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Robert Brophy, MD
Associate Professor

VideoPhysician Profile Video

Clinical Specialty
Sports medicine, shoulder and knee surgery.

Clinical Interests
Sports medicine and shoulder and knee injuries, with an emphasis on arthroscopic surgery.  Shoulder instability and dislocations, labral tears, SLAP tears, rotator cuff tears, AC joint injuries and clavicle fractures. Shoulder stabilization and labral repair, rotator cuff repair. Knee ligament injuries including ACL, PCL tears and knee dislocations/multi-ligament knee injuries. Knee ligament reconstruction including ACL reconstruction, revision ACL reconstruction and PCL reconstruction.  Meniscus tears and treatment, including meniscectomy, meniscal repairs, and meniscal transplantation.  Knee cartilage injury and surgery, including microfracture, OATS, osteochondral allografts and ORIF OCD. Knee realignment including high tibial osteotomy (HTO). Treatment of patellofemoral instability, including MPFL reconstruction and tibial tubercle osteotomy.


As a former collegiate and professional athlete, Dr. Brophy understands what it takes to come back from injury.  An Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine, he is committed to patient care and research.  His clinical practice focuses on the treatment of shoulder and knee injuries and surgeries in patients from all sports and walks of life. 

Dr. Brophy was named to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2016.  He is committed to research as a means of improving patient care and outcomes, having authored or co-authored over 165 peer reviewed articles to date, and has received a number of research related distinctions.  He is a member of the Musculoskeletal Committee for the National Football League (NFL) Injury and Safety Panel and a team physician for the St. Louis Surge women’s basketball team and the Francis Howell high school football team, having also worked with the former St. Louis Rams (NFL), the St. Louis Blues (NHL), the St. Louis Athletica (WPS), and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL).

Dr. Brophy completed undergraduate degrees in Economics and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he played on the men’s soccer team, earning All Conference Honors during his senior season.  While completing a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at Stanford University, he played for two national championship teams in the United Soccer League (1992 and 1996).  He subsequently enrolled in medical school at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as a recipient of a Washington University School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Scholarship.  He received numerous academic awards during medical school, including Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society recognition, before entering orthopedic surgery residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY.  He stayed at the Hospital for Special Surgery for a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery, learning about team coverage as an assistant with the New York Giants (NFL) and New York Red Bulls (MLS). 

Upon graduation, he returned to the Washington University School of Medicine to join the division of sports medicine in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with a clinical focus on shoulder and knee injuries.  In the shoulder, he has a particular interest in the treatment of shoulder instability, labral tears and rotator cuff tears.  In the knee, he specializes in meniscus, articular cartilage and ligament injuries, including the ACL and PCL. 

Dr. Brophy has been named to the St. Louis Best Doctors since 2009 and has been selected for a number of traveling fellowships throughout his career.  In 2008, he was a traveling fellow with the International Cartilage Research Society, learning from renowned articular cartilage surgeons in various centers throughout Europe.  The next year, he was an American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)/American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) North American Traveling Fellow, touring leading academic orthopedic surgery centers in the United States and Canada.  He was selected as an American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)-European Society for Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy (ESSKA) Traveling Fellow in 2012 to visit expert sports medicine, arthroscopy, knee and shoulder surgeons in Spain, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.  In the spring of 2015, he was selected as an AOA American-British-Canadian (ABC) Traveling Fellow, touring prominent orthopedic surgery centers in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2010, he earned an Orthopaedic Research Society-Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Travel Award in Research Translation and a Young Investigator Travel Award to the AOSSM/NIH Post-Joint Injury Osteoarthritis Conference.   He was awarded an OREF Young Investigator Research Grant to study the metabolic activity of the meniscus as a potential marker for and predictor of osteoarthritis in 2011, and the 2013 AOSSM/Sanofi Biosurgery Osteoarthritis Grant for his study, “Molecular Profiling of Meniscus and Articular Cartilage in Knees With and Without Osteoarthritis to Identify Candidate Genes for Therapeutic Intervention”.  In 2011, he was awarded the AOSSM NCAA Research Award for a study looking at the effect of meniscal and ACL surgery on knee articular cartilage in football athletes.  In 2012, he was recognized with the Lee T. Ford Award for academic achievement from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the Washington University School of Medicine.  The NFL Physicians Society awarded him the Arthur C. Rettig Award, for academic excellence in research to advance the health and safety of NFL players, in 2015.  The same year he was awarded the AOSSM Cabaud Award for research studying the metabolic activity of meniscus and cartilage in knees.  He received an Excellence in Education award from the Washington University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2016.  In conjunction with his sports medicine partners, he participates in a number of multi-center research efforts including the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network (MOON) ACL study, MOON shoulder study, Multicenter ACL Revision Study (MARS), and Meniscal Tear With Osteoarthritis Research (MeTeOR) study, which have won a number of research awards for their collective work.

