James C. Dreese, MD| Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Sports Medicine | MedStar Health

James C. Dreese, MD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

4.7 out of 5 (712 reviews)

Specialities: Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Sports Medicine

Languages: English

About me

James Dreese, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship-trained in sports medicine. He is double-board certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Orthopedic Sports Medicine. He serves as associate director of Union Memorial Sports Medicine and as research director for the MedStar Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship. He was recently elected to serve as one of two delegates from the state of Maryland on the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Council of Delegates. He has served as editor-in-chief for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and has been appointed to numerous regional and national leadership committees in Orthopedic Sports Medicine. He is actively involved in sports medicine research, and has published numerous articles and book chapters. Dr. Dreese is an associate team physician for the Baltimore Ravens. He serves as one of two delegates from the state of Maryland to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. He has been named numerous times to U.S. News and World Report's Top Doctors for Sports Medicine and Castle Connolly's Top Doctor Baltimore Edition. In 2021, Baltimore magazine named him a Top Doctor in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine.

Dr. Dreese has clinical interest in conservative and surgical management of knee, shoulder, hamstring, and elbow injuries. His practice focuses on managing these injuries in athletes and the general population. His clinical practice uniquely focuses on non-joint replacement solutions for knee and shoulder injuries. He has extensive experience in managing complex ligamentous, meniscus, and cartilage injuries of the knee during the eight years he spent caring for Maryland Shock Trauma patients. He continues to frequently manage patients and athletes with complex knee injuries referred throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. As a result of the findings of his own and others' research, he adheres to strict principles of meniscal preservation rather than removal (meniscectomy) whenever feasible. For patients in whom meniscal preservation is not successful he offers extensive expertise in allograft meniscus transplantation. For more than 10 years Dr. Dreese has been performing a high volume of meniscus root repairs. This gives him unique ability and extensive expertise in the treatment of all types of meniscus injuries. Dr. Dreese has been invited as a guest lecturer at numerous state and regional meetings to speak about his extensive experience treating meniscus injuries. Dr. Dreese has extensive experience in managing ligamentous injuries of the knee, with expertise in determination of conservative vs surgical management. He performs high volumes of both bone-patellar tendon-bone and hamstring ACL reconstruction, promoting a joint discussion with patients and their families in deciding which option suits the individual patient.  He also is experienced in performing anterolateral ligament reconstruction of the knee when risk of re-injury following ACL reconstruction is increased.

Dr. Dreese's particular areas of interest in the shoulder include rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, SLAP tears, AC joint injuries, and biceps tendon injuries. In the knee, he focuses on ligament reconstruction (ACL, PCL, LCL/posterolateral corner), meniscus repair (meniscus root tears, bucket-handle tears, radial tears, etc.), cartilage restoration (fragmented juvenile cartilage transplantation and fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation) for localized arthritis, subchondral insufficiency fracture stabilization, patella instability surgery, patellofemoral pain syndrome, high tibial osteotomy, and nerve injuries around the knee. In particular, he focuses on operations to preserve the meniscus via repair in an effort to limit the risk of developing arthritis and the need for meniscus transplantation or joint replacement surgery. He has extensive experience in treating proximal hamstring injuries, specializing in conservative and surgical treatment for patients throughout the region.

Professional Appointments

  • Member, NFL Physicians Society, 2014-present
  • Co-Director, MedStar Orthopedic Sports Medicine fellowship 2021-current
  • Associate Director, Union Memorial Sports Medicine, 2013-present
  • Director of Research, MedStar Sports Medicine Fellowship, 2014-present
  • Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine, Shoulder and Elbow, 2005-2013
  • Council of Delegates, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, 2015-2018, 2021-present
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Sports Medicine Fellowship Subcommittee, 2021-present
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Annual Meeting Instructional Course Committee, Sports Medicine, 2014-present
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Sports/Arthroscopy Annual Meeting Program Subcommittee, 2010-2013
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Evaluation Committee, 2006-2012, Group Leader 2011
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Orthopaedic Self-Assessment Committee (OSAE), 2006-2010, Chief of Sports subcommittee, 2010
  • Editor-in-Chief, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Sports Medicine Self-Interest Exam (OSIE), 2013 examination
  • Reviewer, American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2020-present.
  • Reviewer, Current Orthopaedic Practice, 2012-present

