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Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD

Home » Physicians » Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD

Orthopedic Surgery, Board Certified Sports Medicine Subspecialty Certification Complex Knee and Sports Medicine Surgery

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Areas of Focus

Knee Care
Sports Medicine

Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD

Practice Overview

Our team’s goal is to be an international leader in orthopedics and the treatment of complex knee and sports medicine injuries. Patients choose to come to see Dr. LaPrade from across the United States and from around the world because of the recognition of our service’s personalized care and high-level treatment initiatives.

Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD is a complex knee and orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon. Dr. LaPrade is recognized internationally as one of the top knee surgeons in the world. Often referred to as a “doctor’s doctor,” he has specialized skills and expertise in diagnosing and treating complicated knee injuries and previously failed surgeries. He has treated athletes at all levels, including Olympic, professional (football, ice hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, track and field, etc.), semiprofessional and intercollegiate athletes, and has returned many athletes back to full participation, both after treating either their new injuries or previously failed knee surgeries.

Dr. LaPrade has special expertise in treating some of the more complex pathologies around the knee, including posterolateral corner injuries, PCL tears, multiligament knee injuries, including knee dislocations, revision ACL reconstructions, meniscal transplants, MCL injuries, osteotomies around the knee (including tibial tubercle osteotomy, proximal tibial osteotomy, distal femoral osteotomy, and closing wedge anterior tibial osteotomy), fresh osteoarticular allografts, articular cartilage resurfacing procedures, complex patellofemoral instabilities (including trochleoplasties), and many other difficult combined and revision surgeries.  In particular, Dr. LaPrade has published on almost all these pathologies and has developed anatomic-based reconstruction techniques that are now considered the standard of care both nationally and internationally.

Dr. LaPrade is known as a super specialized clinician scientist who has utilized his vast and comprehensive research program on sports medicine injuries to have a bed-to-bedside approach to develop new techniques to improve patient care for those with complex knee problems. Many of the surgeries that he has invented have been performed worldwide and are recognized as the “gold standard” for treatment of many complex knee injuries.

As one of the world’s most celebrated complex knee surgeons and clinician scientists, Dr. LaPrade has published more than 475 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, has over 17,000 citations, has given over 1000 professional presentations, symposia, grand  rounds, and instructional course lectures and has published over 125 book chapters, and has been an Editor on several books. He has also received many awards for his research, including the OREF clinical research award, considered a Nobel Prize of orthopaedics, and his research team has been awarded the AOSSM Excellence in Research Award 3 times since 2009, the Achilles Research Award from ISAKOS 2 times, the Trillat Award from ISAKOS twice, and also the Cabaud Award by the AOSSM 2 times. In addition, he is overall the most published author in the top-cited orthopaedic journal, the American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM), with over 150 articles in AJSM alone. He is recognized as a pioneer in knee research with many referrals from international and nationally-recognized physicians due to his successful patient outcomes and his development of more effective anatomic-based surgical techniques for the reconstruction of complex knee injuries.

In addition to his outstanding clinical and research work as a clinical scientist, Dr. LaPrade is also recognized internationally as an outstanding teacher. His Minnesota Advanced Complex Knee International Symposium, formerly VICKS, is considered to be the top international complex knee course and he has hosted several hundred sports medicine surgeons from around the world who have observed his practice to learn his clinical exam and surgical techniques. He has also been a course chairman for courses sponsored by the AAOS, AOSSM, AANA, ISAKOS, and ORS, including courses on arthroscopic skill development, biologics, complex knee injuries, knee osteotomies, and early sports specialization. He has also been awarded several outstanding teaching awards from residents and fellows as well as being recognized as a top instructor at many national and international courses.

TCO Tribune by Dr. LaPrade: Meniscus Root Tears on the RiseRead More

Clinical Interest

Complex knee injuries and knee care, including ACL injuries, reconstructions and revisions, PCL injuries, reconstructions and revisions, multiligament injuries and reconstructions, posterolateral corner injuries and reconstructions, LCL (FCL) injuries and reconstructions, MCL and posteromedial corner injuries and reconstructions, proximal tibiofibular joint injury and reconstructions, patellar tendon injuries, repairs and reconstructions, peripheral, radial, revision and root meniscal repairs, meniscal transplants, osteotomies around the knees (tibial tubercle osteotomy, proximal tibial osteotomy, distal femoral osteotomy, and closing wedge tibial osteotomies), fresh osteoarticular allografts, common peroneal nerve decompressions, snapping medial and lateral hamstring tendon surgery, patellofemoral joint reconstruction-medial patellofemoral ligament, medial patellotibial ligament, trochleoplasty and lateral patellotibial ligament reconstructions (undoing lateral releases), biological healing augmentation (PRP/BMAC), and early knee arthritis

