Robert P. Nirschl, M.D., M.S. (orthopaedic surgery)

Founder of Nirschl Orthopaedic Center for Sports Medicine & Joint Reconstruction

Dr. Robert Nirschl is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin (Marquette University) and received his orthopaedic surgery training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He holds a Master’s Degree in orthopaedic surgery from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nirschl’s research of sports techniques resulted in new treatments in the area of tendon injuries. His approach to the care of injuries to the elbow, shoulder, and knee are internationally recognized and have been implemented by orthopaedic surgeons worldwide.

Dr. Nirschl is the founding partner of Nirschl Orthopaedic Center for Sports Medicine and Joint Reconstruction and was the Founder and Director of the Nirschl Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship program for 25 years. He is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and served on the Board of Councilors for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. He also served as President of the Virginia Orthopaedic Society and the Arlington County Medical Society.

Dr. Nirschl was a founding member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Sports Science Committee and served as an Orthopaedic Surgery Consultant to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under the Reagan administration. He has been recognized by his peers as one of the area’s “Top Doctors” for many years in such publications as Northern Virginia Magazine, and has been listed in top doctors in America by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. Dr. Nirschl is also profiled in Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine in America and Who’s Who in the World. Dr. Nirschl has been profiled in Sports Illustrated and has made many television appearances, including on ABC’s Good Morning America. He was Chief Medical Editor for Orthopedics Today, an international publication. He has written 51 medical book chapters and 60 medical articles.

Dr. Nirschl has received the Lifetime Career Award from the Virginia Orthopaedic Society, The Welburn Award for community service from the Arlington County Medical Society, and The Achievement Award from The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr.Nirschl has served as orthopaedic consultant and team physician for Marymount University and many local Virginia high schools. He holds four U.S. patents on functional Count’R-Force sports braces. These allow patients to participate more safely in athletic activities.

Dr. Nirschl has mentored hundreds of medical students, family practice residents, orthopaedic surgery residents, family practice sports medicine fellows and post-graduate orthopedic sports medicine fellows. Two of his fellows, Francis O’Connor, M.D. and Robert Wilder, M.D., have become chairmen of medical school departments and have dedicated their 2014 739-page book Running Medicine to Dr. Nirschl, whom they call their most important and influential mentor. Dr. Nirschl’s research of sports techniques produced new treatment of tendon injuries of the shoulder, elbow and knees. The Nirschl operative procedure for elbow tendinosis (tennis and golfer’s elbow), as well as his classification of pain phases and microscopic evaluation of tendon failed healing, is utilized by physicians worldwide. His words of wisdom and humorous quips, which we refer to as Nirschlisms, not only put patients at ease but help them gain a better understanding of their injury. The most famous Nirschlism can be heard daily in the office: “You don’t play a sport to get in shape; you get in shape to play a sport.”

Nirschl Orthopaedic Center is honored and proud to have Dr. Robert Nirschl as its founder and mentor. His dedication to his patients and to the advancement of tendon treatments in modern medicine have helped generations.