Eric C. McCarty, MD
Chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery
Department of Orthopaedics
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Dr. Eric McCarty is a nationally and internationally recognized sports medicine trained orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist. He serves as the Chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery and is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He also is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Additionally, Dr. McCarty serves as the head team physician for the University of Colorado athletic teams and the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club. His practice is located in the athletic community of Boulder, Colorado and also in the active city of Denver. He is highly sought after when competitive or recreational athletes of all ages incur an injury as he is known for his meticulous care in guiding them back to their desired activity through both his operative expertise and his non-operative skills.
Dr. McCarty grew up in Boulder, Colorado within a stone’s throw of the University of Colorado. His upbringing was centered on athletics and mountain activities as his father was a prominent dentist and well-regarded mountaineer who co-authored the first rock climbing guidebook in Boulder and his mother was an avid fitness instructor. Early on he became interested in sports medicine and knew the path he was meant to follow. His passion for treating the active individual stems from his experience at the University of Colorado where he excelled and received numerous honors for his exploits in the classroom as well as on the football field where he was a first-team all-conference linebacker in the prominent Big-Eight Conference. He was also named to the Academic All-American team his senior year. He subsequently signed with the Houston Oilers and after being released he played football for the Bergamo Lions in the Italian Football League.
Dr. McCarty attended medical school at the University of Colorado. After graduation he completed his training in orthopaedic surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. From there he completed an intensive year of fellowship training in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the internationally renowned Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He also honed in his skills as a team physician working with the New York Giants Football team under the guidance of Dr. Russ Warren and Dr. Steve O’Brien and Ronnie Barnes. He subsequently returned to Vanderbilt as a faculty member in the department of orthopedics as he joined Dr. Kurt Spindler. While at Vanderbilt, Dr. McCarty helped Dr. Spindler in his efforts in the formation of MOON (Multicenter Orthopedics Outcomes Network) and was a founding member. Dr. McCarty continues to be active in several multicenter outcomes research efforts including MOON knee, MOON shoulder and the MARS (multicenter ACL study) group.
In 2003, Dr. McCarty was recruited back to Colorado from Vanderbilt University to take over the sports medicine and shoulder program in the department of orthopedics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and to serve as the head team physician for the University of Colorado and University of Denver athletic programs. In recent years he has also been the medical director and head team physician for the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club.
Dr. McCarty’s specialized practice involves the care of these collegiate and professional athletes as well as recreational and highly competitive athletes from the community and the rocky mountain area. In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. McCarty is very active in research, teaching, and writing in the field of sports medicine and knee and shoulder surgery. He has over 275 publications in the field of Sports Medicine. He has received competitive grants for his research and frequently gives talks at both the national and international level. He has been the recipient of numerous national research awards including the AOSSM Cabaud Award, AOSSM Herodicus Award, AOSSM O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award, AOSSM Douglas Brown Award and AOSSM Aircast Award as well as the ASES Neer Award on two occasions. Additionally, he received the prestigious Kappa Delta Award from the AAOS in 2012 and 2019.
Dr. McCarty has been the course chairman of numerous sports medicine courses. He is also annually recognized and voted by physicians in the Denver and Boulder area as one of 5280 Magazine’s “Top Docs” for his expertise in the specialty of sports medicine. He is also very active in national and international sports medicine and arthroscopic societies including AOSSM, ISAKOS, AANA and ASES with various positions of leadership in those societies. In 2004, he was selected as a traveling fellow for the AOSSM/ESSKA traveling fellowship to Europe. He is a proponent of international sports medicine collaboration and has been the chair of the Traveling Fellowship committee for AOSSM. He currently serves as the Treasurer on the board of directors for the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM).