Sports medicine, including common and high-level athletic knee injuries and ice hockey injuries (NHL, Collegiate, High School and Weekend Warrior)


Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Hughston Sports Medicine Clinic, Columbus, Georgia

Orthopaedic Surgery, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies (MSU-KCMS)

Medical Degree
University of Illinois at Chicago

Graduate Degree
PhD in Philosophy, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Hospital & Surgery Center Affiliations

Crosstown Surgery Center
Eagan Orthopedic Surgery Center
Fairview Southdale Hospital

Professional Affiliations


American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) (1999 – Present)
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) (1989 – Present)
American Society for Testing and Materials – Ice Hockey Standard Sub-Committee (1996 – Present)
Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) (1995 – Present)
American Medical Association (AMA) (1994 – Present)
Hughston Society (1994 – Present)

International Meniscal Transplantation Group (2006 – Present)
International Society for Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery, and Sports Medicine (ISAKOS) (2000 – Present)
International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) (1998 – Present)
Magellan Society (1998 – Present)
Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) (1996 – Present)
European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, and Arthroscopy (ESSKA) (1995 – Present)
ACL Study Group (2011 – Present)

Achievements & Awards

Academic Visitors – 2018: 22
Published Peer-Reviewed Studies: >475
Presentations at Conferences: >1000
Patents: 4


1993-1994, J. Albert Key Research Award, “The Prevalence of Abnormal MRI Findings in Asymptomatic Knees”, Mid-America Orthopaedic Association, 12th Annual Meeting, Bermuda; Outstanding research paper: “Is  Notchplasty Associated With Early Degenerative Arthritis in The Knee?”, Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation Annual Research Day; 3M Excellence in Clinical Research Award, AOSSM 20th Annual Meeting, “Injury Patterns and Their Correlation to Clinical Instability in Posterolateral Knee Injuries”, Palm Desert.

Academic Practice

1994 – Present: 1995 International Society of the Knee Albert Trillat Young Investigator’s Award, “Effects of a Notchplasty on the Normal Knee”, IAA/ISK Combined Congress, Hong Kong. AOSSM Pacific Rim Traveling Fellowship, October-November, 1997; Minnesota Orthopaedic Society 14th Annual Meeting Minneapolis, May, 1998, Co-chairman; “Spring Training” – regional sports medicine course, June, 1998, Co-chairman; Editorial Board – American Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Knee Surgery, Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy; Orthopaedic Faculty Teacher of the Year 2005; 2013 OREF Clinical Research Award, “Improving Outcomes for Posterolateral Knee Injuries,” Steadman Philippon Research Institute Sports Fellowship “Outstanding Teacher of the Year”, 2012 (inaugural), 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018; 2013 Annual Meetings of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; “One of the Top 28 North American Knee Surgeons” – Orthopaedics This Week 2014; “One of the Top 59 Great Orthopaedic Surgeons Recommended by Healthcare Leaders” – Becker’s Orthopedic Review 2015; University of Maine, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015.  Use of Platelet-Rich Plasma Immediately After an Injury Did Not Improve Ligament Healing, and Increasing Platelet Concentrations Was Detrimental in an In Vivo Animal Model AOSSM Cabaud Memorial Award, 2017