Clinical areas of focus

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Cartilage Injury
  • Elbow Injury
  • Elbow Pain
  • Knee Injury
  • Knee Pain
  • Meniscus Injury
  • Rotator Cuff Disorders
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Acromioclavicular Fracture
  • Acromioclavicular Joint Separation
  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Apophysitis
  • Arm Fracture
  • Arm Injury
  • Arm Pain
  • Articular Cartilage Microfracture
  • Bicep Injury
  • Bicep Pain
  • Bicep Tear
  • Biceps Tendonitis
  • Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear
  • Bursitis
  • Bursitis Of The Shoulder
  • Calcific Tendonitis
  • Calf Muscle Injury
  • Cartilage Injury
  • Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome
  • Chronic Muscle Injury
  • Clavicle Fracture
  • Deconditioned Knee
  • Dislocated Patella
  • Distal Biceps Tendon Problem
  • Distal Clavicular Osteolysis
  • Elbow Injury
  • Elbow Pain
  • Elbow Sprain
  • Epicondylitis
  • Exertional Leg Pain
  • Fracture
  • Gastrocnemius Injury
  • Hamstring Injury
  • Hamstring Tear
  • Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
  • Joint Dislocation
  • Joint Sprain
  • Jumper's Knee
  • Juvenile Osteochondrosis
  • Knee Clunk Syndrome
  • Knee Contracture
  • Knee Dislocation
  • Knee Effusion
  • Knee Fracture
  • Knee Growth Plate Fracture
  • Knee Growth Plate Injury
  • Knee Injury
  • Knee Instability
  • Knee Ligament Tear
  • Knee Pain
  • Knee Pain For Patients Aged Younger Than 60
  • Knee Sprain
  • Knee Strain
  • Knee Tendon Injury
  • Knee Tendonitis
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament Tear
  • Leg Fracture
  • Leg Injury
  • Leg Pain
  • Ligament Injury
  • Ligament Tear
  • Locking Knee
  • Loose Body In The Knee
  • Malunion Fracture Of The Knee
  • Medial Collateral Ligament Injury Of The Knee
  • Meniscal Tear, Age Greater Than 50
  • Meniscal Tear, Age Less Than 50
  • Meniscus Injury
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Multiple Ligament Knee Injury
  • Non Displaced Fracture
  • Nonunion Fracture
  • Nonunion Fracture Of The Knee
  • Nonunion Fracture Of The Shoulder
  • Osgood Schlatter Disease
  • Osteochondral Defect
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) Of The Knee
  • Overuse Injury
  • Patella Dislocation
  • Patella Injury
  • Patella Tendon Tear
  • Patellar Instability
  • Patellar Tendon Rupture
  • Patellofemoral Arthritis
  • Patellofemoral Injury
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Pectoral Muscle Injury
  • Pectoralis Major Tendon Injury
  • Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear
  • Pectoralis Muscle Tear
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tear
  • Posterolateral Corner Injury
  • Proximal Humerus Fractures
  • Quadricep Injury
  • Quadriceps Femoris Muscle Tear
  • Rotator Cuff Disorders
  • Rotator Cuff Impingement
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Running Injury
  • Scapular Dyskinesis
  • Separated Shoulder
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Shoulder Fracture
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Shoulder Injury
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Shoulder Labral Tear
  • Shoulder Osteoarthritis
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Shoulder Strain
  • Shoulder Tendonitis
  • Slap Tear
  • Soft Tissue Injury
  • Sports Related Clavicle Injury
  • Sports Related Injury
  • Sports Related Knee Injury
  • Sports Related Lower Extremity Injury
  • Sports Related Patella Injury
  • Sports Related Scapula Injury
  • Sports Related Shoulder Injury
  • Sternal Clavicular Joint Dislocation
  • Subchondral Bone Cyst Sbc Knee
  • Synovial Chondromatosis
  • Tendon Injury
  • Throwing Injury
  • Tibial Spine Fracture
  • Tricep Injury
  • Triceps Tendon Tear
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Procedures I perform

