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The Top 5 Shoulder Surgeons in Dallas

Finding out that you need surgery is stressful, but this list by Top-Rated Dallas will bring you ease.
By Top-Rated Dallas |

Picture this: it’s just been confirmed that the pain in your shoulder, that loss of strength or mobility that you’re feeling, is not going to resolve itself without intervention. Finding out that you need surgery is intimidating and stressful. This article can help you feel confident in making an important decision about your medical care.

Here are our top five picks for shoulder surgeons in Dallas:

1. Our Top Pick – Kevin Kruse, M.D.


  • As a former football player, Dr. Kruse is familiar with being on the receiving end of orthopedic care. He suffered many injuries during his football career, including two shoulder surgeries. This gives him a unique understanding of how to treat his patients with care and thoughtfulness
  • Dr. Kruse has a YouTube channel with explanations of the process, explanation of medical terms, after-care, as well as many patient testimonials to help answer your questions and ease your worries
  • Dr. Kruse specializes in shoulders and performs a high volume of these procedures (averages of over 250 rotator cuff repairs and 150 shoulder arthroplasties per year), which has allowed him to maximize positive outcomes and minimize complications
    • Performs in the top 1% of surgeons for shoulder arthroplasties per patient-reported outcomes

About the Doctor

Dr. Kruse is a shoulder specialist with extensive qualifications. He completed his undergraduate and Medical degrees at Indiana University, where he was the linebacker for the Hoosiers. He completed his residency training at Greenville Health System Medical Center in Greenville, SC. Then, he completed his fellowship in the subspecialty of hand and upper extremities at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, followed by another fellowship in Lyons, France at the Centre Orthopedique Santy where he worked under Gilles Walch, a world-renowned shoulder surgeon. Dr. Kruse values research and education, evidenced by his many peer-reviewed publications on hand and shoulder surgeries, and regular presentations at medical seminars.

Visit Dr. Kruse’s Website

2. Runner Up- Todd C. Moen, MD


  • Dr. Moen was a Varsity letter winner as an oarsman on the Yale Heavyweight Crew, giving him insight into the unique needs of athletes with sports injuries
  • Dr. Moen has created patient information videos, where he provides information and explanations about some of the surgical procedures he performs as well as treatment options, symptoms, and relevant anatomy
  • Dr. Moen specializes in shoulder reconstruction and revision, shoulder arthroscopy, shoulder sports injuries, shoulder fractures, shoulder replacement, and shoulder surgery

About the Doctor

Dr. Moen completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University, where he was a varsity letter winner as an oarsman on the Yale Heavyweight Crew. He went on to receive his medical degree from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Moen completed both his surgical internship and residency in orthopedics at Northwestern University and was appointed chief resident during his final year of residency. Next, he was awarded the Charles S. Neer fellowship in shoulder and elbow surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, where he trained on the shoulder service under Dr. Louis Bigliani, Dr. William Levine, and Dr. Christopher Ahmad. Dr. Moen has published multiple scientific articles on various orthopedic topics, has presented his research nationally, and has authored numerous textbook chapters and review articles regarding surgical care of the shoulder. Currently, he is a reviewer for the American Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and for the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. Dr. Moen is a member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. Throughout his academic and professional career, he has assisted in the medical care of athletes from the Chicago Cubs, Columbia University, Chicago Public Schools, and North Bergen, NJ High School. Dr. Moen specializes in the shoulder with a focus on arthroscopic, replacement, and reconstructive treatment of the shoulders.

Visit Dr. Moen’s Website

3. Runner Up – Wayne Z. Burkhead, Jr., MD


  • Dr. Burkhead forms wonderful and lasting relationships with his patients and prides himself on working with multiple generations of family members
  • Dr. Burkhead has trained 38 shoulder surgeons in the last 23 years
  • Dr. Burkhead specializes in shoulder fractures, shoulder replacements, sports injuries to the shoulder, and shoulder surgery. He has performed thousands of surgeries on the shoulder
  • Created the modular replacement for the shoulder and developed advanced techniques to improve the results from rotator cuff repair and surgery for the dislocated shoulder

About the Doctor

Dr. Burkhead is a Dallas shoulder surgeon with a long history of qualifications and accomplishments. He received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University and his Medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston. Then, he completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. After that, he completed his fellowship in shoulder reconstructive surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center under Charles A. Rockwood Jr., MD, one of the top shoulder surgeons in the world. Dr. Burkhead is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and is a member and past president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. Dr. Burkhead writes articles and textbooks on the rotator cuff and shoulder dislocations and has lectured at national and international conferences. He served as the Consultant Shoulder Surgeon to the Dallas Cowboys from 1990-1998 and is currently a Clinical Professor of Orthopedics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Finally, Dr. Burkhead is the lead singer and founder of the all-doctor classic rock band, Doctor.