Collaborator Awards

  1. Tim Bollom. Outstanding Resident/Medical Student Presentation: “The MRI Appearance of the Posterolateral Knee”. Minnesota Orthopaedic Society, May 1998
  2. Kent Schnetzler, M.S., Outstanding Medical Student Research Award: “Cervical Spine Alignment in the Immobilized Ice Hockey Player”. University of Minnesota Medical School, May 1999
  3. Eric Nelson, M.D. Outstanding Resident Presentation: “The Anterior Intermeniscal Ligament of the Knee: An Anatomic Study.” Minnesota Orthopaedic Society, May 1999
  4. Eric Nelson, M.D., Outstanding Senior Resident Research Presentation: “The Anterior Intermeniscal Ligament of the Knee: An Anatomic Study.” Minnesota Department of Orthopaedic Society, April 2000
  5. Todd Jackman, MD, Outstanding Senior Resident Presentation: “Intraobserver and Interobserver Reliability of the Kneeling Technique for PCL Stress X-Ray’s.” Minnesota Department of Orthopaedic Society, June 2007
  6. LaPrade RF; Oro FB; Ziegler CG; Wijdicks CA; Walsh MP. Best of Show Poster: “Patellar Height and Tibial Slope after Opening Wedge Proximal Tibial Osteotomy: A Prospective Study”. ORS/AAOS Annual Meeting. February 2009 (Representing AOSSM)
  7. LaPrade RF; Oro FB; Ziegler CG; Wijdicks CA; Walsh MP. Board of Specialty Poster: “Patellar Height and Tibial Slope after Opening Wedge Proximal Tibial Osteotomy: A Prospective Study”. Session at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, February 2009
  8. Benjamin Coobs, M.D. The Excellence in Research Award: “An In Vitro Analysis of an Anatomic Medial Knee Reconstruction”. AOSSM July 2009
  9. Chad Griffith, M.D The Herodicus Award: “Medial Knee Injury, Part 1 Static Function Following Sequential Sectioning of Medial Knee Structures”. AOSSM July 2009
  10. Griffith CJ. Best Poster Award: “Untreated posterolateral knee injuries: biomechanical and MRI evaluation of in vivo canine model”. 14th ESSKA Annual Congress June 2010
  11. Wijdicks CA. The Nicola’s Foundation Young Researcher Award: “Mechanical Properties of the Primary Medial Knee Structure”. 14th ESSKA Annual Congress June 2010
  12. Anderson CJ. Smith & Nephew Best Paper in Ligaments and Biomechanics Award: “The Impact of Anteromedial and Posterolateral Bundle Graft Fixation Angles in Double-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstructions”. 14th ESSKA Annual Congress June 2010
  13. Geeslin A. ISAKOS Top 10 ePoster Award. “Outcomes of Treatment of Acute Grade III Isolated and Combined Posterolateral Knee Injuries: A Prospective Case Series. 2011 ISAKOS Congress May 2011
  14. Geeslin A. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Editor’s Choice Top 10 Articles 2011. “Outcomes of Treatment of Acute Grade III Isolated and Combined Posterolateral Knee Injuries: A Prospective Case Series.
  15. LaPrade CM. ISAKOS Achilles Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Research Award. Biomechanical Consequences of a Nonanatomic Posterior Medial Meniscal Root Repair. 2015 ISAKOS Congress June 2015.
  16. Van de Velde SK, Kernkamp WA, Hosseini A, LaPrade RF, Ewoud R. van Arkel ER, Li G. In Vivo Elongation of the Anterolateral Ligament and Related Extra-Articular Reconstructions. Dutch Arthroscopy Society. Eikelaar Award.
  17. Schon J, Brady A, Moatshe G, Cruz R, Chahla J, Dornan G, Turnbull TL, LaPrade RF. Engebretsen L. Anatomic Anterolateral Ligament Reconstruction of the Knee Leads to Overconstraint at Any Fixation Angle. 2016 Excellence in Research Award.
  18. Gilbert Moatshe, MD, Jorge Chahla, MD, PhD, Alex Brady, MSc, Grant Dornan, MSc, Kyle Muckenhirn, BA, Bradley Kruckerberg, BA, Mark Cinque, MSc, Travis Lee Turnbull, PhD, Lars Engebretsen, MD, PhD, The Influence of Graft Tensioning Sequence on Tibiofemoral Orientation during Bicruciate and Posterolateral Corner Knee Ligament Reconstruction: A Biomechanical Study. ISAKOS Achilles Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Research Award. 2017
  19. Chahla J, Moatshe G, Engebretsen L, LaPrade RF. Anatomic Double-Bundle Posterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. JBJS Essential Surgical Techniques Editor’s Choice Video Award.

Research Presentations & Publications

Research Interests

  1. Posterolateral Corner Injuries & Treatment
  2. Double Bundle PCL Reconstructions
  3. Radial & Root Meniscal Repairs; Meniscal Extrusion
  4. PRP & Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) Use Clinically
  5. MCL & Posteromedial Corner Injuries
  6. Multiligament Knee Injuries & Reconstructions
  7. Extraarticular Knee Reconstructions in the ACL-Deficient Knee
  8. LCL (FCL) Injuries & Reconstructions
  9. Tibial Slope & Its Effect on Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Click here to view Dr. LaPrades Research Publications (>475).

One research initiative that we have strived to achieve is to develop anatomic-based knee ligament reconstructions. In addition, recognition of the vast importance of the menisci in preventing the development of osteoarthritis has been advanced through improved means to treat meniscal tears and attempt repairs rather than surgical resection.

