceps tendon. J Orthop Trauma. 2007 Jul;21(6):407-13.
  • Creighton RA, Cole BJ, Romeo AA, Nicholson GP, Lorenz EP. Effect of lateral meniscus allograft on shoulder articular contact areas and pressures. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2007 May-Jun;16(3):367-72.
  • Chappell JD, Giuliani C, Garrett WE, Yu B, Creighton RA. Kinematics and emg of landing preparation in vertical stop-jump: risks of non-contact acl injury. Am J Sports Med. 2007 Feb;35(2):235-41.
  • Creighton RA, Cole BJ. Upper extremity deep vein thrombosis after shoulder arthroscopy: case report. J Shoudler Elbow Surg 2007 Jan-Feb;16(1):e20-2.
  • Bushnell BD, Byram IR, Weinhold PS, Creighton RA. The use of suture anchors in repair of the ruptured patellar tendon: a biomechanical study. Am J Sports Med 2006;34:1492-1499.
  • Creighton RA, Bach BR Jr., Bush-Joseph CA. Evaluation of the medial elbow in the throwing athlete. American Journal of Orthopedics 2006;35:266-269.
  • Creighton RA, Kindler J, Bach BR Jr. Compartment syndrome following recurrent ankle inversion injury. Orthopaedics 2005;28:703-705.
  • Pearl ML, Romeo AA, Wirth MA, Yamaguchi K, Nicholson GP, Creighton RA. Decision making in contemporary shoulder arthroplasty. Instr Course Lect 2005;54:69-85.
  • Creighton RA. Gender differences in anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Sciences, October 2004.
  • Silver WP, Creighton RA, Triantafillopoulos IK, Devkota AC, Weinhold PS, Karas SG. Thermal microdebridement does not affect the time zero biomechanical properties of human patellar tendons. Am J Sports Med 2004;32:1946-1952.
  • Wakim EP, Creighton RA, Fox JA, Bach BR Jr. Development of an extensive patellar osteophyte following acl reconstruction. J Knee Surg 2004;17:172-174.
  • Karas SG, Creighton RA, DeMorat GJ. Glenohumeral volume reduction in arthroscopic shoulder reconstruction: a cadaveric analysis of suture placation and thermal capsulorrhaphy. Arthroscopy 2004;20:179-184.


  • Patellar Tendon Allograft for ACL Reconstruction. Cole and Sekiya Surgical Techniques of the Shoulder, Elbow, and Knee in Sports Medicine, 1st edition, 2008. Chandler JW, Creighton RA.
  • Revision of Loose Humeral Component. Advanced Reconstruction Shoulder, 1st edition, 2007. Romeo AA, Creighton RA, Gomoll AH.
  • Autologous Osteochondral Transplantation: Background, Surgical Indications, and Results. Insall & Scott’s Surgery of the Knee, 4th edition, December 2005. Creighton RA, Cole BJ.
  • Knee Bracing for Athletic Injuries. Insall and Scott’s Surgery of the Knee, 4th edition, December 2005. Creighton RA, Bach BR Jr.
  • Arthrofibrosis: Evaluation, Prevention, and Treatment. Techniques in Knee Surgery. 4(3):163-172, September, 2005. Creighton RA, Bach BR Jr.
  • Basic Science of Ligament Healing: Medial Collateral Ligament Healing With and Without Treatment. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review. 13(3):145-150, September 2005. Creighton RA, Spang JT, Dahners LE.
  • Histology, Physiology and Biochemistry of Muscle. Musculoskeletal Syllabus 2nd Year UNC medical school. May 2005. Creighton RA.
  • Revision Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction with Patellar Tendon Allograft: Surgical Technique. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review. 13(1):38-45, March 2005. Creighton RA, Bach BR Jr.


  • The bony apprehension test for shoulder instability. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, March 2008, San Francisco, CA. (poster)
  • Shoulder Instability Arthroscopic Set-up and Techniques. Orthopaedic Learning Center (AAOS/ASES), April 2007, Rosemont, IL.
  • Suture Anchors in Patellar Tendon Repair
    • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Poster, July 2006, Hershey, PA
    • Southern Orthopaedic Association, Podium, July 2006, Paradise Island, Bahamas
    • North Carolina Orthopaedic Association, Podium, October 2005, Pinehurst, NC
  • Shoulder Instability Operative Indications. Orthopaedic Learning Center (AAOS/ASES), July 2006, Rosemont, IL
  • Sports Injuries in Children: Upper Limb. Medical Alumni Program-UNC Pediatrics, October 2006, Chapel Hill, NC. (podium)
  • Treatment of bony defects in shoulder instability. North Carolina/South Carolina Orthopaedic Associations, Podium, October 2006, Asheville, NC.
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation in Young Patients. North Carolina Orthopaedic Association, Podium, October 2005, Pinehurst, NC.
  • Arthroscopic Revision Shoulder Instability Repair: Minimum 2 year follow-up. Arthroscopy Association of North America, Podium, May 2005, Vancouver, BC.
see entire list available at PubMed


UNC Orthopaedic Clinic at Carolina Pointe II
6011 Farrington Road
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - 27517