Joel Wells, M.D., M.P.H.

Joel Wells, M.D., M.P.H.

  • Orthopaedic Surgery - General Orthopaedics
  • Sports Injuries
  • Comprehensive Hip Surgery

Biography

Download Curriculum Vitae

Joel Wells, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a comprehensive hip surgeon at UT Southwestern’s Orthopaedic Surgery Clinic. Dr. Wells sees patients at the Sports Medicine Clinic at Richardson/Plano.

Dr. Wells earned his medical degree at Tulane University, followed by an internship in surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Orthopaedics and Massachusetts General Hospital. He then received advanced training in joint preservation, resurfacing, and reconstructive surgery through a fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

Among his numerous honors, Dr. Wells received the Gold Humanism in Medicine Society Award in 2009, the Tufts Accomplished Teaching Award in Surgery in 2011, and the Harvard Orthopaedic Surgery Best Clinical Research Award in 2015 for two of his presentations: The Long-Term Outcomes Following The Bernese Periacetabular Osteotomy and Predictors of Failure.

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Meet Dr. Wells

Comprehensive Hip Surgeon in Dallas

As a fellowship trained surgeon in comprehensive hip surgery, Joel Wells, M.D., cares for patients of all ages, from preadolescents to the elderly. 

“My role as a comprehensive hip surgeon is to take care of patients at all ages and stages of life, from the youngest to the eldest,” he says. “I can take care of all aspects of hip pathology.”

Few surgeons in North Texas are capable of performing the surgeries he does routinely to treat hip dysplasia, hip impingement, and complex hip deformities.

For example, Dr. Wells is an expert at performing periacetabular osteotomy, a complex surgery for repositioning the hip joint. Although the procedure is the most common type of hip preservation surgery in young adults, it usually is done only at specialized centers.

“Because of the cutting-edge technologies and experience we have with procedures like periacetabular osteotomies and surgical hip dislocations, we’re in a unique position at UT Southwestern to help people,” Dr. Wells says, “whether we’re taking care of pediatric deformities, geriatric injuries, or anything in between.”

Dr. Wells’ background as an athlete drew him to a career in sports medicine. He played college baseball at Abilene Christian University and was actually drafted by the New York Mets in 2006. Personal experience allows him to empathize with the athletes and patients under his care.

As such, he wants people with hip pain to know there is something that can be done for it, and he has a quick recovery plan to get them moving sooner after surgery.

“Historically the only solution to hip pain may have been a total hip”, he says. “Now with hip preserving procedures, there are options with good long-term outcomes other than a total hip.  Whatever your hip pain may be, I want to help.  With our comprehensive hip team our goal is to get patients up and moving quicker to a faster recovery.

Prior to joining the faculty at UT Southwestern, Dr. Wells was part of the care team for the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, where he focused on diagnosing and treating hip and knee injuries of all varieties.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (2015-2016), Joint Preservation, Resurfacing & Reconstruction
  • Residency - Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Program (2010-2015), Orthopedic Surgery
  • Internship - Brigham and Women's Hospital/The Faulkner Hospital (2010-2011), Surgery
  • Medical School - Tulane University (2006-2010)
  • Graduate School - Tulane University School of Public Health (2006-2010), Public Health
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS)
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS)
  • International Society for Hip Arthroscopy (ISHA)
  • Texas Medical Board (TMB)
  • Texas Orthopaedic Association (TOA)
Honors & Awards
  • Young Alumnus of the Year 2020, Abilene Christian University
  • Once Upon A Time Grant Recipient 2019
  • International Hip Dysplasia Institute Listed Physician 2019
  • Orthopedics Blue Ribbon Article Award 2019
  • Hogland Fund Grant Recipient 2019
  • Robert J. Potter Grant Recipient 2018
  • Abilene Christian University Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Jim Womack Award 2016
  • Harvard Orthopaedic Surgery Best Clinical Research Award: The Long-Term Outcomes Following The Bernese Periacetabular Osteotomy, and Predictors of Failure 2015
  • Chief Resident Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopaedic Surgery 2014-2015
  • Tufts Accomplished Teaching Award in Surgery 2011
  • Tulane Orthopedic Surgery Caldwell Society Award: Top Medical Student in Orthopaedic Surgery 2010
  • Gold Humanism in Medicine Society Award 2009
  • Lone Star Conference Baseball Player of the Year 2006
  • ESPN The Magazine Academic All American 2006
  • MLB Amateur Baseball Draft, Selected by NY Mets 2006
  • Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All American 2006
  • Valedictorian of Abilene Cooper High School 2002
Books & Publications
Research
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO)
  • Pelvis and Femoral Anatomy
  • Hip Arthroscopy
  • Anterior Total Hip Replacement
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

Clinical Focus

  • Sports Injuries
  • Comprehensive Hip Surgery

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Q&A by Dr. Wells

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