Finally, we share some of the best practices in sports medicine through our Minnesota Advanced Complex Knee International Symposium. Bringing the top clinician scientists from around the world to share their best practices has led to advancements of care over the course of the 6 years of this symposium. While faculty learn from each other to improve care, the attendees also learn from experts to achieve their overall goal of improving patient care through anatomic-based reconstructions. In particular, having many of the world leaders in complex knee pathology in one lecture hall leads to complex discussions and sharing of knowledge which advances care for all patients.

In addition, Dr. LaPrade is recognized as one of the best educators internationally. The best and brightest surgeons from around the world come to observe and to learn how to advance patient care in their states and countries through lectures, clinically-based research, and direct observation. Many of the academic works produced collaboratively with international surgeons has led to their academic promotions in their home hospitals. This relationship is very unique and is very sought after by many orthopedic surgeons.

Sports Affiliations

US Ski Team
NHLPA Consultant
NFLPA Consultant


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Chris Armstrong, PA-C, ATC
Certified Physician Assistant

Amanda P.
Clinical Assistant

Patient Testimonials

December 24, 2023

Jessica H.

I injured my right knee while kickboxing in July 2022. I had a meniscus repair in September 2022 and one month later, I was having pain again. Fast forward to August 2023, a friend recommended I get a second opinion at TCO. I was referred to Dr. LaPrade and had a meniscus transplant and complete posterolateral corner reconstruction (PLCR) in December 2023. I am one week post-surgery and feel so fortunate to have Dr. LaPrade and his team as my providers. They are amazing and take such good care of their patients! 10/10 recommend!

April 25, 2023

Charles L.

I sustained a knee injury during a gymnastics competition that required immediate surgery at the trauma center at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I was out of state, completely alone, and had no idea on where to go next. Luckily one of the physical therapists at the competition was from TCO Eagan and referred me to Dr. LaPrade when I returned home. After visiting Dr. LaPrade, I felt like I could relax because I knew I was in good hands. It was absolutely crazy how everything was taken care of and how they guided me through every step of the way.

Dr. LaPrade did my full MCL reconstruction a few months later. I felt extremely safe, confident, and above all, comfortable. The surgery process with Dr. LaPrade and his team was very smooth and thorough. I was excited to have surgery and begin my recovery. I began physical therapy at the Vadnais Heights – Training HAUS location. Working with the PT’s there made me stronger than I ever was before. I felt like I gained a second family. I have never felt so supported by a team of individuals in my life. Now nearly a year from my initial break, I am well past recovered, and am better than I was pre-injury. My experience at TCO and Training HAUS has truly changed my life forever.

August 23, 2022

Mark J.

Dr. LaPrade and team are the best!

I am a 66-year-old athlete and have been active in multiple sports my whole life. I still compete in rigorous, endurance Mountain Bike Cycling events. Dr. LaPrade repaired a “complete tear of my posterior meniscal root” in August of 2021. I am happy to report that I am 100% back to aggressively participating in Cycling Endurance events.

When I was finally diagnosed with the complete root tear via an MRI after months of waiting for an appointment with an Ortho surgeon, I was told by the local surgeons here in New Mexico that I could have a “trim” or a “knee replacement” and that my knee problem was classified as a “devastating injury”. I could not find a surgeon in New Mexico who could do the type of complex knee surgery Dr. LaPrade offers. So, I sent my MRI to Dr. LaPrade’s office and they offered to see me. I flew to Minnesota and Dr. LaPrade and staff said they could repair the damage in my knee, and I should be able to return to my athletic passions after recovery and Physical Therapy.

Honestly, I never expected the high level of care I received from Dr. LaPrade’s team and Twin Cities Orthopedics. After surgery, I spent 3 weeks working with Dr. LaPrade’s Physical Therapy team and returned to Minnesota after 8 weeks to get my walk and gait on track with PT appointments. Then I returned two more times for regular check-ups and Trac testing. I am immeasurably grateful for what this astounding team did for me.

Dr. LaPrade has assembled a group of extraordinarily talented individuals for Physical Therapy and basic wellbeing. I’d like to especially mention Amanda, the clinical assistant, who seems to have put the whole process together. The physical therapy staff who took special care of me with PT for the first few weeks after surgery. Chris, the physician assistant, answered all our questions with patience and grace. And of course, Dr. LaPrade and his special talents whom obviously excels at his craft and helped me to keep walking around, with the original knee equipment that I was born with intact.

