Marc R. Safran, MD
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Chief, Division of Sports Medicine
Redwood City, California
Dr. Marc Safran is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of Sports Medicine at Stanford University in the School of Medicine. He is the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Director at Stanford as well. Dr. Safran graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley, with an independent major in the department of Anatomy and Physiology. He then graduated from Duke Medical School in Durham, NC, where he did muscle injury research with William Garrett. His internship and orthopaedic training were completed at UCLA, under Harlan Amstutz, during which he also completed a 1-year NIH-sponsored research fellowship under Drs. Amstutz, Eckardt and Meals. After his orthopaedic residency, Dr. Safran traveled cross county to the University of Pittsburgh for his Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery fellowship under the guidance of Drs. Freddie Fu, Christopher Harner and Jon JP Warner, as well as Savio Woo.
Following his fellowship, Dr. Safran moved to San Diego to join a private practice group as their sports medicine specialist, while having a clinical appointment at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and participating in the education of the orthopaedic sports medicine fellows at the San Diego Kaiser fellowship, that was under the direction of Dale Daniel (and subsequently, Ray Sachs and Don Fithian). He was a team physician for a local high school and started his 14-year run as tournament medical director for the WTA tournament in San Diego. Dr. Safran then moved up the coast and joined Kaiser Permanente in Orange County, where he practiced for 5 years, and helped start the Kaiser rotation for the UC Irvine (UCI) Orthopaedic Residents and was a clinical associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and a team physician for UCI and consultant for many local high schools and colleges. While in Orange County, he collaborated with Thay Lee in several orthopaedic biomechanics research projects. He then opted to go to academics full time, and joined the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery Service. While at UCSF, he worked as a Team Physician for UC Berkeley athletics (men’s basketball and baseball), and started the PLAYSAFE program, an outreach program caring for all of the San Francisco public schools. After 7 years at UCSF, Dr. Safran moved down the peninsula to Stanford University in 2007, where he a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine.
Dr. Safran is board certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and subspecialty certified in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (and actually participated for several years in writing the questions for the subspecialty examination). He has been an editorial board member for the American Journal of Sports Medicine for 15 years, as well as a reviewer and editorial board member of several other journals.
Dr. Safran’s clinical responsibilities include acting as team physician for many of Stanford’s Division 1 athletes, including being head team physician for Men’s Basketball, Women’s Tennis, and team physician for the Football and Baseball teams. He is the chief orthopaedic consultant for the Women’s Tennis Association (professional women’s tennis tour), consultant for the NHL Players’ Association and National Basketball Players’ Association, and The Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He has served as the physician for 3 Davis Cup Ties and professional and junior tennis events, as well as a team physician for many high schools, colleges / universities, including starting the High School Outreach program in San Francisco – PLAY SAFE.
He has been the program chair of many society meetings including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS – 2018), and the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy (2011 – 2014) as well as 2 AOSSM-ISAKOS Hip Arthroscopy courses at the Orthopaedic Learning Center. Dr. Safran has been the president of ISAKOS (International Society for Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, ISHA (International Society for Hip Arthroscopy, STMS (Society for Tennis Medicine and Science), and the Northern California Chapter of the Western Orthopaedic Association (NCWOA). Dr. Safran has also served on the board and/or executive committees of AOSSM (American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine), ASES (American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons), ISAKOS, ISHA, STMS, and NCWOA. Dr. Safran has served on many committees for the AOSSM, including Council of Delegates (including being Chair), Traveling Fellowship committee (including chair), Research Committee, Education Committee, Fellowship Committee, Hall of Fame Committee, Nominating Committee (3 times) and the Health Policy and Ethics Committee.
Currently, Dr. Safran has published over 210 papers (22 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine), 140 book chapters, guest edited 12 journal editions (including a supplement on hip arthroscopy for the AJSM in 2011 with Dr. Mark Hutchinson), and 10 books. He has given nearly 1,300 presentations (over 300 international, 540 national, 70 regional and 360 local presentations). His most recent research focus in hip arthroscopy biomechanics and clinical outcomes, though he still does some research in knee ACL, elbow UCL and shoulder problems in athletes.
He is fortunate to have been able to do all the above with the loving support of his wife, Lee, and their 3 children – Janna, Nathan and Clark. He is passionate about sports medicine, the care of active individuals, the AOSSM and AJSM, and its mission to disseminate the most important sports medicine related information to practitioners to help take better care of our patients.
Selected Published Work
Johanssen AM, Behn AW, Shibata K, Ejnisman L, Thio T, Safran MR: The Role of Anterior Capsular Laxity in Hip Microinstability: A Novel Biomechanical Model. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 47(5): 1151 – 1158, 2019. Doi: 10.1177/0363546519827955.
Safran MR: Micro-Instability of the Hip – Gaining Acceptance. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEONS, 27: 12 – 22, 2019 Nov 20. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-17-00664.
Herickhoff P, Safran MR: Surgical Decision Making for Acetabular Labral Tears: An International Perspective. ORTHOPAEDIC JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE 6(9): 2325967118797324. Doi: 10.1177/2325967118797324, 2018.
Packer JD, Cowan J, Rebolledo B, Shibata K, Riley GM, Finlay A, Safran MR: The Cliff Sign: A New Radiographic Sign of Hip Instability. ORTHOPAEDIC JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 2018 Nov 12;6(11):2325967118807176. doi: 10.1177/2325967118807176
Hoppe D, Truntzer J, Shapiro L, Abrams G, Safran MR: Diagnostic Accuracy of 3 Physical Examination Tests in the Assessment of Hip Microinstability. ORTHOPAEDIC JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 5(11), 2325967117740121 DOI: 10.1177/2325967117740121, 2017
Shibata K, Matsuda S, Safran MR: Arthroscopic Hip Surgery in the Elite Athlete: Comparison of Female and Male Competitive Athletes. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE. 45(8): 1730 – 1739, 2017. Doi: 10.1177/0363546517697296, 2017