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Tamara Scerpella, MD, is a UW Health orthopedic surgeon. She is also the Ballentine Endowed professor of orthopedic research and chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Scerpella specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopic reconstructive surgery on patients with knee and shoulder injuries. Her patients typically come in with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or meniscus tears, knee cartilage injuries or rotator cuff (shoulder) tears. She also cares for patients with exertional compartment syndrome.
Dr. Scerpella is one of only a handful of women to chair an orthopedics and rehabilitation department at an academic health center and she draws from her years of experience in the medical field to oversee and guide the educational, research and clinical missions of the nationally-recognized department faculty. She serves as team physician for the UW Badger Women’s Hockey and Softball teams. As a former collegiate gymnast who suffered an ACL tear herself, Dr. Scerpella has a deep understanding of the challenges of recovering from a sports-related injury.
An accomplished researcher, Dr. Scerpella leads an ongoing study evaluating the impact of youth physical activity on bone health over the lifespan. Now in its third decade, the study is one of the longest and most robust of its kind.
When away from work, Dr. Scerpella enjoys spending time with her family, which includes four children.
The most rewarding thing about taking care of patients is when we're all finished, and they're better, I get to see them back in the clinic or the office. We talk about what they’re back to doing and what they're going to be doing next. I often get a hug. I love it. I love getting people back to being active and healthy. And in many cases back to competitive sports.
Education & credentials
- Orthopedic Surgery
- University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA
Sports Medicine & Arthroscopic Surgery, Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, WI
- Orthopedic Sports Medicine
- Performing Arts Medicine - Musculoskeletal Disorders
Research & publications
Dr. Scerpella's research interests include bone mineral accrual during childhood, bone mineral density and tibial stress fractures/medial tibial stress syndrome, and functional outcome of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.