Needless to state, I highly recommend Dr. LaPrade and staff at Twin Cities Orthopedics for your orthopedic needs.

August 13, 2022

Cat Y.

When living in Florida, I play tennis daily. I was “diving” for a drop shot from the base line and went down HARD on my left knee. Of course, I kept playing and didn’t realize I had hurt it so badly until I tried to hit a backhand, and the next morning, falling into the wall. I was DEVASTATED. As a retired lady, tennis is my life. It may sound ridiculous, but it is! I play here in MN and in Florida on “green clay” har-tru courts, and I like to play every day. I went to an emergency ortho in Florida and the MRI showed a full PCL tear. I started researching and found ONE surgeon in the country with expertise in PCL tears. After reading several of his published articles I saw a little note indicating he was moving to TCO a month after my injury! I was thrilled. I have been following Dr. LaPrade since then. Because he knew my only goal was to get back on the tennis court, after some meniscus repair, I was put into a brace that HE INVENTED specifically for the PCL tear. Four months later I was playing daily WITH the brace. Thank you Dr. LaPrade!

April 28, 2022

Thomas W.

TCO and Training HAUS has allowed me to return to a sport I thought I would never be able to play again, at a level I had never played at before. I am a forward on the University of Tulsa soccer team and recently got back to training with my team after two revision surgeries with Dr. LaPrade at TCO. The original injury occurred in 2019 when I collided with a goalie. I had three surgeries in Tulsa but none ended up being successful. Therefore, I traveled to Minnesota to work with TCO to attempt to get back on the field. The Training HAUS staff quickly became a second family for me and allowed me to push myself to a place I didn’t know was possible. The protocols and recovery process have been extremely smooth and I’ve returned to an elite level of health in a very short period of time for my injury. I have complete confidence in my knee and cannot wait to be back in a Tulsa jersey in the fall.

September 21, 2021

Kevin R.

After sustaining a knee injury while playing pick-up basketball in January 2020, I lucked out by ending up at TCO. Following a diagnosis of a tibial avulsion fracture, ACL tear, and medial and lateral meniscus root tears, I met with Dr. LaPrade and his team. I had so many questions and so much uncertainty going into my initial visit. But he and his team developed a plan for surgery and recovery, while giving me the confidence that I’d be able to return to desired physical activities, following recovery and rehabilitation of the muscle in my surgical leg.

Many times during my journey with TCO and Training HAUS I was asked, “what do you want to get back to doing athletically?” Having grown up playing baseball, basketball, and football, I haven’t found an athletic competition I did not enjoy. But my answer was always “to hike in the mountains with 100 pounds on my back.” I’m sure many thought that was an odd answer but I always had elk hunting on my mind and after knee surgery, I was most concerned with when I’d be able to return to doing that.

Fast forward to September 2021, I had the opportunity to elk hunt in the mountains of Colorado with a good friend of mine. I used this hunt as motivation to help stay committed to my ACE Program with Training HAUS. I came out of TCO/Training HAUS not only recovered from my injury but in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically. My friend and I found success in the elk woods and I was able to carry out my goal of hiking in the mountains with 100 pounds on my back.

Huge shout out and many thanks to a fabulous team of surgeons, PTs, athletic trainers, and other patients (some of which I consider my friends today) for making TCO feel like home for me and turning my knee injury into a positive experience for the 1.5 years I spent there. I look forward to many more elk hunts, backpacking trips, chasing my kids around and maybe even a few pick-up basketball games without hesitation that my knee will hold up.







September 9, 2020

Jim T.

My son was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, stationed in Honolulu, when he suffered a severe knee injury. He had 2 unsuccessful surgeries over 2 years in the Army and was eventually medically retired. My son was extremely active prior to his injury, but after the injury and surgeries, he was left unable to do the things he enjoyed. Just a casual walk was painful and difficult.

After some extensive research, we found Dr. LaPrade and TCO. We made the trip to Minnesota, had a successful surgery and one week’s worth of physical therapy, and then returned to South Carolina. Fast forward 8 weeks, and my son is walking pain free, once again optimistic about his future, looking forward to resuming an active life, and pursuing his post-military career.

The thank you list is extensive, and I’ll surely miss someone. Let’s just say it is most definitely a team effort, and Dr. LaPrade and his entire team were a God-send. Thank you for giving him back the quality of life he deserves.

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March 2, 2020

Margaret C.

Thanks for fixing my knee back in 2016! I finally got a photo showing that I’m back to springboard diving and am putting it in the mail to you.

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*Margaret was a patient of Dr. LaPrade.

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