Dr. McCarty is extremely dedicated to his faith and every year organizes a well-attended prayer breakfast during the annual AOSSM meeting. Since his playing days, Dr. McCarty continues to maintain a very active lifestyle with his family. He lives in Boulder with his wife Miriam and four children Madeleine, Cleveland, Shannon, and Torrance. He enjoys the activities he grew up with in Colorado including hiking, cycling, climbing and skiing. This carries over into his unbridled dedication of returning his patients to their desired activity/sport. His passion for his work as a team physician, surgeon, educator and researcher is quite evident in his enthusiasm for what he does. He feels very fortunate and blessed to be in such a wonderful profession.
Selected Published Work
Hettrich CM, Magnuson JA, Baumgarten KM, Brophy RH, Kattan M; MOON Shoulder Group; Bishop JY, Bollier MJ, Bravman JT, Cvetanovich GL, Dunn WR, Feeley BT, Frank RM, Kuhn JE, Lansdown DA, Benjamin Ma C, Marx RG, McCarty EC, Neviaser AS, Ortiz SF, Seidl AJ, Smith MV, Wright RW, Zhang AL, Cronin KJ, Wolf BR. Predictors of Bone Loss in Anterior Glenohumeral Instability. Am J Sports Med. 2023 Apr;51(5):1286-1294
Potyk AG, Belk JW, Bravman JT, Seidl AJ, Frank RM, McCarty EC. Immobilization in External Rotation Versus Arthroscopic Stabilization After Primary Anterior Shoulder Dislocation: A Systematic Review of Level 1 and 2 Studies. Am J Sports Med. 2023 Mar 3:3635465231155199. doi: 10.1177/03635465231155199
Belk JW, Wharton BR, Houck DA, Bravman JT, Kraeutler MJ, Mayer B, Noonan TJ, Seidl AJ, Frank RM, McCarty EC. Shoulder Stabilization Versus Immobilization for First-Time Anterior Shoulder Dislocation: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Level 1 Randomized Controlled Trials. Am J Sports Med. 2023;51(6):1634-1643.
Salem HS, Park DH, Thon SG, Bravman JT, Seidl AJ, McCarty EC, Frank RM. Return to Golf After Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review. Am J Sports Med. 2021;49(4):1109-1115.
Belk JW, Kraeutler MJ, Houck DA, Goodrich JA, Dragoo JL, McCarty EC. Platelet-Rich Plasma Versus Hyaluronic Acid for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am J Sports Med. 2021;49(1):249-260.
Frantz TL, Everhart JS, Cvetanovich GL, Neviaser A, Jones GL, Hettrich CM, Wolf BR; MOON Shoulder Group; Baumgarten KM, Bollier MJ, Bravman JT, Kuhn JE, Ma CB, Marx RG, McCarty EC, Ortiz SF, Zhang AL, Bishop JY. Are Patients Who Undergo the Latarjet Procedure Ready to Return to Play at 6 Months? A Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network (MOON) Shoulder Group Cohort Study. Am J Sports Med. 2020;48(4):923-930.
Robins RJ, Daruwalla JH, Gamradt SC, McCarty EC, Dragoo JL, Hancock RE, Guy JA, Cotsonis GA, Xerogeanes JW; ASP Collaborative Group; Tuman JM, Tibone JE, Javernick MA, Yochem EM, Boden SA, Pilato A, Miley JH, Greis PE. Return to Play After Shoulder Instability Surgery in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Intercollegiate Football Athletes. Am J Sports Med. 2017;45(10):2329-2335.
McCarty EC, Fader RR, Mitchell JJ, Glenn RE Jr, Potter HG, Spindler KP. Fresh Osteochondral Allograft Versus Autograft: Twelve-Month Results in Isolated Canine Knee Defects. Am J Sports Med. 2016;44(9):2354-2365.
Schrock JB, Kraeutler MJ, McCarty EC. Trends in Authorship Characteristics in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 1994 to 2014. Am J Sports Med. 2016;44(7):1857-1860.
McCarty EC, Marx RG, Maerz D, Altchek D, Warren RF. Sports participation after shoulder replacement surgery. Am J Sports Med. 2008;36(8):1577-1581.