Visit Dr. Burkhead’s Website

4. Runner Up- Daniel A. Worrel, MD


  • Dr. Worrel played varsity soccer at Southern Methodist University, until orthopedic injuries prevented him from playing any longer. Because of these injuries, he is passionate about helping athletes of all levels and he has an understanding of the care his patients require
  • Dr. Worrel specializes in arthroscopic surgery, sports injuries, and elbow, shoulder, knee, and upper extremity trauma
  • Dr. Worrel performs arthroscopic surgery, reconstructive (ligament reconstruction and instability) surgery, and arthroplasty. He also treats sports injuries and fractures of the upper extremities

About the Doctor

Dr. Worrel is an elbow and shoulder surgeon in Dallas with an impressive academic record. He completed his undergraduate degree at Southern Methodist University, where he played varsity soccer. Next, he completed his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwest Medical School. Before completing his residency, he completed an internship in General Surgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. After his internship, Dr. Worrel completed his residency at the University of Florida, during which he contributed to the care of the Florida Gators. During his residency, he was Academic and Chief Resident of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. Following his residency, he completed two traveling fellowships. First, he completed a traveling fellowship in elbow surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN with Dr. Bernard Morrey, a world-renowned elbow surgeon. Then, he completed his second traveling fellowship in shoulder and elbow surgery/ sports medicine with the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic and University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Currently, Dr. Worrel is the Head Team Physician for the Dallas Mavericks and Assistant Team Physician for Southern Methodist University. Dr. Worrel is a member of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, and Dallas County Medical Society.

Visit Dr. Worrel’s Website

5. Runner Up – Scott O. Paschal, MD


  • Dr. Paschal is a former varsity baseball player for Texas A&M University, which gives him the ability to relate to and empathize with sports injuries, fueling his dedication to injured athletes
  • Dr. Paschal is a leading authority in sports medicine and arthroscopic reconstructive surgery of the knee and shoulder
  • Graduated in the top 2% of his class in medical school
  • Dedicated to giving the highest quality of care

About the Doctor

Dr. Paschal is an orthopedic surgeon in Dallas well known for his expertise in sports medicine. He completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University, where he played varsity baseball. He received his medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and then completed an internship in General Surgery at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX before completing his residency. Dr. Paschal completed his 5-year residency program at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. His fellowship in knee surgery and sports medicine was completed at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, CA. He then went on to complete his subspecialty training in shoulder surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario. Outside of his practice, Dr. Paschal is currently a team physician for Highland Park School and Dallas Independent School District. He is also Assistant Clinical Professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Paschal has authored multiple scientific articles, lectured nationally, and received teaching awards for his contributions. Previously, he served as Team Physician for the United States Alpine Olympic Ski Team, as well as the Physician Director for National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification. His passion for sports medicine is evidenced by all of his accomplishments.

Visit Dr. Paschal’s Website

Our Criteria for This List

We wanted to bring you accurate rankings you can rely on if you find yourself needing shoulder surgery. Here are a few of the parameters we used to rank our candidates:

  • 5+ years experience
  • 4.2+ star rating on Google
  • 4.2+ star rating on HealthGrades
  • Board Certified

How to Select a Shoulder Surgeon in Dallas

Selecting the right surgeon for you is a personal decision that will have a lasting impact on your life. Here are some tips to give you the best opportunity to make an informed decision that fits your needs.

  1. Call your insurance company to verify what they cover and get a list of their in-network providers. Simultaneously, get referrals from people you know and your primary care doctor.
  2. Compare your two lists of surgeons to find crossover and start investigating these options.
  3. Find a specialist. There are shoulder surgeons with different specialties in the shoulder. Find one that specializes in the surgery you need.
  4. Check the certification and credentials of the surgeons.
  5. Research your candidates’ experience and expertise.
  6. Check patient reviews and testimonials.
  7. Interview your candidates- ask them how many procedures they perform each month as well as their complication rates, the surgery timeline and process, as well as the recovery timeline. Take note of their personality and whether you feel respected and validated, as these are important factors for finding the right fit for you.
  8. Research the affiliated hospital and its quality.
  9. Communicate your goals and expectations early.

Using these tips will give you the best advantage in selecting the Dallas shoulder surgeon that’s right for you.

What happens in shoulder surgery?

Not all shoulder surgeries look the same. The five most common types of shoulder surgery are rotator cuff repair, total shoulder replacement, arthroscopy for frozen shoulder, acromioclavicular joint repair for arthritis, and arthroscopy for impingement syndrome. We’ve taken these five surgeries and simplified them so you know what to expect should you need them.

  • During a shoulder replacement, the doctor will remove damaged areas of bone and replace them with implants made of metal and plastic. This is called an arthroplasty
  • The procedure for a rotator cuff repair depends on the severity of the injury. Most often, the doctor will reattach the tendon to the humerus (the upper arm bone). A full tear involves stitching the tendon back to its original location. A partial tear might need only a trimming or smoothing procedure called a debridement
  • An arthroscopy for a frozen shoulder is much less invasive. Arthroscopy is a keyhole surgical method. This means rather than making a large incision, the doctor will make several small ones. The doctor will cut through tight portions of the joint capsule using pencil-sized instruments through several incisions in your shoulder.
  • During an arthroscopy for impingement syndrome, damaged or inflamed tissue is cleaned out of the area above the shoulder joint. The coracoacromial ligament may be cut, as well as the underside of the acromion bone if necessary.
  • An acromioclavicular joint repair is also a keyhole operation. Strong fiber tapes are passed through a small drill hole in your bone. The sutures are looped and tightened over small titanium buttons that pull the collarbone back to its correct position. This holds the joints correctly in place while the ligaments heal.

The recovery time of shoulder surgery is 4-6 months with physical therapy. Remember to discuss this with your Dallas shoulder surgeon before and after your surgery to get an understanding of what to expect. Thanks for reading our article on the top 5 shoulder surgeons in Dallas, TX. We hope you get well soon!

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