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair
  • Arthroscopic Meniscal Transplant
  • Arthroscopy Of Knee
  • Arthroscopy Of Shoulder
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation
  • Biceps Tendon Repair
  • Cartilage Transplant
  • Cortisone Injection
  • Damaged Knee Cartilage Removal
  • Exertional Compartment Release
  • Hamstring Repair
  • Hyaluronic Acid Injection
  • Joint Aspiration
  • Joint Injection
  • Knee Injection
  • Knee Ligament Advancement
  • Knee Microfracture Surgery
  • Knee Realignment
  • Knee Stabilization
  • Knee Steroid Injection
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament Repair
  • Medial Collateral Ligament Repair
  • Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction
  • Meniscectomy
  • Meniscus Tear Repair (ARTHROSCOPIC)
  • Multiple Ligament Reconstruction
  • Non Surgical Arthritis Treatment
  • Non Surgical Fracture Care
  • Non Surgical Treatment Of Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Orthopedic Stem Cell Injection
  • Orthopedic Stem Cell Injection In The Knee
  • Orthopedic Stem Cell Injection In The Shoulder
  • Osteochondral Allograft
  • Osteochondral Autograft
  • Pectoralis Major Tendon Tear Repair
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Of The Knee
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Of The Shoulder
  • Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP) Of The Elbow
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Repair
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Shoulder Labral Tear Repair
  • Shoulder Stabilization
  • Stem Cell Injection
  • Stem Cell Treatment For Joint Disease
  • Tendon Repair Surgery
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament Repair
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Practice locations

Distance from Change LocationEnter your Location

9501 Old Annapolis Road
Suite 220
Ellicott City, MD, 21042


Fax 410-261-2726

Get Directions

miles away

Fax 410-261-2726

2118 Greenspring Drive
Suite 210
Timonium, MD, 21093


Fax 410-560-3485

Get Directions

miles away

Fax 410-560-3485


MedStar Medical Group accepts most major health insurance plans. If you are uncertain as to whether your individual health insurance plan is accepted at MedStar Medical Group, please call your insurance company.

  • List of insurance plans we accept
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund) Innovation Health: Network Only Plus
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
    • Aetna USAccess (POS)
    • Aetna Student Health Insurance
    • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
    • CFBCBS BlueChoice HMO
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
    • CFBCBS Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)
    • CFBCBS Federal Employee Program (Std. & Basic PPO)
    • CFBCBS Maryland Indemnity or PPO
    • CFBCBS (NCA) Indemnity
    • CIGNA HMO & Network (HMO)
    • CIGNA POS/Network POS
    • Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA
    • CIGNA Indemnity
    • Coventry Health Care of Virginia
    • Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
    • First Health PPO
    • Tricare Prime
    • Tricare Standard
    • Tricare Extra (Indemnity)
    • Tricare for Life (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
    • MedStar Select (MedStar Associates' Plan)
    • MedStar Medicare Choice
    • United Healthcare Select HMO - EPO/NPP
    • United Healthcare Select Plus (POS)
    • United Healthcare Choice Plus
    • United Student Resources
    • M.D. IPA (HMO)
    • M.D. IPA Preferred (POS)
    • Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
    • Mamsi Life & Health (Indem./PPO)
    • Aetna Worker's Compensation Network
    • Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
    • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
    • United Healthcare Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO, GEHA, Compass Rose)
    • OneNet PPO, Inc.
    • United Healthcare Choice
    • United Healthcare Core Essential (HMO)
    • Optimum Choice
    • United Healthcare Navigate
    • United Healthcare Compass (HMO)
    • CIGNA HMO Open Access (OA)
    • Network OA
    • POS OA & OA Plus
    • PPO and PPO Plus
    • Choice Fund PPO
    • CFBSBC Blue Preferred PPO
    • HealthyBlue PPO
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Open Access
    • BlueChoice Open Access
    • Blue Choice Advantage & Healthy Blue (HMO, POS)
    • Aetna Traditional Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: Indemnity
    • Aetna Open Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice (POS)
    • Innovation Health: POS Plus
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ Open Access (POS)
    • Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
    • Aetna HMO-Open Access/Select OA/HealthFund/Health Network Option OA
    • Innovation Health: POS
    • Open HMO
    • Opoen HMO Option
    • Open EPO Plus
    • Aetna Managed Choice Open Access (POS)
    • Choice POS & Choice POS II
    • Innovation Health: Open POS Plus
    • Open POS II
    • Aetna HMO
    • Select HMO/HealthFund/Health Network
    • Aetna Innovations: HMO & EPO Plus



Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery

Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine

Fellowship Program: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2003)

Residency Program: Hospital for Special Surgery (2002)

Internship Program: Univ of North Carolina Hospital (1998)

Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College Of Medicine (1997)


  • Baltimore magazine Top Doctor, 2021 U.S. News and World Report's Top Doctors for Sports Medicine Castle Connolly's Top Doctor, Baltimore Edition Alumnus Lessons Learned Case Report Award, Hospital for Special Surgery, 2019 John J Joyce Award, 2nd Place. ISAKOS Congress 2015, Lyon, France. Evaluation of Risk to the Suprascapular Nerve During Arthroscopic SLAP Repair: Is a Posterior Portal Safer? Mark Sando, MD, USA Jason Alan Grieshober, MD, USA Hyunchul Kim, MS, USA R. Frank Henn, MD, USA James Dreese, MD USA.

Hospital affiliations

News and publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Simhal RK, Bovich M, Bahrun Ea, Dreese JC.  Postoperative Rehabilitation of Posterior Cruciate Ligament Surgery:  A Systematic Review.  Sports Med Arthrosc Rev.  2021 Jun 1;29(2):81-87.  PMID: 33972484

  • Sando M, Grieshober JA, Kim H, , Dreese JC, Henn RF.  Evaluation of risk to the Suprascapular Nerve During Arthroscopic SLAP Repair: Is a Posterior Portal Safer? Arthroscopy 2017;17(3):1043-5. PMID: 28935431

  • Morgan RT, Henn RF, Paryavi E, Dreese J. Injury to the suprascapular nerve during superior labrum anterior and posterior repair: is a rotator interval portal safer than an anterosuperior portal? Arthroscopy 2014; 30(11):1418-23. PMID: 25125380.

  • Becker EH, Watson JD, Dreese JC. Investigation of Multiligamentous Knee Injury Patterns with Associated Injuries Presenting at a Level I Trauma Center. J Orthop Trauma. 2013 Apr; 27(4):226-231. PMID: 22955332

  • Gillis RC, Donaldson CT, Kim H, Love JM, Dreese JC. Arthroscopic suture anchor capsulorrhaphy versus labral-based suture capsulorrhaphy in a cadaveric model. Arthroscopy. 2012 Nov;28(11):1615-21. PMID:22943847

  • Williams RJ, Dreese JC, and Chen CT. “Chondrocyte Survival and Material Properties in Hypothermically Stored Cartilage: An Evaluation of Tissue Used for Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation.” The American Journal of Sports Medicine 2004;32(1):132-139. PMID:14754736

  • Gardner MJ, Flik KR, Dreese JC, Athanasian EA, and Lyden JP. Atraumatic Compartment Syndrome of the Dorsal Compartment of the Upper Arm. Am J Orthop 2006;35(12):581. PMID:17243410

Non-Peer Reviewed Research Publications:

  • Dietz A and Dreese J. Anterior shoulder instability in the overhead athlete: current concepts. Curr Opin Orthop Res 2007; 18(2): 172-176.