Dr. Brophy has been a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Sports Medicine and serves as a peer reviewer for a number of orthopedic surgery journals, including The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Bone and Joint Journal, and the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.  He currently serves, or has served, on committees for several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Orthopaedic Association and the Orthopaedic Research Society.



American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy Association of North America, NFL Physicians Society, International Cartilage Research Society, Orthopaedic Research Society, Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, Magellan Society, American Orthopaedic Association.


2009-present Best Doctors (St. Louis, MO)
2016 Excellence in Education
2015 AOSSM Cabaud Award
NFL Physicians Society Arthur C. Rettig Award for Academic Excellence
2015 AOA ABC Traveling Fellowship
2014  AOSSM O'Donoghue Award (co-author) 
2013 ASES Neer Award (co-author)
2012 Lee T. Ford Award for Academic Achievement
2012 AOSSM-ESSKA Traveling Fellowship
2011 AOSSM NCAA Research Award
2011 ASES Neer Award (co-author)
2010 Young Investigator Travel Award AOSSM/NIH Osteoarthritis Conf.
2010  ORS-OREF Travel Award in Orthopaedic Research Translation
2009 AAOS/AOA North American Traveling Fellowship
2008 International Cartilage Research Society Traveling Fellowship
2007 U.S. Bone & Joint Decade Young Investigator
2007 Eastern Orthopedic Association Ranawat Resident/Fellow Research Award
2006 Eastern Orthopedic Association Resident/Fellow Research Travel Award
2006  AAOS/OREF/ORS Clinician Scientist Development Program
2005 AOA-Zimmer Resident Leadership Forum
2004 Eastern Orthopedic Association Resident/Fellow Research Award
2001 Missouri State Medical Association Award
2000 AOA Honor Society, Dr. Richard S. Brookings Medical School Prize, Medical Center Alumni Scholarship Fund Prize, Southern Medical Association Student Scholarship
1997-2001 Washington University School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Scholarship

Practice Overview

As a former collegiate and professional athlete, Dr. Brophy understands what it takes to come back from injury.  His practice focuses on the treatment of shoulder and knee injuries and problems in patients from all walks of life.  He especially enjoys treating athletes from any sport, and has a particular interest in injury prevention and treatment for football and soccer players.  In the shoulder, specific areas of interest include shoulder instability, labral tears, SLAP tears, and rotator cuff tears, as well as clavicle and AC joint injuries.  He specializes in arthroscopic procedures, including shoulder stabilization, labral repairs, and rotator cuff repairs.  In the knee, areas of interest are ligament injuries (including ACL tears, PCL tears and knee dislocations), meniscus tears, cartilage injury and patella dislocations.  Common procedures include primary and revision ACL reconstruction, PCL reconstruction, partial meniscectomy, meniscal repair, meniscal transplantation, cartilage repair procedures such as microfracture, OATS, and osteochondral allografts and treatment of OCD, as well as treatment of patellofemoral instability with procedures such as MPFL reconstruction and tibial tubercle osteotomy. 

Hospital Affiliations

Washington University Orthopedics & Barnes-Jewish Hospital Outpatient Orthopedic Center
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Common Procedures

Shoulder and knee arthroscopy; Rotator cuff repair;  Shoulder stabilization; Shoulder labral repair; SLAP repair; AC joint reconstruction; ACL reconstruction; PCL reconstruction; meniscal repair; meniscus transplant; partial meniscectomy; microfracture; OATS/mosaicplasty; osteochondral allograft; HTO; patella stabilization; tibial tubercle osteotomy; MPFL reconstruction

Common Diagnoses

Rotator cuff tear, shoulder instability, shoulder dislocation, shoulder labral tear, SLAP tear, clavicle fracture, AC joint separation, adhesive capsulitis/frozen shoulder, ACL tear, PCL tear, knee dislocation, multi-ligament knee injury, meniscus tear, articular cartilage injury, chondral defect, OCD, patella dislocation, patellofemoral instability

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