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Wirth, Michael A., MD

Michael A. Wirth, MD
Professor, Charles A. Rockwood Jr., MD Chair, Shoulder Service
Shoulder Service


Michael A. Wirth, M.D., Professor of Orthopaedics and The Charles A. Rockwood, Jr., MD Chair on the Shoulder Service of the Orthopaedic Department of UTHSCSA, specializes in the treatment of traumatic and atraumatic injuries to the shoulder. These include single and complex fractures of the shoulder, recurrent subluxation/dislocation of the shoulder, involuntary and multidirectional instability of the shoulder, rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement syndrome and frozen shoulder, as well as degenerative and arthritic problems of the shoulder. Dr. Wirth’s treatment protocol includes both non-operative and surgical strategies, including a pre and post-operative home based exercise program for rehabilitation of the shoulder. His surgeries include total and hemiarthroplasty (total or partial replacement of the shoulder), Reverse total shoulder, capsular shift reconstruction, rotator cuff repair, sternoclavicular joint repair, revision of shoulder arthroplasties and arthroscopic procedures.


Dr. Wirth’s research centers on the body’s response to implant materials, including diamond-like carbon coatings on total joint substrate materials and biodegradable suture anchors. In an effort to extend the effectiveness of joint implants, he is evaluating various types of fixation of glenoid prostheses and studying the quantitive wear characteristics of ion-implanted ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene. He has been and continues to be a team investigator for the design of shoulder replacement systems including shoulder prosthetic devices specifically designed to address particular shoulder treatments such as for use in fractures or cuff tear arthropathy. In addition, Dr. Wirth conducts continuing clinical research on various shoulder problems.


Dr. Wirth’s academic honors include his shoulder fellowship in 1990-91 with Dr. Charles A. Rockwood, and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Traveling European Fellowship in 1995. Dr. Wirth was one of seven orthopaedic surgeons from Canada and the United States selected for the American-British-Canadian Orthopaedic Fellowship in 1997. In 2003 he was awarded the Charles A. Rockwood, Jr., MD Chair in Orthopaedics. Dr. Wirth is ranked in the top 1% in the nation as a shoulder specialist by US News and World Report.


Dr. Wirth has made numerous contributions to the orthopaedic literature as an editor, contributing author and reviewer for medical journals, as well as the textbooks, The Shoulder, Fractures in Adults, and An Atlas of Shoulder Surgery. He has contributed more than 60 book chapters, monographs, and surgical teaching videos and has more than 60 journal publications pertaining to the shoulder.


Dr. Wirth is ABOS certified, an AAOS Diplomate, AAOS and ASES member. He is a consultant for the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and continues to give lectures nationally and internationally.


BS, Portland State University; MD, Oregon Health Sciences University Medical School, Residency, University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, Bexar County Hospital District, San Antonio, Texas


Recent Publications:

The Capsular Imbrication Procedure for Recurrent Anterior Instability of the Shoulder. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol. 78-A, February 1996.


Capsulorrhaphy Through an Anterior Approach for the Treatment of Atraumatic Posterior Glenohumeral Instability with Multidirectional Laxity of the Shoulder. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol 80-A, #11, November 1998.


Isolation and Characterization of Polyethylene Wear Debris Associated with Osteolysis Following Total Shoulder Arthroplasty. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol. 81-A, January 1999.

Shoulder Arthroplasty in the Cuff-Deficient Patient. Seminars in Arthroplasty, Vol. 11, #1, January 2000.