  • Donaldson CT and Dreese JC. Hamstring and quadriceps injuries. Curr Opin Orthop Res 2006;17:145-148.

  • O'Brien MJ and Dreese JC. Thoracic outlet syndrome. Curr Opin Orthop Res 2006;17(4):331-334.

  • Dreese JC and D'Alessandro DF. "Posterior Capsulorrhaphy Through an Infraspinatus Split for Posterior Instability." Tech in Should and Elbow Surg 2005;6(4):199-207.

  • James Dreese, MD and Bryan C. Matson, ATC, M.Ed.. Shoulder Multidirectional Instability in Swimmers. The ACC.com. December, 2005.

Book Chapters:

  • Sayde WM, Dreese JC. Compression aperture fixation of soft tissue anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions. In: Prodromos C, editor. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament: Reconstruction and Basic Science. 2nd ed. Philadelphia Pa: Elsevier; 2018

  • Hinton RY, Levine RG, Dreese JC. Patellar instability. In: Insall JN, Scott WN, editors. Insall and Scott Surgery of the Knee. 6th Ed, ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone; 2018.

  • Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior Repair. Dreese J and Casagrande D. Atlas of Essential Orthopaedic Procedures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2013.

  • Posterior Shoulder Instability Repair. James C. Dreese and James P. Bradley. Chapter 5, Surgical Techniques in Sports Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007.

Invited Grand Rounds/Regional and National Presentations

  • Lead Host, AOSSM International Traveling Fellows Program, ESSKA International Traveling Fellows Program, Baltimore, MD 2015

  • Lead Host, AOSSM International Traveling Fellows Program, APOSSM and SLARD Traveling Fellows, Baltimore, MD 2012

  • Moderator, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy III Podium Session, Las Vegas, NV. March 2015

  • Moderator, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy Podium Session, Chicago, IL. March 2013.

  • Moderator, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy Podium Session, San Francisco, CA. February 2012.

  • Moderator, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy scientific paper session, February 2011.

  • Moderator, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV. Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy scientific paper session, March 2010.

  • Course Faculty, "AAOS/AOSSM Fundamentals of Knee and Shoulder Arthroscopy for Orthopaedic Residents." Rosemont, IL. September 14-16, 2012.

  • Course Faculty, "AAOS/AOSSM Fundaments of Knee and Shoulder Arthroscopy for Orthopaedic Residents." Rosemont, IL. October 4-5, 2013.

  • AAOS Critical Evaluator, AAOS Annual Meeting, 2010-2013.

  • Emerging Concepts in Sports Medicine: New techniques for the evaluation and treatment of sports related hip & knee injuries. Meniscus Root Tears and Proximal Hamstring Injuries. MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. March 21, 2015.

Ratings and reviews

  • Provider explained things understandably

  • Provider listened carefully

  • Provider knew medical history

  • Provider showed respect

  • Provider spent enough time with patient

  • Jun 6, 2022

    Dr. Dreese has been outstanding from the beginning. I would gladly utilize him once again, and also recommend him to others.

  • Jun 3, 2022

    Dr. Dreese was nice enough but the visit in general felt rushed. Even though the appointment was with Dr. Dreese, I spent the bulk of the time with another doctor who discussed things with me (albeit carefully and patiently). Then Dr. Dreese came straight from a patient in the adjacent room, and somewhat turboed through the visit/consult with me, and then more or less ran out the door to the next patient. Again, he was a nice guy, tried to convey his thoughts on the situation with my knee(s) clearly, and I left feeling like I learned something valuable. But the experience had a bit of an assembly line feel to it. It's possible that was in part because I said I was looking for a second opinion (rather than framing the situation as me being there as a potential longer term patient, although that could've become the case). In any event, it was fine. For what it's worth, all of the above aside, I did leave thinking "If I need surgery in the future, this no nonsense doc would be worth considering."

  • Jun 3, 2022